Thursday, November 29, 2012

More of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a city of the sea and the great Neva River.
It is criss-crossed by channels and spits and islands and canals that are all teeming with watercraft.

Whether outdoors or indoors your eye is often called upward.
High over the arch of the General Staff Building in the Palace Square is the massive Chariot of Glory sculpture group advertising a Russian victory over Napoleon 
And what can you say about the vibrant colors and onion domes of the Cathedral of  "Our Savior on the Spilt Blood"  which was built over the spot where the Emperor Alexander II was assassinated in 1881. 

Every bit of the busy exterior is echoed down to the smallest detail of tiling on the walls. 
The interior is alive with gilt and mosaics.

The sliver of land named the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island was in walking distance of our hotel and it  captivated us. 

Here you see the Greek temple like Stock Exchange and the imposing Rastral Columns

If you stand at one of the columns and look over the river you see the Peter and Paul fortress and the golden spire of the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral. 

Rastral Colemns were erected in ancient Greece and Rome to commemorate major naval victories.

The projections are called Rostra and represent the prows of enemy ships captured in the battle.

The largest cathedral in town is St. Isaccs, which was finished in the mid-nineteenth century.  It is more than monumental and set in an equally massive square. Unfortunately our time ran out and a visit to the interior had to be sacrificed.  Maybe next time we'll get inside.    

And everywhere there are photo ops for the smaller details of this city's life. 

Smile for the camera.

You need to buy at least one set of nesting dolls while in Russia.
The front columns of St. Isaacs

A striking building detail

Natural History Museum with the Neva River and a garden in the foreground

And finally a parfait back at the hotel.  Yummmmmm!

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