City Environs, Saint Petersburg
We are still at our 1st stop, the Old Stock exchange.
This is also where we encounter our first stalls selling souvenirs. One seller had just laid a small piece of tarp on the ground and had a few Russian Hats and scarves for sale. No need for me to buy them seeing I come from a tropical climate!
I'd like to share information about great touristic program CITY TOUR PASS. It's very convenient thing and I hope after this review You'll understand my attitude and feeling toward IT.
City Tour Pass is a cheque-book which allows You to visit Hermitage, Russian Museum,Peterhof, Peter and Paul Fortress, Erarta, Faberge Museum , Tsarskoye Selo, St.Isaac's Cathedral and sightseeing tour through Saint Petersburg without any charge!!! Moreover, with this booklet You shouldn't stay in huge queue and You'll owe great amount of discount(cafe,hotels, shops, boat tours and so on.).So, that's cool, saves time and money. My relatives were so glad to use this booklet, that's really treasure)
So, If you decide to spend your holiday in Saint Petersburg, You HAVE TO but CITY TOUR PASS.
Hope, You'll enjoy it.
We went on a full-day tour with Eclectica excursions from Nevsky Prospekt to Veliky Novgorod (Novgorod the Great), situated 180 km from Saint Petersburg. A very complete tour: we left Saint Petersburg at 8 AM and returned at 8 PM. We saw the monastery, the wooden houses and had around 2 hours to walk around on our own in the centre of Novgorod.
Novgorod is one of the most important historical cities in Russia and it is a Unesco World Heritage Site. A very interesting tour !
The tour did not exist in English, but was in Russian only. Price 1400 Rub. per person. The guides spoke a bit English and were extremely nice and helpful, and it did not matter to us that all the historical commentaries were in Russian - it made it only more exciting ! We had brought our own guide books anyway.
We took the hydrofoil boat to Peterhof. The hydrofoil leaves from Admiralteyskaya embankment, close to the Palace bridge (Dvortsovy most) and beside the Hermitage.
The trip takes only 30 minutes and costs 1100 R per adult for a round-trip.
The first hydrofoil leaves at 10 AM from Saint Petersburg and the last boat leaves Peterhof at 8 PM,
After arrival you need to cross the bridge and then you will see the booth where you can buy the entrance tickets. We paid 450 R (July 2013) per adult to visit the lower gardens only - and there was more than enough to see in half a day.
If you want to visit the castle and upper garden you must buy the full package and the price will be higher, and it is also best to plan to stay a full day in order to see it all.
Oranienbaum is one of the royal résidences, situated 25 km west of St.Petersburg.
We were lucky to come here by car with the local VT-member Natalya, after we had visited Kronshtadt with her.
Otherwise it is possible to get her by train (from the Baltic station) bus (number 200 from metro station Avtovo) or to book an excursion from St.Petersburg.
For almost the same time (since 1967) on the former dwelling complex for the workers of the Finnish railway (1907-1908, archives of Mitriz F. F. and Gerasimov I.I.) on the firewall there was a big 100 square meters mosaic picture «Human and Space», made by an outstanding St. Petersburg painter Valentina Anapova. The human is naturally Yuriy Gagarin and Space is not only stars, but zodiac signs (almost astrology). It is known that astrology was forbidden at that time and only a few knew about this science. It is surprising that such a mosaic could appear in general at that time and especially near the Finnish railway station (Lenin, locomotive, armored car).
This tower really looks like a pan! Its diameter is 40 meters and its height is 20 meters. In earlier times (1884) it was a plant that supplied the city with gas for lighting.
But in 1910 the plant stopped its work as electricity came into use.
The building appears to have no current use.
It’s a fantastic building with towers in the style of English castles.
At one of the hexahedral towers there is a clock face with Zodiac Signs on it.
The house was built in 1913-1915 by architect A. Belogrud. Since 1921 in the ground floor there was a cinema. The architect himself occupied an apartment on the top floor right between the towers. Even in those times the apartments had gas cookers, built-in floor baths, floor heating and towel warmers; there was a garage in the courtyard of this extraordinary house.
And since 1972 the Leningrad television studio began to work here. Later in 1985 the theater “Experiment” moved to this building. Since 1996 the theater "Russian Enterprise" named after Andrey Mironov stages its plays here.
You won’t be able miss this house with Greek Atlases wearing skins and carrying on their shoulders the bay windows of the house. The facade is decorated with other curious figures: masks of lions and cats, dragons’ heads, 32 infants.
House ¹ 58 in Bolshaya Morskaya Ul. is the former St. Peter’s German Reformed Church. In 1929 the church was closed and became a hostel. In 1932-1939 it was rebuilt for the Postal Workers' Club. The bas-relief under its roof depicts workers, peasants, Red Army soldier and sailors and symbolizes the victory of the October Revolution.
Kronstadt is located on Kotlin island, 30 km west of Saint Petersburg in the gulf of Finland and
was an important military base and training centre for the USSR navy.
Kotlin Island is connected to the mainland by a road (The Ring Road) We were so lucky to come here by car with the local VT-member Natalya who lives in St.Petersburg.
Upon arrival in Kronshtadt we took a trip with a local boat to see the seascape and the other small islands. There is a lot to see and we had a lovely day.
You can easily get here by bus or minibus from St.Petersburg or by buying a local tourist tour.
At the metro station Chernaya Rechka the minibus number 405 runs every 30 minutes.
At the metro station Staraya Derevnya there is a local bus (number 101) running frequently.
This dacha of Gausvald was built in 1898 by architects V.I. Shene and V.I. Chagin. The miraculous expressiveness of this building's architecture has anticipated many ideas of the modernist style in many respects. The dacha has been shot in movies more than once: in the films about Sherlock Holmes (the house of the former girlfriend of the throne heir of some german shire) and in the film "Don Cesar de Bazan".
Bazhanov’s house is one of the first houses in Saint-Petersburg to be built in “Northern modern” style. The merchant Phyladelf Bazhanov had built a luxurious house, one of the most beautiful in Saint-Petersburg. Pavel Aleshin was in charge of the facade and inside decoration.
There are 3 yards in the house, and each of the upper stories is decorated with majolica mosaics.
In the 1st yard lived Bazhanov himself and his family. The family occupied the enormous 1st floor with 5m ceilings & walls! It is a real treasure house. In the living room over the fireplace you will find a majolica panel “Volga and Mikula” (Russian epic heroes). The author is Mikhail Vrubel. This fireplace is one of the most significant Vrubel’s works in applied art. It was highly appreciated at the World Fair in Paris in 1900 and the master was awarded a gold medal. The walls of the dining room are decorated by Nicolay Rerih’s frieze. The frieze is about 2 meters high and about 30 meters in width and consists of 19 large panels. Though the building is more than 100 years old it is still good-looking. The house is a good-quality work of pre-revolutionary constructors, and it is state protected as well. The brickwork exists from 1903 and some windows have survived the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Now the front part of Bazhanov’s house stores Pushkin museum-library for children.
The Finance house of Stanovoy was built at the beginning of the 20c in the neorussian style. It attracts attention by its pattern on the lattices (there you can also see the peacocks). But the main zest of this house is cashed hidden inside! It is an outlandish staircase in the form of a peacock’s tail.
Unfortunately, the gates are closed so you have to wait till one of the inhabitants enters the building.
It is one of the most extraordinary houses in Saint-Petersburg. Its inner yard has a regular circular form. Raising your head you can see a piece of sky in a round frame!
We have some circular houses in Moscow, but they are large and not so cozy as our Petersburg house?
The round house-rotunda of Fontanka, 92 is the first round three-storyed house in St.Petersburg. According to the official version, the house was constructed by order of a merchant Ustinov for rather "wordly" purpose. The owner wanted to have one more building meant for rent and also not to lower living conditions in the other premises facing the yard. By 1827 the building was finished (the architect, allegedly, was Joseph Ivanovich Sharleman). The client was satisfied — the new building did not darken any corners of the already existing house's yard. In 1861 a three-storyed building was attached to the unique construction, however in the Soviet years the house regained it's original shape. The house is situated in the yard of house 92. All front doors are provided with coded locks. Wait a resident (come either on foot or by car) to enter the house.