Bridges (Part II)
Located near the Summer Gardens and Mikhailovsky Castle, the Panteleimon Bridge (Panteleymonsky most) was built in 1907 by the engineer Andrei Pchenitsky. Subtler in decoration than many of the other bridges, I had to admit I was initially drawn to visit it due to its threadbare association with one of my favourite books ~ The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. A very neat, but easily missed item, is a small metal statue of a bird located in the of the canal corners of the bridge. People were gathered around this corner, trying to land their spare change on the statue’s platform. Good luck and fortune await the lucky person who does. . .
The Admiralty, the present view
The present view the Admiralty has since 1806-1823 after reconstruction by Zakharov architect. It has 400 meters long main building with 2 buildings on each side (the form of Russian letter P). In 1870 to the south of the Admiralty the Alexandrovsky Garden was founded.
In summer of 2006 in front of the Vasilevsky Island spit the fountain was placed. In nights (evening times) you can watch the shows when the fountain works with musik themes, in different colors by the way. Very nice.
Life on earth
Across the road to the left from the Maritime Museum, in long, yellow building with a less-than-noticeable entrance - you'll find another of the amazing collections that are a feature of so many of Russia's museums.
This is the Museum of Zoology, with room after room full of cases and dioramas featuring just about every animal that walks the earth and bird that flies - and some that are long, long gone. The stars of the show are definitely the 44,000 year old woolly mammoth found in 1902 and the baby mammoth that was discovered in 1977, but there is something for everyone - mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and all sorts of creepy-crawlies, fish - stuffed or skeletal, they're all here.
The museum was founded in 1832 and whilst it is definitely in the old-school-mould of rooms full of glass cases, it is anything but dry and dusty. Unlike so many museums of this kind elsewhere, there's hardly a moth-eaten animal or moulting bird to be seen - many of these beasts are masterpieces of the taxidermists art, set in lively and realistic dioramas, looking for all the world as though all they need is a jolt on the glass to dislodge the piece of poisoned apple in their mouth and bring them back to life.
The building itself is in a fairly sorry state, definitely in need of a face-lift that could start with some new signs and, unless you are absolutely desperate, the loos are definitely to be avoided - but don't let that put you off - there's so much to charm you - starting with the cute penguin family in the photo here.
Needless to say the museum is very popular with school groups, so if excited children on a school outing set your teeth on edge, you're probably better going later in the day rather than early.
Address: Universitetskaya Nabereshnaya 1
Opening hours are 1100-1800, with the last admission at 1700.
Closed on Tuesday (or maybe Friday) and National Holidays, and Thursday is free admission day.
Guided tours are available - phone ahead to book.
With no particular "must-see" sights, Kamennoostrovskiy Prospekt was still a highlight of our walks in St. Petersburg. It is located on Petrogradskaya Island, north of Peter & Paul Fortress and, as the main street of this island, it holds interesting shops, restaurants and architecture alike ~ much like Nevsky Prospekt.
Walking the street north from Ionnovsky Most up to Ploshchad Tolstovo, then back down on the opposite side (affording good views of each side of the street), is the best way to approach it. . .although it's best to give yourself the freedom to explore some of the side streets as well.