Rivers and Canals, Saint Petersburg
Besides the River Neva, there are many canals in St. Petersburg and it's worth your while to explore the city by taking a nice walk along them. You can see many historic places and buildings along the canals and there are also some rather nice restaurants and cafés.
I remember my frequent visits to the Neva Embankment. Among other sites there you can see this Rostral Column, a reminder of the glorious past of Russia.
I always enjoyed visiting the Summer Garden in Palace Embankment, the Field of Mars, the Engineers' Castle, Decembrists' Square.
I will always remember visiting Palace Square and the Hermitage.
Walking or sailing along the numerous canals in the city can be much fun, especially if you have a company of friends and, of course, your camera about you.
These people looked like they were enjoying being riverside early evening. From our river cruise it looked cool and 30 minutes later we were forced to go inside due to the chill. I guess summer temperature varies depending how close your home is to the Equator.
We arrived onboard at 7:30 pm on a late August evening for a 2 hour cruise with commentary and entertainment. A good night out with plenty of historic buildings and palaces on either side of the canal.
The tour boat was a good size with plenty of seating when we went inside for beer and show.
The evening cruise was most enjoyable as the August daylight lingered into the evening. We passed many outstanding buildings and palaces, too many to remember the names. Eventually it became too cold to remain on deck so we all went inside and enjoyed som Russian entertainment.
This was an after dinner cruise which commenced at 7:30pm. On the water it was cold, a late August evening and most of our group were caught without a coat.
We cruised the river and canals, the sights were excellent and the commentary made sure we knew what we were looking at.
At one stage of the evening the commentator mentioned that the Romanoff family, including cousins,had approx 69 palaces in St Petersburg prior to the revolution. It is easy to understand why the revolution happened.
During exploring City I discover a new park. I found out that name is Field of Mars. This is not only thing that I learn about this park.
First, some general information. The Field of Mars or Marsovo Polye (Russian: Ма́рсово по́ле) is a large park named after the Mars - Roman god of war situated in the center of Slavic cultural capital.
It covers large space about 9 hectares. Border the Field of Mars in the north are the Marble (Mramorny) Palace, Suvorova Square and Betskoi’s and Saltykov’s houses. On the west are the Barracks of the Pavlovsky Regiment. The Moyka River forms the boundary to the south.
My friends and I spend some time in park, relaxing after all day walking and try to comprehend this park. That is hard if you don't have a viewpoint on some high level. We dint find any high viewing point over park.
Saint Petersburg is also known like a "Northern Venice" is build over many islands, rivers and canals. There is more than 40 islands. One of famous is Vasilevsky Island.
Vasilyevsky Island is located by the rivers Bolshaya Neva and Malaya Neva (in the delta of the Neva River) in the south and northeast, and by the Gulf of Finland in the west.
Vasilyevsky Island is separated from Dekabristov Island by the Smolenka River. Together they form the territory of Vasileostrovsky District, an administrative subdivision of Saint Petersburg.
There is many places on island to discover, because it constitutes a large portion of the city's historic center.
Two of the most famous St Petersburg bridges, Palace Bridge and Blagoveshchensky Bridge, connect it with the mainland to the south. The Exchange Bridge and Tuchkov Bridge across Malaya Neva connect it with Petrogradsky Island.
Griboyedov Canal or Kanal Griboyedova (Russian: кана́л Грибое́дова) is a canal in Saint Petersburg, constructed in 1739 on the basis of the existing river Krivusha. In 1764–1790, the canal was deepened, and the banks were reinforced and covered with granite.
Griboyedov Canal starts from the Moyka River near the Field of Mars. It flows into the Fontanka River. Its length is 5 km, with a width of 32 m.
Before 1923 it was called Catherine Canal, after the empress Catherine the Great, during whose rule it was deepened. The Communist authorities renamed it after the Russian playwright and diplomat Alexandr Griboyedov.
The canal is also considered a street; Naberezhnaya Kanala Griboyedova (The Griboyedov Canal Quay), although the St. Peterburgians just say Kanal Griboyedova, Griboyedov's Canal.
The are a 21 bridges over canal: Theater Bridge, Novo-Konyushenny Bridge, Italian Bridge, Kazansky Bridge, Bank Bridge, Flour Bridge, Stone Bridge, Demidov Bridge, Hay Bridge, Kokushkin Bridge, Voznesensky Bridge, Podyachensky Bridge, Bridge of Four Lions, Kharlamov Bridge, Novo-Nikolsky Bridge, Krasnogvardeysky Bridge, Pikalov Bridge, Mogilyovsky Bridge, Alarchin Bridge, Kolomensky Bridge and Malo-Kalinkin Bridge.
The canal cruise is scheduled for about 1 hour in an open-air boat traveling the Fontanka River, the Kryukov Canal, the Moika River and the Neva River. You will pass under many nice bridges and near many beautiful buildings. Canal cruise will give you new city perspective. Tour is guided and in my case I had device with headphones and guide was talking live.
Unfortunately there are part of the year when tour is not possible because canals are few months frozen.
Seeing a lovely Orthodox Church was a nice finish to a wonderful canal tour.
I have told you about as much as I can, there were more sights but I can't find out what they were.
It was a tour we thoroughly enjoyed and one we would recommend to everyone to do.
By doing both land and Boat tour, we saw a fantastic amount of St. Petersburg!
We have just come out of the Winter Canal and are now cruising along the Neva River.
The Neva had no bridges crossing it in the 18th century, only ferries were used, which is just the way Peter the Great intended when he founded his "Venice of the North".
Only 46 miles long, it flows from Lake Ladoga to the Gulf of Finland, then joins the Baltic where Neva splits into several branches forming a delta, where downtown St. Petersburg is located.
Along here, we saw many beautiful Palaces and lovely buildings, great view of the Peter & Paul Fortress, and of sailing ship that is used as a Restaurant.
There was lots to see, and lots of locals and tourists walking along the banks of the River.
The river is covered with ice between mid-December and early April and during this period ships are unable to navigate the river.
Come along on a virtual tour with me on the Canal Tour, then you can make up your mind if you wish to do one for "real!"
We on the boat, sitting near the back so we're hopefully able to take some nice photos.
We are heading down the Winter Canal, which is the place for lovers!
The canal, dug in 1718-1719, is one of the shortest canals in the city. Just before we enter the Neva River, there is a lovely arch which we pass through that connects the Old Hermitage and the Hermitage Theatre.
Alongside, is the smaller Hermitage bridge.
What I like, is all the different coloured buildings, and they all look well kept, so different to looking at plain brick!
One of our highlights in St. Petersburg was the included Canal tour.
Saint-Petersburg has 93 different rivers and canals flowing through the city, making it similar to Venice and Amsterdam.
We had already seen and enormous amount of St. Petersburg before taking the Cruise.
What we didn't expect, was to see so much more that we hadn't seen!
From the Canal Boat we saw a lot more unique architecture, many more bridges, more 18th and 19th century palaces and parks and architectural landmarks, like the domes and spires of churches and cathedrals we had already been to!
The Boat tour guide only spoke in Russian, so our tour guide filled us in on what was being said.
The Boat had a covered and open area, we sat in the open area on the 1.5 hour cruise.
From June into September trips on the St. Petersburg canals leave every half-hour from a dock on the Fontanka at Nevsky Prospekt
If you can fit a Canal tour in, do so, it's worth it!
I remember walking along University Embankment.
In front of the facade of the Academy of Arts you can see a pier embellished with two Egyptian sphinxes on high pedestals with granite benches.
The granite benches are embellished with figures of gryphons.
The sphinxes are carved of pink granite.
They say it was brought from the famous Aswan stone quarries in Egypt.
There are hieroglyphic inscriptions on the support plate.
They glorify the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III who lived in the 15th -14th century B.C.
The inscriptions reads,
Son of Rah, Amenhotep, the ruler of Thebes,
the builder of monuments rising to the sky
like four pillars holding up the vault of the heavens
The sphinxes were bought by Russia from Egypt in 1831.