Last Day in St Petersburg
Trip Start Apr 29, 2011
109Trip End Sep 03, 2011
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St Petersburg seems to be a city designed for superlatives and this building certainly deserved some. It is truly splendid. The church however, was closed as such during the 1930’s and reopened as a museum and it is only used today for religious services on very special occasions
Next on the agenda was a walk across the river Neva to the Peter & Paul Fortress, first constructed in 1703 by Peter the Great, as a defensive measure against the marauding Swedes. At this time, the whole area was malaria-infested swamp and hundreds of serfs and Swedish prisoners of war died during its construction. As I am confined to a few photos within the blog, I won’t include any here but again, here is a URL
We had lunch (excellent value, and indeed, as everything seems to be in St Petersburg) and then, our final treat, a visit to the Church on the Spilt Blood, so called as it was built on the spot where Tsar Alexander 11 was assassinated. Apparently, an anarchist exploded a bomb and the Tsar, shaken but not stirred, got out of his carriage to remonstrate with the offender and it was then, a precursor to the plague of suicide bombers that we have today, that another anarchist exploded a bomb, killing himself and mortally wounding the Tsar
This church has undergone 20 years of restorative work and was reopened in 1997. Now I have already said that this was a city of superlatives and this church takes the candle. From its’ Disneyesque exterior to the truly stunning mosaic lined interior, no fewer than 7,500 square metres of them, it is awesome. I guess by now you have got the main message from our visit to St Petersburg – don’t take my word for it – GO THERE!!! I promise you won’t be disappointed.
With our collective 'awe and wonder’ buckets filled to overflowing, we caught a taxi back to the hotel for a last beer, to collect our bags and thence, to the ferry, where the food was as good and the cabin not quite as hot, so a better (marginally) night’s sleep was had by all (snorer included!)