Russia – Saint Petersburg – More Bridges and Museums

After a great day out at Peterhof Palace, we had dinner with our friend Anastasiia (who we previously met during our Trans-Siberian Railway journey). Saint Petersburg was her home, so it was great to spend the evening with a local and catch up.

Dinner with Anastasiia

Dinner with Anastasiia

We had heard that the city’s 342 bridges were famous, especially since the ones crossing the Neva River raised up between 1am and 5am to let big boats and ships through. You didn’t want to get caught out on the wrong side during a big night out…

As we waited along the riverfront behind the Hermitage Museum (along with many tourists and locals), we were treated to the iconic Palace Bridge opening then others in sequence, while a busker beside us played “My heart will go on” by Celine Dion. Romantic!

Bridge raising over the Neva River

Bridge raising over the Neva River

If the Hermitage Museum wasn’t enough, we visited the State Russian Museum too. Obviously focused on Russian art and history, this is a place not to be missed either.

State Russian Museum

State Russian Museum

Don't miss anything...

Don’t miss anything…

The ornate rooms of this old palace building have some nice sculptures plus some very cool scene paintings on display. Emotive and captivating.

(L) Leo Tolstoy Barefoot by Ilya Repin, (R) At the School Door by Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky

(L) Leo Tolstoy Barefoot by Itya Repin, (R) At the School Door by Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky

Frame 3

(TL) The Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky, (TR) The Last Day of Pompeii by Karl Brullov, (BL) A Knight at the Crossroads by Victor Vasnetsov, (BR) Barge Haulers on the Volga by Itya Repin

(TL) The Ninth Wave by Ivan Aivazovsky, (TR) The Last Day of Pompeii by Karl Brullov,                  (BL) A Knight at the Crossroads by Victor Vasnetsov, (BR) Barge Haulers on the Volga by Itya Repin

 

 

On a small island across the Neva River, Peter the Great established a fortress in 1703. It was built during the Northern War to protect his capital from the feared Swedish, although never attacked.

Entrance gate to Peter and Paul Fortress

Entrance gate to Peter and Paul Fortress

Now it is an open-air museum clustered around the Peter and Paul Cathedral; the burial place of all Russian Tsars from Peter I to Alexander III (except Peter II and Ivan IV). Plus a somewhat grotesque bronze statue of Peter the Great himself.

Peter and Paul Cathedral

Peter and Paul Cathedral

I suppose Peter the Great also enjoyed the view of his precious city across the waters too.Frame 7

As day turned to night, we ventured out one last time for a truly Russian experience: watch Swan Lake at the traditional Mikhailovsky Theatre. Which, for anyone who didn’t know, is the famous ballet composed by the great Russian Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky (also of Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker fame).DSC03406Frame 8

Of course, we couldn’t take photos during the show. But it was great fun. And a fitting way to end our trip of Saint Petersburg and Russia itself. We had travelled nearly the whole length of the largest country in the world on our way into Europe for the first time.DSC03382DSC03248

That’s pretty awesome when you sit back and think about it.DSC03372

Visited 12th September 2014.

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About starksepicadventure

We are Andrew and Lakshi Starks, young married couple from Melbourne, Australia. We are travelling around the world on our Starks Epic Adventure!
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4 Responses to Russia – Saint Petersburg – More Bridges and Museums

  1. Rantasalot says:

    Great post with great photos again, thank you.

  2. starksepicadventure says:

    Thanks for always visiting and liking our posts. Really appreciate it. Russia’s not a place that many people visit as often as other places, so we always encourage travellers we meet to see it. We had nothing but great times there and will definitely go back someday.

  3. kei says:

    What a beautiful city! Your photos are breathtaking. How many bridges do they open at once on the Neva River?

    • starksepicadventure says:

      Hi Kei,
      They have a schedule of bridge opening times between 1am and 5am. They seem to open them one by one in sequence so the boats can go through slowly without stopping at each one. We tried to walk to each one as they were opening, but they are too far apart! It was funny watching taxi drivers stopped in the middle of the road, outside chatting to each other, while everyone waited an hour for the bridge to come down again!

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