Beautiful St. Petersburg

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Mosaics at Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.

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We are back from frosty St. Petersburg. Of course, the day before we arrived it was +5 and the day we arrived -5. -5 is still manageable for 4 Cannucks who are used to it. But when the mercury dropped to -13 (-21 with wind factor) on January 1st, we realized we just didn’t have the proper winter attire. We needed our warmer coats and some of my crew (okay Sarah) needed warmer boots. I had my Uggs, I was smiling the whole way. Never mind, we are in Russia, we are Canadians, we are Coopers, ADAPT AND SURVIVE and SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP!!!!

We saw many beautiful Churches in St. Petersburg. This first one, (pictures above), the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, was built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded in March 1881. The unbelievable thing is that it was used as a vegetable storage building during the soviet era. That’s correct, the beautiful mosaics of saints were staring at cabbage, potatoes, carrots etc…

 

Another remarkable place of worship is St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

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St Isaac’s Cathedral is the largest orthodox basilica and the fourth largest (by the volume under the cupola) cathedral in the world. It is dedicated to St Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron Saint of Peter the Great, who had been born on the feast of that saint. It is breathtaking. Again, during the soviet regime, when there was no religion in the USSR, this Cathedral was a depot for pieces of art. At least it wasn’t vegetables….

The third beautiful church we visited is on an island within the walls of Paul and Peter’s Fortress. This is where the tsars, emperors and empresses lay in state. This is where you also find the remains of the late Romanov family tragically killed during the revolution.

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Finally, what can be said about the Hermitage museum and Winter Palace. Grand rooms, elaborate decorations, large tapisseries, and one of the largest art collection in the world. Catherine the Great bought the biggest collection of Rembrandt in the world. You can find more Rembrandts in the Hermitage than in the Netherlands.  We toured the museum with our own private guide and I recommend it. So much to see and after three hours I think the four of us were just walking with our jaws dropped. It is a must see. These are some pictures I took of the ceilings.

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If you ever consider going to Russia, go to St. Petersburg. You will not be disappointed. Just go in the summer when it’s a little warmer.

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