Saint Petersburg (2)

Топик Санкт-Петербург (2) продолжает рассказ о городе белых ночей, одном из самых неповторимых городов мира. Некоторым кажется, что Санкт-Петербург напоминает Рим, Париж, Вену или Амстердам, но этот город – единственный в своем роде. Первым строением в новом городе была Петропавловская крепость, но она никогда не была военной крепостью, а использовалась как политическая тюрьма. В разные годы здесь томились в тесных камерах сын Петра Первого – Алексей, Достоевский, Чернышевский, Горький. В 1924 году крепость была превращена в музей, а в соборе крепости был устроен пантеон для членов царской семьи. Среди других достопримечательностей, которые непременно стоит посетить всем гостям города: Исаакиевский собор, Казанский собор, Невский проспект, Летний сад, Эрмитаж, Русский музей, Дворцовая площадь, Триумфальная арка, Александровская колонна, Академия художеств, Смольный монастырь, Троицкий собор Александро-Невской Лавры, Площадь Декабристов, памятник Медный всадник, Марсово поле, храм Спаса-на-Крови, музей-квартира А. С. Пушкина, стрелка Васильевского острова, Ростральные колонны и др.

St. Petersburg is a city of magic beauty, a city of white nights, broad straight avenues, green parks, countless bridges and canals. The greatest architects of the 18-th and 19-th centuries created magnificent ensembles in our city. St. Petersburg reminds some visitors of Rome, others of Paris, Vienna or Amsterdam. But actually there is no city in the world like St. Petersburg. It’s bridges, canals, granite embankments, railings, museums make our city one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

If you come to the Neva embankment you will certainly see St. Peter and Paul Fortress, which is considered to be the birthplace of the city. The city started from the small Zayachy Island. It attracted Peter’s attention because of its strategic position. It was here that on the 27th of May 1703 Peter the First laid the foundation of the Fortress. The Fortress has six bastions connecting with straight walls but this fortress has never played a military role. Even in Peter’s time it was used as a political prison. And among its first prisoners was Peter’s own son Alexey who plotted against his father. For this reason Alexey was sentenced to death. But on the eve of the execution he was found dead in his own cell. Many famous people were prisoners in St. Peter’s And Paul Fortress, among them – Dostoyevsky, Chernyshevsky, Gorky. In 1924 the Fortress was turned into museum. The cathedral inside the Fortress has also been turned into museum. The cathedral was built by the architect Domenico Trezini between 1712-1733. The Cathedral is 122.5 meters high. The spire is 40m high. It is crowned with a cross. The wings of the angel spread about 40m high. It is crowned with a weathercock in the form of an angel with a cross. The wings of the angel spread about 4m. Inside the cathedral you can see a beautiful icon stand designed by Ivan Zarubny. After the death of Peter the Great, the cathedral became the pantheon for the royal family. 42 members of Romanoff’s family including 11 ruling tzars are buried there.

Another place, which is certainly worth seeing, is St. Isaak’s cathedral. It took 40 years to build this cathedral. It is 101.5 m high. It is the third highest cupola cathedral in the world. The first is the St. Peter’s cathedral in Rome and second is St. Paul’s in London. The total area of the interior of the cathedral is 4000 sq. m. The cathedral was named after St. Isaaks because Peter’s birthday coincided the day of monk of Dalmatia who was canonized. The first church of St. Isaak was built on Peter’s order soon after St. Petersburg was founded. It was a small wooden building, which was destroyed soon, and then a stone building was erected. It was built close to the river and because of the weak ground it began to sink. Then finally it was destroyed by the fire. Then it was decided to build a new church of St. Isaak farther from the Neva. It was built by architect Rinaldi. But it was not impressive enough to be the main church of the capital. So a competition was announed and the French architect Monferran won it.

In St. Petersburg there are а lot of places то enjoy. Among them the Kazan Cathedral, Nevsky Avenue, the Summer Garden, the Hermitage, the Russian Museum, Palace Square, the Triumphant Arch, the Alexander Column, the Academy of Arts, the Smolny Convent, the Trinity Cathedral of Alexander Nevsky Lavra, Decembrist’s Square, the Bronze Horseman, the Field of Mars, the Church of Savior on the Spilt Blood, Alexander Pushkin Museum-Flat, the Spit of Vasiliyevsky Island, the Rostral Columns. Alexander Pushkin loved our city very much and wrote many beautiful poems, devoted them to St. Petersburg. One of them I’d like to recite. I love you, citadel of Peter’s / I love your elegant austerity of line, / Your broad Neva, whose gracious waters / Mid granite-clad embankment shine. / I love your traceries iron of gate and railing, / The moonless brilliance of the light / That sheds a beauty never paling / Upon your meditative night. / When, neither lamp or candle hiding / I sit composing verse or reading, / And slumbering mansions towering high, / Stand clear against the lucid sky.

If a foreigner comes to St. Petersburg, he can’t miss the Hermitage. It s a brilliant place. Nowhere in the world you can find a place like the Hermitage. The Hermitage occupies several buildings, which are all connected. The largest of them is the Winter Palace. It was designed by the architect Rastrelly for the Russian empress Elizabeth and it was completed in 1762. Elizabeth died in 1762. So the first Russian empress who lived here was Cathrin the Second. Up to revolution it was the winter residence of Russian tzars. Next to the Winter Palace is the Little Hermitage. It was designed by the architect Vallen de la Mothe. It was built on Catherine’s the Second order to house her collection of pictures. At first it was her private. Very few people could see this collection, it hence the name The Hermitage which means an isolated place. Next to the Little Hermitage is the old Hermitage, designed by Yuri Felton and it was specially built to house of the growing collection. The light-green and white buildings is the Hermitage Theatre which was erected by Giacomo Quarengi. It is the former court theatre and now it is the Lecture Hall. On the outside of the old Hermitage, facing Millionnaya street there is the New Hermitage. It was a perfect museum building for that time.

I believe every citizen has his favorite place in St. Petersburg, I also have my favorite place. It is the Summer Garden. I like walking there and wanting to tell you something about history of the Summer Garden. It is the oldest in the city, it was laid out in 1704. Peter the Great planted its first trees himself. There are a lot of trees, flowers and sculptures and there is one of the oldest building in St. Petersburg. It is The Palace of Peter the Great designed by the architect Domenico Trezini. It is more like a small house than a palace.

In 1874 the famous railing was erected along the Neva Side. It was designed by the architect Yuri Felton. It was told that a 19-th centuries English lord, a patron of arts stopped in his boat in the Neva by the Summer Garden. He admired the black-and-golden railing (grille) and then set sail for England without going ashore. When asked the reason for this action the lord replied that the goal of this voyage had been achieved and nothing could surprise him more then the railing. But in my opinion there are more places in St. Petersburg, which are certainly worth seeing.


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