The monastery was founded in 1710. Peter I the Great thought he is continuer of Aleksander Nevsky, the famous Russian commander of XIII century because Peter fought with the same enemies, Swedes. Lavra is Orthodox center of the city.
Why not have a boat trip along the city canals and rivers, which will allow you to see the buildings from different angles and to enjoy the city sites - the splendid samples of the old Russian architecture. walking along the city canals and living there for a year.
The Old and The New
So much of our pre-visit images of Russia were connected to communism and state-controlled lives. . .but a stay in St. Petersburg today dispells much of that.
Reminders remain ~ the kassa system of paying, then picking up your purchase, remains in a few stores; the aged beggars, victims of inadequate pensions and government assistance; this photographed scene, a flashback to another era (the hammer & sickle are actually on a vodka ad).
Today, to the traveler at least, St. Petersburg is a modern-day peer to other European capitals (current or former) ~ fashion and materialism reign among the young; all consumer goods can be bought (as long as you can pay the price); and the city's attitude is supremely self-confident.
Shemyakin's Peter the Great
After you see the Bronze Horseman, the most famous monument to Peter the Great, you can look for Mikhail Shemyakin's statue of Peter the Great.
Abstract and not so flattering, it may be hard to recognize at first.
You can go up to the czar and ask for a palace or even sit on his lap like Santa Claus, but don't expect anything but a cold touch :)
Shemyakin is an American sculptor of Russian roots presents the "alter ego" of Peter the Great. His abstract statue is in stark contrast to tradional realism in monuments and has stirred some controversy.
A block or so to the east of Kamennoostrovskiy Prospekt, south of the mosque, you can find this additional example of Style Moderne architecture. Matilda Kshesinskaya was a ballet star (who is said to have had an affair with Nicholas II, before he became Tsar) and it was built for her in 1904.
The detail is more impressive than the photo ~ it's a mix of tile, ironwork, coloured stone and an especially impressive bay window. The mansion today holds a Museum of Political History; our timing was off for visiting, but it's worth a look at the exterior at least.