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:
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