St. Petersburg.

Peter & Paul Fortress, St. Petersburg, Cathedral, Tsars, Romanovs
@garymarsh6 (14040)
United Kingdom
June 20, 2018 6:29am CST
This port was the port I was most looking forward to visiting and it surpassed my expectations. I did quite a bit of research before we went so I knew exactly the places I wanted to visit. I found a local tour company that would fulfill all the sites I wanted to see. It was to be quite a hectic tour but it managed to fit all those places over two days. It was pretty tiring as our day started around 06:00 ending 23:00 on the first day the second day was 05:00 finishing at 17:00 but boy was it worth it. I have thought about how to write about the places we saw so I will describe them individually on separate posts. For starters do not believe the cruise company that you have to buy tours with them because of the visa requirements for Russia. This is not true as the tour company will arrange the visa for you they supply your details to the immigration authorities. Immigration was a nightmare to go through and took us nearly 2 hours. The immigration officers are quite intimidating in as much as they do not smile at all and barely speak to you. Don't be put off by this as this is common practice. So without further ado I will talk about the Peter and Paul fortress. This is where St Petersburg all began when Peter the Great decided to make St. Petersburg the capital of Russia. He built a wooden fort on an island on the river Neva. The surrounding lands were mainly bog lands so there was some difficulty with construction of the buildings. The first fort was built of wood. He lived in a wooden hut while the fort was built. Later the fort was made with stone. One of the first buildings to be erected was a church however it had burned down a couple of times until the present cathedral replaced it. The cathedral can be seen for miles around because of its spire which is very tall at 404 feet (123 meters), It is the oldest and tallest building in St Petersburg. Inside the cathedral it is exquisitely decorated with a massive gold icon stasis and looks very beautiful. There are no seats in the Cathedral as it is thought that you are in the presence of God and no one should sit in his presence. This is a Russian Orthodox church and supposedly the mother church of Russian orthodoxy. It has been used as a prison in fact Peter the Greats son Paul was incarcerated here as its first prisoner after it was discovered he had conspired to overthrow Peter. He was sentenced to death and tortured but died before the sentence could be carried out. Nearly all the Russian Royal family are buried in tombs inside the Cathedral including Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and the last Tsar Nicholas II and his family who were murdered following the revolution in 1918 and were brought back to St.Petersburg and interred inside the cathedral. Is it worth a visit. Yes absolutely if you are interested in the Royal family and the beginnings of St. Petersburg as the one time Capital of Russia. It was also Petrograd and Leningrad in honour of Lenin but changed back to St. Petersburg .
11 people like this
11 responses
@LadyDuck (156825)
• Switzerland
20 Jun
My brother has visited, it is a beautiful city, incredible architecture showing the grandeur of this place during the time of the Tzars.
3 people like this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
20 Jun
It is very beautiful. The palaces were just dripping with Gold. As for the Hermitage museum (The Winter Palace) Well things are priceless in there. We probably saw less than 10% in three hours.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (156825)
• Switzerland
20 Jun
@garymarsh6 Three hours is a very short time to visit such a beautiful city, but enough to give an idea.
2 people like this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
20 Jun
@LadyDuck NO 3 hours just in the Hermitage. If you wanted to view every single piece of art there Anna it would take about 11 years!
2 people like this
@amadeo (65592)
• United States
20 Jun
Good morning Gary.Thank you for sharing this.A nice visit for tome there.
2 people like this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
20 Jun
It is such a beautiful and historical city.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (41141)
• El Paso, Texas
20 Jun
Wow, you're so lucky to have seen some of history first hand.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
20 Jun
It really is such a beautiful city. They call it the Venice of the North.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (41141)
• El Paso, Texas
20 Jun
It's a wonder it wasn't destroyed @garymarsh6
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
20 Jun
@rebelann The Russians were not as destructive as the Islamic invasion of Turkey or India where they smashed historical buildings, temples and pillaged palaces etc. There is a vast amount of wealth and priceless objets D'Art that are irreplaceable as the Romanov's were prolific collectors of art. .
1 person likes this
@MALUSE (40033)
• Germany
20 Jun
Have you got a photo of your tour guide? If so, can you send it to me? We had several Russian language assistants in our secondary grammar schools where Russian is taught as a foreign language. Some of them lived in our house during the year they were here. I know that one young woman was from St Petersburg. When she returned home she founded a company for individual city tours. So it's possible that you met her.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
20 Jun
No Sorry I do not have a picture of her. Her name was Marina. A middle aged woman. Her English was very good. She learnt British English rather than American English so she was very easy to understand.
@MALUSE (40033)
• Germany
20 Jun
@garymarsh6 Thank you. I now know that she wasn't the one I had in mind.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
20 Jun
@MALUSE Did you go to St. Petersburg? I know you have been to Russia a few times!
@youless (91492)
• Guangzhou, China
21 Jun
I travelled there last year. I like it and I also like Moscow because there are many great museums to visit there. Also Russians are very friendly and nice. It left me a very good impression
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
21 Jun
Excellent lots of museums to visit. I would love to travel on the Tran-Siberian express from Moscow to Beijing one day. I keep looking at it. Who knows never say never!
1 person likes this
@youless (91492)
• Guangzhou, China
21 Jun
@garymarsh6 Wow! That train really costs so much. I ever searched its information before but I realized that the time is long and the cost is so high compares to the plane, so I gave it up. But it will be a great journey anyway.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
21 Jun
@youless Yes it takes about one week to travel from Moscow to Beijing. You can break the journey in several places on the way if you wish,
@just4him (116703)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
22 Jun
That sounds like an awesome tour. The cathedral looks beautiful from the picture. Whose tome is that in the picture?
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
22 Jun
This is the Family Tomb of Tzar Nicholas II of Russia his wife the Tzarina and their five children who were executed after the Russian Revolution in 1917. They were all shot in Yekaterinburg and their bodies thrown into a pit and chemicals poured on them to help dissolve the bodies but the skeletons remained. The skeletons were only found and interred in this little chapel inside the Cathedral in 1998. This year it will be 100 years since they were murdered on July 17th.
1 person likes this
@just4him (116703)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
22 Jun
@garymarsh6 I know the story. I didn't know chemicals were poured on them to dissolve the bodies. Horrible. I didn't realize it had been a hundred years.
@mlgen1037 (29636)
• Manila, Philippines
20 Jun
Hi Gary. St. Petersburg is already beautiful in itself, and even more stunning for its rich history. Amazing. I hope to see it someday.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
20 Jun
I hope you get the opportunity to visit one day. The visa alone is very off putting as it is so expensive.
1 person likes this
@mlgen1037 (29636)
• Manila, Philippines
20 Jun
@garymarsh6 I agree with you. But I still trust that I will be able to. God willing.
@Inlemay (16520)
• South Africa
25 Jun
Unless we go with a cruise or tour, there is a lot of RED TAPE for any South African to visit Russia. This info is probably the first I have read since I did History at school.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
27 Jun
Yes we went on a cruise too Lany. If you are on a cruise they organise the visa for you as long as you are there less than 72 hours. The tour firm adds you to a manifest and present it to immigration so you are already on the list. You would love it there.
@JohnRoberts (56689)
• Los Angeles, California
20 Jun
I have read St. Petersburg is spectacular architecturally.
1 person likes this
@garymarsh6 (14040)
• United Kingdom
20 Jun
It certainly was amazing. This was the cathedral from the outside.Sorry I have tried to turn the photo but it just will not have it!
1 person likes this
@DeborahDiane (21558)
• Laguna Woods, California
21 Jun
@garymarsh6 - What a wonderful adventure you are on! I would love to go to St. Petersburg someday, and I will keep your suggestions in mind if I ever do!
@jstory07 (66946)
• Roseburg, Oregon
20 Jun
That sounds like a nice place to visit.