The zzzland Times

Our travel

                      Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Updated August 2020

  • Added videos and pictures

Once named Petrograd then Leningrad and back to Saint-Petersburg.  WWII ravaged this country.The war memorial picture is a sacred reminder of their heroic battles. The 190-day siege by the Germans devastated this city, almost bringing it to it's knees... Almost.



                                      Fyodor Dostoyevsky
                          Born:November 11, 1821
 Died:February 9, 1881
Saint Petersburg

In the Saint-Petersburg subway on a Sunday morning. It cost only 10 rubbles to ride the subway.


Street scene. Picture taken during our walking tour of the city. Check out the PLAYBOY ad to the left in the bus shelter.





Next pictureMichel, standing around like some tourist... Famous Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in the background. Built on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was killed. It is decorated with marble and several thousand square yards of mosaics. They also kept works of art from the Hermitage Museum in its underbelly during WWII. 





The Peter and Paul Fortress is the original citadel of St-Petersburg, founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and built to Domenico Trezzini's designs from 1706 to 1740.

The fortress contains several notable buildings clustered around the Peter and Paul Cathedral (1712-1733).The cathedral is the burial place of all Russian tsars from Peter I to Alexander III. The remains of the Imperials martyrs, Nicholas II and his family and entourage, were also interred there, in the side St.Catherine's Chapel, on the 80th anniversary of their deaths, July 17, 1998. Towards the end of 2006, the remains of Dowager Empress Maria Feodorrovna were brought from Rosklide Cathedral outside Copenhagen to finally rest next to her husband,
Alexander III.




The official cat in charge of pest control...of the Peter and Paul Cathedral. No kidding.

Tombs of Peter the Great and Catherine I. Fresh flowers are laid every day.


The remains of Dowager Empress Maria Feodorrovna (26 November 1847 – 13 October 1928), born Princess Dagmar of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and later Princess Dagmar of Denmark, was Empress consort of Russia as spouse of Emperor Alexander III. She was the second daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark and Louise of Hessel-Cassel. Among her children was the last Russian monarch, Emperor Nicholas II, whom she outlived by ten years.

When she died the services were held in Copenhagen's Russian Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Church, the Empress was interred at Roskilde Cathedral. In 2005, Queen Margarethe II of Denmark and President Vladimir Putin of Russia and their respective governments agreed that the Empress's remains should be returned to Saint-Petersburg  in accordance with her wish to be interred next to her husband.        _______________________________________________

Alexandrine Theatre is the oldest Russian Drama theatre, named after Pushkin.

You can see in the background Alexandrine Theatre

The Aurora was one of three Pallada-class cruisers, built in St. Petersburg for service in the Far east. All the ships of this class served during the Russo-Japanese War.

On 25 October 1917, the refusal of an order for the Aurora to take to sea sparked the October Revolution. At 9.45 p.m. on that date, a blank shot from her forecastle gun signalled the start of the assault on the Winter Palace, which was to be the last episode of the October Revolution. Aurora's crew actually took part in the attack.

After extensive repairs in 1945 - 1947, Aurora was permanently anchored on the Neva in Leningrad (now St-Petersburg) as a monument to the Revolution and in 1957 became a museum-ship.

The Aurora is now maintained by cadets from the nearby Nakhimov Navy School.

The Nakhimov Naval School or simply Nakhimov School is a form of military education for teenagers. They are named after Imperial Russian admiral Pavel Nakhimov.

In 1944 the Leningrad Nakhimov Naval School started to operate.


The Smolny Institute is a Palladian edifice that has played a major part in the history of Russia..

The building was commissioned from Giacomo Quarenghi by the Society for Education of Noble Maidens and constructed in 1806-08 to house the SmolnyInstitut of Noble Maidens, established at the urging of Ivan Betskoy in 1764 and borrowing its name from the nearby Smolny Covent. A nice garden and iron-work grille around the institute date from the early 19th century.

In 1917, the building was chosen by Lenin as Bolshevik headquarters during the October Revolution. It was Lenin's residence for several months, until the national government was moved to the Moscow Kremlin. After that, the Smolny became the headquarters of the local Communist Party apparat, effectively the city hall.

Society for Education of Noble Maidens

Institute for Noble Maidens was a type of educational institution in late Imperial Russia. It was devised as a girl-only institution for girls of noble origin. The first and most famous of these was the Smolny Institute.

Lenin and his wife slept here.    

Anna Pavlovna (Matveïevna) Pavlova (12 February 1881–23 January 1931) was a Russian ballerina of the late 19th and the early 20th century.

She is widely regarded as one of the most famous and popular classical ballet dancers in history and was most noted as a Principal artist of the Imperial Russian Ballet and the Ballets Russes of Serge Diaghilev. Pavlova is most recognised for the creation of the role The dying Swan and with her own company, would become the first ballerina to tour ballet around the world.
This is picture of her house that was taken over by Lenin. Anna left the country fearting that her friendship to the Romanovs would endanger
her life.

Anna Pavlovna taken in the same room as the above picture.


Smolny Convent or Smolny Convent of the Resurrection (Voskresensky), located on Ploschad Rastrelli, on the bank of the River Neva , consists of a cathedral and a complex of buildings surrounding it, originally intended for a convent.

Construction on the complex begun as a Russian Orthodox monastery for nuns. It was built to house Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great, after she was disallowed succession to the throne, when she opted instead to become a nun. However, as soon as her Imperial predecessor, Ivan VI, was overthrown during a coup d'état carried out by the royal guards in 1741, Elizabeth decided against entering monastic life and accepted the offer of the Russian throne. However, work on the convent continued with royal patronage. 


Statue of Peter the Great in Senate Square.  (Near Saint Isaac's Cathedral)

The Saint Isaac's Cathedral took 40 years to construct, from 1818 to 1858. Under the Soviet government, the building was abandoned, then turned into a museum of atheism. During WW II, the dome was painted over in gray to avoid attracting attention from enemy aircraft. With the fall of communism, the museum was removed and regular worship activity has resumed in the cathedral, but only in the left-hand side chapel.



      The State Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace

The State Hermitage occupies six buildings situated along the embankment of the River Neva, right in the heart of St Petersburg. The leading role in this architectural ensemble is played by the Winter Palace, the residence of the Russian tsars that was built to the design of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754-62. This ensemble, formed in the 18th and 19th centuries, is extended by the eastern wing of the General Staff building, the Menshikov Palace and the recently constructed Repository. Put together throughout two centuries and a half, the Hermitage collections of works of art (over 3,000,000 items) present the development of the world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century.

Picture below:

Located between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, the current Winter Palace built between 1755 and 1762 as the winter residence of the Russian tsars.A site to behold!



I would suggest for you to pick up the movie : "The Russian Ark".  




                                          Taken from the Russian Ark


Same painting... Just depends from what angle you look at it... The Doge Palace looks a lot bigger in picture to the right.



                                       The Neva river

The two Rostral Columns, studded with ships' prows, served as oil-fired navigation beacons in the 1800s


                                 More Saint-Petersburg

View of one of the many canals. There are more canals in Saint-Petersburg than in Venice.





Peterhof is a municipal town within Petrodvortsovy District of the federal city of Saint Petersburg on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. It is a series of palaces and gardens, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great, and sometimes called the "Russian Versailles".

View of the fountains and gardens of the palace. They greatly admired the Versaille Palace and wanted to emulate it. It is a sight we will never forget, a sight of supreme beauty. 








Catherine's bed


 All English the "White Dining- room"  

                            Catherine's Palace

The residence originated in 1717, when Catherine I of Russia engaged a German architect to construct a summer palace for her pleasure. In 1733, Empress Anna expanded the Catherine Palace. Empress Elizabeth, however, found her mother's residence outdated and incommodious and in May 1752 asked her court architect to demolish the old structure and replace it with a much grander edifice in a flamboyant Rococo style.

The palace is located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), 25 km south-east of St-Patersburg. Unilke Peterhorf, it is the interior that
makes this site so beautiful.



Catherine's Palace

View from the Neva river

Short video of our cruise along the Neva River


RCL- Legend of the Seas

More of images of 

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood


Here are a few videos

Peter and Paul Cathedral--and site of the Imperial tombs



Saint-Petersburg -Part One

Saint-Petersburg -Part Two

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