My travels to Russia in 2014 – part 5
For my rest of my trip to Russia I was going to fly from Moscow to Saint Petersburg.
It is located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. It is Russia’s second largest city after Moscow with 5 million inhabitants.
Saint Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great in 1703.
The historic centre of Saint Petersburg constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has 221 museums, 2000 libraries, more than 80 theaters, 100 concert organizations, 45 galleries and exhibition halls, 62 cinemas and around 80 other cultural establishments – obviously I was not going to see all of them.
Saint Petersburg is also home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. It was founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great in 1764 and been opened to the public since 1852.
The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors.
Its collections comprise over three million items including the largest collection of paintings in the world.
Next on my sightseeing was the Church of the Savior on Blood. This Church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory.
The Church is situated along the Griboedov Canal.
Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907.
The church never functioned as a public place of worship, having been dedicated to the memory of the assassinated tsar. The church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.
The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics.
During the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted. During WW2 the church suffered significant damage. It has now been restored.
The next day I was going visit the sites of the Russian Revolution.
To be continued….
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