City Environs, Saint Petersburg
This is a wonderful water (observing) tower, which stays amazing all year round. It’s a little castle among the industrial decadent style of the time of Kerensky.
It used to belong to the Obukhovsky factory as an observing tower. The main guns from the opposite bank of the Neva were adjusting their aiming sights with the tower.
104à Oktyabr’skaya Neb.
In December of 1884 in Russia, with the main engineering management, chaired by the head of the galvanic (later - Electrical) of Maj.-Gen MM Boreskov was created «the Commission on the application of aeronautics, pigeon-mail, and guard towers for military purposes». Registrar-office, was appointed its Poruchik AM Êîâàíüêî previously graduated the Military Engineering College.
At the conclusion of the commission in February 1885 was formed aeronautic team - the first in the regular Russian army unit of its kind - under the authority of the lieutenant AM Êîâàíüêî. For many years, his work would be in Gatchina, where the airfield was a training aircraft division officer aeronautic schools, and 4 kilometers from Gatchina, in the village Salizi - training ground with a balloon and slip on them.
In April 1887 aeronautic team was renamed the Training Staff and aeronautic park, and in May 1890 approved the provision of aeronautical parts and is based Training aeronautic park (RVA).
AM Êîâàíüêî left office aeronautic commission and the chief of «image» (the staff team) balloonist.
One of the difficult issues of airfield construction land, as the flat space, not privately owned, it was difficult to find. In the suburbs of St. Petersburg was the most appropriate Gatchina Êðàñíîñåëüñêîå and military fields, as well as the territory of Ust-Izhorskiye engineering camp. The most suitable site for the airport was under military field Gatchina. In addition, next to the station was Salizi village, near where the planned military training site equipped aeronautic park.
By the autumn of 1909, the park has received permission from the Ministry of the imperial court at the terminal device for testing and flying airplanes.
Soon the station had been allocated to construct two hangar, and September 22 in place for finalizing airplane, which were constructed in the park on Volkovoi field.
In April 1910 the commander of the OHR, Major-General A. Êîâàíüêî appointed officer GG Park Gorshkova head Gatchina airfield and outlined in his raspryazhenie team of soldiers, who immediately proceeded to prepare the flight field.
By 14 May all the major work on the terminal device have been completed. By this time at the airfield was taken two «Farman» and one «Wright».
Except for 10-12 aircraft hangars on the outskirts of the airfield has grown a small town with shops, benzohranilischem, improvised weather station, office space. Were clearly marked runway and a place for «skating» - to train pilots for future management of airplanes on the ground. In the archive number 103 Fund 298 TSGVIA to the materials of the death of lieutenant MN Nesterova (brother PN Nesterov) on airplanes «Morgan» attached airport diagram, where the main runway shows along the Baltic railway, but indicated a possible take-off on Egerskuyu sloboda in other directions.
Aerodrom actually belonged to a temporary division officer aeronautic school, which initially existed in the human unit officer school.
Officially, the airfield was opened only 26 Mar., 1911, and led his Staff Captain GG Gorshkov.
Named so because of the crystal purity of water, many keys and lying at the bottom of greenish clay, which are attached to silver lake - an emerald green hue. All of the lake surrounded by a fence, as well as in its territory is water intake station.
The depth of the lake reaches 14 meters, it provided an opportunity for the demonstration in 1881 by Emperor Alexander III, a designer-inventor SK Dzhevetskim new «underwater mine apparatus», the second model of the submarine.
SK Dzhevetsky proposed to build a command of the submarine, the project which he began to develop further in 1876. Not received any material support, Dzhevetsky submarine built at his own expense. This was a very small single submarine length of about five meters. Movement of boats provided by the rotation of screw propeller by means of pedal drive. For the breath in a closed boat had a supply of air in the cylinder. Compressed air is used for perflation of ballast water from the tank when surfacing submarine. Ballast tanks located at the bottom of the boat. The water in it for immersion was adopted by gravity due to the side, which had a special valve, through the same water is removed at perflation ballast water (for surfacing).
At the top of the boat had a small turret-cutting with windows at eye level person administering the boat. At the height of the shoulders in the towers were cut two round holes, which were attached outside of the rubber hoses with gloves. The holes under the sleeves closed the lid on the lamb. Equalize the pressure inside the boat with outboard, can be given to these caps, and use the sleeves, prosunuv their hands. This device allows to attach a mine to the hands of an enemy ship's bottom. Back to a safe distance, could blow up the mine with the help of an electric fuse, the wire for which vytravlivalsya from inside the boat.
At the end of Russian-Turkish war Dzhevetskogo boat was never used. But experience Dzhevetskogo interest in the military, reshivshee to use submarines to defend the coasts to help the seaside castles. Dzhevetsky has drafted a larger boat, which was built in St. Petersburg on Nevsky factory in 1879. The tests made it on the lake in Gatchina and yielded satisfactory results.
The settlement was first mentioned in the documents of the Novgorod Republic in the 15th century, when its name was spelled as "Khrapsha". It passed to Sweden following the Treaty of Stolbovo but was recaptured by Peter the Great during the Great Northern War. Upon hearing about the curative properties of Ropsha's mineral springs, the tsar planned to make it his summer retreat; a timber palace and small church were built there. Subsequently, when he discovered a more favourable location of Strelna and contrived a system of pipes to bring water from the Ropsha heights to the fountain cascades projected in Peterhof, he abandoned his previous plans for Ropsha and made a present of it to his senior associate, Prince Fyodor Romodanovsky, or the "Caesar-Pope" as he was wont to style him.
Prince Romodanovsky was an old man of harsh disposition, who kept tame bears in his palace to scare infrequent visitors. Being in charge of Peter's secret police, he would bring political prisoners to a torture chamber arranged in Ropsha Palace and their screams would spook the neighbourhood. Despite macabre stories of his cruelty and misdeeds, a neighbour, Chancellor Golovkin, found it prudent to arrange the marriage of his son to Romodanovsky's daughter. After the 1722 wedding, Ropsha Palace was overhauled and expanded under the supervision of Golovkin's friend, Ivan Yeropkin.
In connection with the Lopukhina Conspiracy, the Golovkins fell into disgrace and their possessions were seized by Empress Elizabeth, who asked a court architect, Bartolomeo Rastrelli, to prepare plans for a new palace at Ropsha. As Rastrelli was busy with other projects, his designs for Ropsha were never executed. Towards the end of her reign, Empress granted the estate to her nephew and heir, the future Peter III of Russia. It was there that he was brought under guard after the coup d'état of 1762, and it was there that Peter III was allegedly murdered under shady circumstances.
Later the same year, Catherine the Great resolved that "Ropsha is not to be mentioned again" and presented the ill-famed place to her lover, Count Orlov. The reputation of the manor was too sinister for any improvement on the grounds to be effected and Orlov soon ceded the palace to Admiral Ivan Chernyshev, who sold it for 12,000 roubles to Ivan Lazarev, an Armenian jeweller. It is widely believed that Lazarev was just a figurehead who acted at the behest of Catherine's son Paul. The latter, unable to overtly acquire the grounds for fear of his mother's ire, was still drawn to the place where his father had been murdered.
It was only after Catherine's death that Tsar Paul took over Ropsha from Lazarev. During the Paul's reign, the Ropsha palace was rebuilt in a Neoclassical style to a design by Georg von Veldten. A large paper factory was built nearby and the English gardener Thomas Gray laid out an English park with a mosaic of ponds full of fish. Paul apparently planned to rename Ropsha, in commemoration of the dramatic events of 1762, but was assassinated himself before this came to pass.
Although the ponds of Ropsha remained an imperial fishing ground under his sons, they rarely visited the place. It was more popular with noble anglers who even named a special breed of scaly carp after Ropsha. When Alexandre Dumas, père visited the estate in 1858, the palace belonged to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. In the ensuing decades, it was seldom inhabited, though Grand Duchess Xenia, the last tsar's sister, chose to spend her wedding night there.
Nicholas II turned Ropsha Palace and parks into his favorite hunting and fishing retreat. The Tsar was seen here surrounded by aristocratic milieu coming from all over Europe for hunting, fishing, and dining in Russian style. Ropsha also had a military garrison. Imperial cavalry division was stationed here until 1918.
During the Russian Civil War Ropsha saw some heavy fighting, as General Yudenich wrested it from the Bolsheviks on two occasions.
From September 1941 to January 1944, during the Siege of Leningrad, Ropsha was occupied by the troops of the Nazi Germany. During World War II, from 1941 to 1944, Ropsha was mentioned in the Nazi military reports to Adolf Hitler's office as an important commanding hill with a strategic artillery post having unobstructed direct view on central St. Petersburg. From the artillery positions in Ropsha the Nazi Germans continued artillery bombardments of St. Petersburg and its southern suburbs for two years. During that time, the Nazi Germans robbed and vandalized the imperial estate; a special unit looted the palace and moved its valuable art collection to the Nazi Germany. Then the palace was destroyed by the Nazis using explosive devices.
On January 19, 1944, Ropsha was liberated from the Nazi German occupation as part of the Leningrad–Novgorod Offensive ending the siege. However, the palace remained in ruins and was in disrepair due to the magnitude of German damage in World War II.
Inscribed with other imperial estates into the World Heritage List, the edifice may still be viewed in its half-ruined state. Re-building the Ropsha Palace and park to its original grandeur remains a difficult task due to severe damages and losses that require a costly reconstruction, and also because of risks related to remaining land-mines and other explosives left after the Nazi siege of Leningrad.
As of 2012, Ropsha Estate is deserted and at the verge of collapse.
Ropsha is a settlement in Lomonosovsky District of Leningrad Oblast, Russia, situated about 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of Peterhof and 49 kilometres (30 mi) south-west of central Saint Petersburg
Between the beautiful fountains of Peterhof and Strelna palaces along the coast of the Gulf area stretches the road on which the residence of the royal family and the estate of many large Russian dignitaries. Well-known architects and gardeners have put all their skills to create a unique architectural and landscape ensemble, known as the "Lower Road".
Here, at the beginning of the XVIII century, by order of Peter I made the distribution of sites on the Peterhof road (in the period from 1710 to 1714.) And was founded the estate. It consisted of "five yards chuhonskih" - village "Korcula". The village's name comes from the Finnish village named "Kirpola" marked on the Swedish charts XVII century. Translated from the Finnish language - "hill", "high place." Strange name "Korcula" - distorted Finnish place name - appeared thanks to the influence of the Ukrainian word "Gorgol," which means "wealthy peasant", and later - the "rich", "miser." The name, which heard the echo of Ukrainian MTIE, appeared in the middle of the XVIII century, when there under Hetman of Ukraine KG Razumovsky Hetman was founded manor.
The history of the estate in his own wonderful, because it is associated with a number of glorious Russian names. One by one, the owners were replaced:
Military general, prime Major Life Guards regiment Buturlin Ivan Ivanovich (1710-ies.)
Count Ivan Musin-Pushkin (1719g.)
Court physician of Peter I, the first president of the Academy of Sciences, Lawrence Lavrent'evich Blumentrost (1727g.)
Senator, President of the Commerce College, Earl Plato Ivanovich Musin-Pushkin (1730g.)
Fortifier, the builder of the North Channel, Christoph Burkhart Minich (1740g.)
Favorite of the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna Alexei Razumovsky (1743g.)
Little Russian hetman, Count Cyril Razumovsky (1750s).
One of the last owners of the manor was the curator of the Moscow University, president of the Academy of Fine Arts, a favorite of the Empress Elizabeth, Count Ivan Shuvalov. Under his estate, and was basically formed. Therefore, the "Russian village" was named "Shuvalovka" in his honor.
Senator, Privy Councillor, Peter V. Chamberlain valid Metlyaev (1790s).
In 1835. Senator Metlyaeva widow sold the estate to Nicholas I. Immediately after the acquisition of the estate to the Treasury began work on its reconstruction and redevelopment. By this time, most of the planning and landscape elements were preserved, and a large manor house has been restructured. In the mid-70s. XIX century, a small ensemble of the estate has turned into a model farm. She received the name "Crate" in the name of the town in the foothills of the Alps between Innsbruck and Munich, where she loved to relax the imperial family.
After the revolution of the whole architectural ensemble "Lower Road" met the same sad fate as many estates in the vicinity of St. Petersburg. Many outbuildings were destroyed or partially destroyed. Spontaneously arising squatter - gardens, sheds, squalid huts - heavily disfigured landscapes of the countryside.
And then, in the 90s. XX century in the office of the general plan committee on urban planning and architecture, it was decided to develop the territory of the "low road" - from the Alexandria Park in the west to the east of the city of Strelna. The stated objective was to maximize the potential of this historic site "Lower Road" to create a tourist complex with a high level of service.
In this connection, attention was paid to the estate "Shuvalovka."
Aviators’ Park is located in the southern part of St. Petersburg between Novoizmaylovskiy avenue, Cubinskaya street, Kuznetsovskaya street and Bassinaya street. The nearest metro station is Victory Park. Park area 35.2 hectares.
It was laid out in 1966 (architects L.N. Svechnikova, G.L. Sholokhova) on the territory of former airfield. Has a winding layout of the tracks, in the center of the park there is a pond. In 1968 a monument to heroic military pilots was inaugurated on the bank: fighter aircraft MiG-19 on a concrete base (the height of the monument - 12 m, architects: A. S. Chervyakova, S.A. Ushakov, engineer A.I. Rybin). In 70-80s here worked Czech mobile amusement park “Lunapark”. Aviators’ park is planted with deciduous trees.
Staraya Ladoga was the first Russian capital and has a more than 1000-year old history. The old city is dominated by an ancient fortress, which nowadays houses a museum. Other sights along the River Volkov include a monastery, a nunnery, a chapel and several churches.
VT member Natalya2006 took me to Staraya Ladoga by car and showed me around. The city is located about 130 km northeast of St. Petersburg near the road to Murmansk.
Another option to get to Staraya Ladoga is to take a train from the Moscow Station in St. Petersburg to Volchovstroj from where local buses go to Staraya Ladoga.
In a city with this much culture there is something going on all the time and all over the place. Taking a walk in the center will reward you many times over.
Here is teh opening of teh Viktor Tsoy monumnet, the first rocker in St. Petersburg back whwen it was not allowed.
English Quaker Dan Wheeler (1771-1840) went to Russia in 1818 at the invitation of the Czar Alexander I to claim farmland from the swamps of St. Peterburg on the north side of the Neva River and introduced modern farm practices (early 1800s :).
And later the same at Shoosharry near Peterhof.
Nothing remains of the home at Shoosharry, but it is an interesting chapter in the life of one British family who lived a simple agricultural life and also had the ear of the Czar Alexander I who brought them to bring prosperity to some unuseable swamp lands. Later, Czar Nicholas I was not so close to the Wheeler project but it continued under his reign.
There is still a small gravesite near Peterhof that was given to Dan Wheeler and the Friends Church. His memoirs are a bit dense with religious tones, but his life and work are fascinating.
In 2003 the Constantine Palace was renovated from ruins and now serves as the Palace of Congresses. It is commonly called "Putin's Palace." It is where Putin hosts foreign leaders and important events such as the G8 economic conference. Near are a hotel (Baltic Star) and 20 consular cottages for hosting official meetings. Peter the great laid the first stone for this palace and envisioned it as the official palace for diplomacy. It took 300 years to complete this dream! If you are very important you can get a charter boat to the pier, but don't try it without an invitation. This palace has more security than the usual historical museum!
Address: Strelnya, 15 km west of the center
Along the Finland Gulf on the way to Peterhof. It is open for some tours when Putin is not in town. Russian citizens can take a bus tour from the center of Saint Petersburg. Foreigners need a special tour or invitation from Putin :)
For me, the highlight of our visit to Peterhof was the magnificent gardens and all of those fountains!
There are over 140 fountains and they function from May to mid October, from 11:00am-5:00pm
If you arrive by hydrofoil as we did (see transport tip for more details), you get the best view of the fountains and palace - by walking up the Water Avenue, to the golden Grand Cascade.
The largest fountain statue is of Samson, tearing open a lions jaw, and there are also some hidden fountains designed to scare/drench unsuspecting children.
We took a walk around the gardens, discovering further fountains and were incredibly lucky to see a couple of the elusive red squirrels!
There is a charge to get into the grounds (I think it was around R200), but it is worth it. This charge is waived however in winter.
For details of how to get here, please refer to my transport tip.
Peterhof Palace was built by Peter the Great, and sits proudly above the Grand Cascade of golden fountains, looking down the Water Avenue to the sea.
It was built between 1709 & 1724, but was then completely destroyed during WWII. Later it was reconstructed, using photos and maps in the 1950s.
A visit inside the palace cost around R240....and after paying for the hydrofoil and then admittance to the grounds...we were in 2 minds about paying more to go inside...and in hindsight wish that we didn't!
(There was also an additional charge to take photos in the palace)
There was a 30 minute queue to get inside the front door, to then queue to buy tickets, then queue to check bags in, then queue to get funny looking shoe covers, then queue to enter first section of palace....then queue to enter every further section of the palace...sigh...
We really weren't that impressed with the inside of the palace...I say spend your time enjoying the fountains and gardens, take plenty of photos and save your money for a nice lunch.
Daily except Monday and the last Tuesday of each month, 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
For details of how to get here, please refer to my transport tip.
The Pushkin town Tsarskoye Selo is home to two palaces and lovely parks with small lakes.
The baroque Catherine's Palace is famous for the Amber Room which disappeared mysteriously during WWII when the palace was almost totally destroyed.
Tsarskoye Selo is located about 25 km south of St. Petersburg. I went to Tsarskoye Selo with VT member yumyum by public transport.
We took a marshrutka from Moskovskaya Metro, from where several marshrutkas leave in this direction. Another option is to take a train from Vitebsky Station to Detskoe Selo Station.
Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery is one of the most impressive national war memorials in Russia. About 500.000 people, most of them civilians are buried in 186 mass graves here. They all died during the 900 day Nazi siege in WWII.
An eternal flame and a monument with the statue of Motherland mark the beginning and the end of the alley with the graves.
The Piskariovskoye Memorial Cemetery is located at Prospekt Nepokorionnykh 74, just north of the city centre. The nearest metro stop is Ploshchad Muzhestva, from there it is still a 30 min walk. Local buses or a VT friend with a car are other options to get there.
Mushroom hunting is almost a national pastime in Russia. Every fall they pop up in the forest and are sought after. Many kinds are edible, but go with experienced gatherers. It is a nice walk in the forest and a chance for a picnic.
Mushrooms and potatoes are delicious after a day in the forest.
A cautionary article about mushroom hunting:
Here are a few clips mushroom hunting in St. Petersburg: