Leningrad 2

Saint Petersburg Travel Blog

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Neva River

In 1975, St. Petersburg was Leningrad. But the Soviet regime had preserved all of the famous sights of Peter the Great's "Window on the West". Some of the buildings, churches in particular, had been repurposed as musuems. (Typcially as museums of atheism.) It was most interesting to note the way the Soviets preserved Russian and Imperial history in the historic city. At the Peter and Paul Fortress, our Intoruist guide was quick to point out the Tsars buried in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. (Though, when someone asked if the last Tsar was also buried there, she replied with a simple but definitive "No".) 

We visted both State Russian Musuem and the Hermitage Musuem. The State Russian Museum is the collection of Russian art while the Hermitage is the collection of world, primarily Western, art.

Rostral Columns
It surprised me very much to find that there was no climate control in the State Russian Museum. Windows of the former palace were wide open, admiting the warm summer air and allowing daylight to shine directly on the paintings. 

One of the remarkable sights in Leningrad that I also enjoyed again in St. Petersburg in 2016 are the two Rostral Columns on the Neva. They were designed as navigational beacons in 1810, with allegorical figures representing Russia's rivers.

A curious item that I did not find in 2016 was the flavored carbonated water (gazirovannia voda) vending machines.  In 1975, such vending machines appeared to be very popular and were to be found on every street corner. The curious thing about them to a Westerner was the communal glass the used. Everyone used this same glass, attached to the machine by a metal chain. Users could wash out the glass in the vending machne before dispensing their beverage, but still!

In the evening, we attended a performance of the Leningrad Circus.

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Neva River
Neva River
Rostral Columns
Rostral Columns
Rostral Columns detail
Rostral Columns detail
The Bronze Horseman statue (Peter …
The Bronze Horseman statue (Peter…
Senate Square
Senate Square
St. Isaacs Cathedral (1858)
St. Isaac's Cathedral (1858)
Puskin Statue in Arts Square
Puskin Statue in Arts Square
State Russian Museum (Mikhailovsky…
State Russian Museum (Mikhailovsk…
State Russian Museum (Mikhailovsky…
State Russian Museum (Mikhailovsk…
State Russian Museum: Icon
State Russian Museum: Icon
State Russian Museum: Sculptures
State Russian Museum: Sculptures
State Hermitage Museum (Winter Pal…
State Hermitage Museum (Winter Pa…
General Staff and Ministries Build…
General Staff and Ministries Buil…
Alexander Column
Alexander Column
Malachite dish on gilt bronze trip…
Malachite dish on gilt bronze tri…
Throne Room in the Winter Palace (…
Throne Room in the Winter Palace …
The Admiralty Building (1719)
The Admiralty Building (1719)
Kazan Cathedral (1811). Museum of …
Kazan Cathedral (1811). Museum of…
Leningrad tram
Leningrad tram
Moscow Restaurant
Moscow Restaurant
Eliseyev Emporium (Art Nouveau, 19…
Eliseyev Emporium (Art Nouveau, 1…
Smolny Convent (1835). Closed duri…
Smolny Convent (1835). Closed dur…
Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul…
Cathedral of Saints Peter and Pau…
Beach at the Peter and Paul Fortre…
Beach at the Peter and Paul Fortr…
Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery (…
Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery …
Monument to the Heroic Defenders o…
Monument to the Heroic Defenders …
Moscow Triumphal Gate (1834-1838)
Moscow Triumphal Gate (1834-1838)
Leningrad Circus
Leningrad Circus
Leningrad Circus
Leningrad Circus