Saturday, May 5, 2012

Photo Nostalgia - St. Petersburg, Day 3 (White Nights)

My third day in St. Petersburg was a Sunday.  It would be a long day, as I eagerly anticipated the raising of the bridges during the White Nights of late June.

 Since it was Sunday, I started the day at church.  However, I goofed on the starting times, so I essentially missed the majority of church at my intended target.  I can't remember the name or location of the church, although it was probably not far from my hostel.


 After, I'd walk towards the church that Dostoevsky was married in.  Obviously I'm a bit of a fanboy.

 Trinity Cathedral, where Fyodor married his second and last wife, and which was undergoing renovation following a fire in 2006.




 I took this photo only because the scene struck me somehow as being very Russian.

 Inside the metro station right near Alexander Nevsky Monastery (note the saint, whose title references the River Neva, on the wall).

 Entrance gate to the monastery, where many Russian notables (including Dostoevsky) are buried.






 The grave of composer Alexander Borodin


 Anton Rubinstein's grave

 It took me awhile to realize whose this was, but it's Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's grave.

 The graves of Mikhail Glinka and his wife.

 Yours truly at Fyodor Dostoevsky's gravesite.  He actually wanted to be buried at the Novodevichy Convent in his birthplace of Moscow, but had to be buried here for financial reasons.

 Ah, the ubiquitous legacy of Leningrad.

 Later on I'd go to the Peter and Paul Fortress on Zayachy Island.  This is The Hermitage, seen from the River Neva.

 Peter and Paul Fortress in the distance.

 Crossing the bridge over the River Neva with the Kunstkamera in the background.


 Looking towards the Peter and Paul Fortress.

 No idea what this is.

 Looking back across towards St. Isaac's on the right and the Admiralty on the left, with one of the Rostral Columns (red) in the middle.

 Peter and Paul Cathedral, resting place of Russian royalty from Peter the Great to Nicholas II.


 Tombs of the tsars.

 Peter the Great's tomb.

 The same

 I forget who is buried in the colored tombs, but judging by the crowds they were important.

 Tsar Nicholas II's remains were moved here in 1998, along with those of his family.  His tomb is the one at left.



 Inside the Peter and Paul Fortress.

 Looking back toward the Hermitage.

 The Fortress walls.


 St. Isaac's and the Admiralty.

 Time to leave the Fortress.

 One of the Rostral Columns.

 St. Isaac's.

 On the north bank of the Neva there are actual, thousands-of-years-old Egyptian sphinxes that were brought to St. Petersburg from Egypt in the 19th century.  They are the furthest north Egyptian sphinxes in the world, and are completely exposed to the elements (and graffiti, sadly enough).  They are NOT reproductions.

 The Bronze Horseman, the most famous statue of Peter the Great, commissioned by Catherine the Great.

 St. Isaac's Cathedral, en route back to my hostel for a long nap before the White Nights.

 Time for the White Nights!

 St. Isaac's again (something I'd see every day - I tried not to take it for granted, hence the abundance of photos).


 Bronze Horseman again.


 The highlight of the White Nights is going down to the River Neva before about 1:30am, when the bridges start rising in order to let large Russian ships pass through.

 The Imperial Academy of Sciences building at left, and the Kunstkamera at right, both on the Universitetskaya Embankment.

 Kuntskamera

 Water traffic queuing up for the raising of the bridges (with the Peter and Paul Cathedral in the background).

 Here we go!

 Voila!

It might not look like much from the photos, but watching the bridges rise is strangely alluring.

Coming up next = a mellow day in St. Pete's (feat. the Kazan Cathedral) and a much more ambitious trip, to Kizhi.  Stay tuned.

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