2013 Summer (Baltic and Britain – St. Petersburg, Russia – Day 1 – Part 2)

After our tour of the Imperial Summer Palace we were taken by hydrofoil from Peterhof back to St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg is the cultural and tourist capital of Russia. The population is about 5 million.  The city was founded on 101 islands and was built by Peter the Great in 1703 to take the place of Moscow as the Russian Empire capital.  In 1914 the name was changed to Petrograd so it didn’t sound so German.  The name was changed again to Leningrad in 1924 five days after the death of Soviet leader to honour him.  When Russia broke from the USSR in 1991 55% of the people voted to restore the name to the original St. Petersburg.  Much of the water between all the islands has been filled in over the years and now there are about 44 islands connected by many bridges.

   There is certainly no shortage of impressive buildings along the shore. From the launch dock it was a short walk across the square to the Church on the Spilled Blood.                       There are lots of ‘photo ops for a fee’ available. I loved these shoes but can you imagine wearing them to walk on cobblestones?

Officially called the Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is known locally as the Church on the Blood because it was built on the spot where Alexander II was fatally wounded in an assassination attempt March 1, 1881.

There must be a rule that Orthodox Churches cannot have any ‘unadorned’ spots.  Inside and out every single bit of surface is painted and decorated.

                             Looking up inside one of the many domes.                                             Loved the chandelier!    And then it was back to the ship for dinner and a quiet evening after a long, beautiful day.  The next day was also a palace day when we again left St. Pete’s to go see Catherine’s Palace and Pavlovsk (Paul’s Palace).


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