Welcome to my travel series in St. Petersburg, Russia.
If you are new here check out also the previous posts, I’ve already covered the White Nights, Palace Square, the Hermitage Museum, and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.
For now stick around for three more very unique churches, one of them is inside a fortress. We start by visiting an important cathedral along.
This is the Kazan Cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan. Probably the most venerated icon in Russia and what’s interesting is that this was inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica.
Kind of a contradiction, right? One, a great symbol of Catholic church and the other, a great symbol of the Orthodox church.
With the Russian Revolution in 1917, this church was shut down and it became a museum dedicated
to the history of religion and atheism. It only resumed services in the 90’s.Today, you can go inside, you can check it out, you just cannot take pictures.
This is where the city of St. Petersburg was founded in 1703. The city is relatively new compared to other Russian cities.
What happened was that the Tsar at the time, Peter the Great, wanted a strategic position where he could defend Russia from a possible invasion from Sweden, which never happened so this place was never really used as a fortress.
It was indeed used for other purposes, including a prison, and we’re gonna check it out. Here inside there are 15 attractions, mainly exhibitions we’re gonna see the three main reasons people come here.
Here it’s enormous and you can walk it all for free, you only pay if you wanna get inside one of these buildings and see an exhibition or the fortress itself.
Interior of Peter and Paul cathedral.
This cathedral here is quite unique, it’s actually a huge cemetery, an above-ground cemetery.
All the latest Tsars from Russia are buried here, almost all actually.Starting with the founder of St. Petersburg, Peter the Great.
This is Peter the Great’s tomb.
In total, there are 39 tombs occupying almost the entire space inside the cathedral. They also have the remains of other members of the royal family.
And in this other area here, the family members of the Tsars are buried.
This was the prison here in the fortress, only for political prisoners.
Both before and after the 1917 Revolution. Trotsky was arrested here.
Look at how the constructions are here in Russia because of the cold. This is the insulation and they did this even here in the prison.
Prisoner’s uniform here, at least it was ready for winter.
Needless to say there was also a lot of violence and several prisoners were executed over there.
That’s St. Petersburg’s beach, you just cannot go to the water.
Next stop: St. Isaac’s Cathedral. This is the biggest Orthodox cathedral in the world.
And the fourth if also compared to the Catholic cathedrals. You need two separate tickets: one for the church and another for the dome.
St. Isaac’s Cathedral took 40 years to be completed. Rumor has it that when the architect was young, a fortuneteller said that he would die after the project. So, he took forever. Indeed, that’s what happened. He passed when the job was done.
There are nearly 400 sculptures inside this cathedral. And there are still services during the most important Orthodox holidays.
Now let’s see if I’m in good shape.
After a lot of steps, you arrive here at the top. As there are no hills in St. Petersburg, this is where you have the best 360 view in town.
During World War 2, the dome was painted over in grey to avoid attracting attention from enemy aircraft.
Tomorrow we’re going to visit one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. Hopefully the weather helps!
Curious about what palace that is? Then watch the next post!
And if you’re enjoying this travel series here in St. Petersburg, Russia, join the conversation. Let me know what you think.