St. Petersburg Journals

St. Petersburg in all its Faded Glory

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An April 2006 trip to St. Petersburg by sararevell

Opposite the Hermitage Museum Photo, St. Petersburg, Russia More Photos
Quote: A trip to St. Petersburg deserves a week at the very least. Sadly, we only had three days but staying at a homestay apartment near the Peter and Paul Fortress we visited some of the main historical attractions in one of Russia’s most majestic cities.

St. Petersburg in all its Faded Glory

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Overview

Opposite the Hermitage Museum Photo, St. Petersburg, Russia
Quote:
Almost every stop in St. Petersburg was a highlight for me and at each one I felt like I’d taken a step back in time. From our homestay apartment on Prospekt Dobrolyubova we were able to walk over the Dvortsovy Bridge every day and pass by the glorious State Hermitage Museum. The museum is an immense architectural wonder and trying to locate a particular artist is tantamount to looking for a needle in a haystack, making the visit an exciting and bewildering experience.Walking down Nevsky Prospekt is a treat and an assault on the senses. There’s no shortage of people, action, and architecture and you need the will and energy to get through it. Along they city’s main thoroughfare you’re rewarded...Read More
St. Petersburg Homestay apartment Photo, St. Petersburg, Russia
Quote:
Host Families Association (HOFA) was founded in St. Petersburg in 1990 and offers homestays and apartment rentals around Russia, Belorussia and the Ukraine. You can be matched by language so we decided to be somewhat unadventurous and asked for a host who spoke some English. There are other services that they offer, ranging from Visa invitations to language lessons to travel bookings as well as arranging a pick up to take you to the homestay accommodation.We arrived by bus from Tallinn into Balticskaya station where our host Dmitry met us with his car to ferry us to an apartment he shared with his retired mother. He was a very timid but sweet 30-year old engineer and courteously offered us...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 6, 2007

Stroganoff Yard

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Restaurant | "The Stroganov Yard Restaurant"

Stroganoff Yard Photo, St. Petersburg, Russia
Quote:
Being in the auspicious location of the courtyard of the Stroganov Palace we thought what a better place to try some Chicken Kiev? Okay so we weren’t in Kiev but it was Easter Sunday and after a long day of walking, it sounded like a tasty meal.Just off Nevsky Prospekt, I got the feeling that any pretense this restaurant affected to being high-class was just that: a facade. We had a fine time there but slow service and a lackluster buffet bar were indications that operations at the Stroganov Yard Restaurant were in need of an overhaul.The courtyard restaurant is actually a tall marquee tent with a large operational fountain and spiral staircase in its centre. Wicker chairs and round ta...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 6, 2007

Stroganoff Yard
17 Nevsky Prospect
St. Petersburg, Russia
315.2315

Stolle Cafe

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Restaurant | "Stolle’s Café: Pies a-plenty"

Stolle Cafe Photo, St. Petersburg, Russia
Quote:
We made a point of seeking out a Stolle café as it had been recommended to us by a St. Petersburg native, and because we enjoy eating pie! With only five shops in the city we were lucky to accidentally stumble upon one of their cafes opposite the Mariinsky Theatre. From the outside it didn’t look like much but inside we found a warm, peaceful environment that had more the appearance of an aristocratic wine bar than it did a pie shop.Founded in 2002, Stolle’s chairman Alexander Bordug professes to wanting to recreate the flavour and atmosphere of early 20th century St. Petersburg. Not that I have a reference for comparison but the stately interior with its long bar laden with tray after tra...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 6, 2007

Stolle Cafe
Konushenny per. 1/6
St. Petersburg, Russia
+7 (812) 312 18 62

Alexandr Nevsky Monastery (Lazarev and Tikhvin Cemeteries)

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Attraction | "Lazarev and Tikhvin Cemeteries"

Alexandr Nevsky Monastery (Lazarev and Tikhvin Cemeteries) Photo, St. Petersburg, Russia
Quote:
On the Russian Orthodox Easter Sunday, the Alexandr Nevsky Monastery (or Lavra) was a busy place. We arrived toward the end of the day, as last minute visits were being paid by young families and elderly babushkas. We wandered into the one church that was open, feeling somewhat intrusive as it was filled with Russians going in prayer. We did a very quick circuit and headed back out to the entrance of the Lavra, where we arrived just in time to gain access to the famed Lazarev and Tikhvin Cemeteries, which close around 5.30pm.The monastery was founded by Peter the Great in 1710 and on this particularly holy day I could sense an overwhelming sense of community and belonging from the tides of peo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 6, 2007

Alexandr Nevsky Monastery (Lazarev and Tikhvin Cemeteries)
Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskogo
St. Petersburg

Peter and Paul Fortress/Peter and Paul Cathedral

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Attraction | "Peter and Paul Fortress"

Peter and Paul Fortress/Peter and Paul Cathedral Photo, St. Petersburg, Russia
Quote:
Sitting on its own island, the Peter and Paul Fortress has come a long way since its inception by Peter the Great in 1703. On one particularly warm and sunny April day we found that the fortress had become a place of self-expression and recreation, a far cry from its roots as city garrison and political jail.It’s free to walk around the grounds, which aren’t particularly extensive but definitely pleasant to stroll around considering its proximity to the city centre. The centrepiece of the fortress is the Cathedral. The brilliance of its golden spire stands out not only against the bare skyline of the north bank, but also within the Neva as it reflects the soaring needle in its waters. At 404 f...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 6, 2007

Peter and Paul Fortress/Peter and Paul Cathedral
Zayachil Ostrov (hare Island)
St. Petersburg, Russia

St. Isaac's Cathedral

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Attraction | "St. Isaac’s Cathedral and The Admiralty Gardens"

St. Isaac's Cathedral Photo, St. Petersburg, Russia
Quote:
We took a walk through the very neat Admiralty Gardens. At lunchtime, the park was exceptionally quiet although there was proof that someone had been hard at work as numerous, small leaf piles had been arranged along the walkways as flowerbeds were readied for spring. We lamented the fact that we’d arrived too early to see the gardens at their best. In April the grass was grayish brown and the parks looked dusty and lifeless.We watched a group of navy cadets jog by, passing in front of The Admiralty. The building was constructed in 1823 as the administrative headquarters of the Russian Navy and has served as a naval college since 1923.A short walk from the gardens led us to St. Isaac’s...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 6, 2007

St. Isaac's Cathedral
Isaakievskaya Ploshchad 1
St. Petersburg, Russia

Yusupov Palace

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Attraction | "Yusupov Palace: A Palace of Grand Design"

Quote:
Palaces aren’t often at the top of my list of places to see even when visiting large cities but I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the Yusupov Palace. Compared to many royal residences, this place seemed so modest in size. I could see from one end of the building to the other for starters.The ticket office is open daily from 10.45am to 5pm and for $15.66 you get an audio tour guide of the Palace rooms. There’s an additional charge to go the murder site of Grigory Rasputin, and had the museum attendants not been so rude and frustrating, I probably would have shelled out the extra $10 to see that too.This sand coloured building stands about three stories tall, and apart from six...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 6, 2007

Yusupov Palace
Naberezhnaya Reki Moyki 94
St. Petersburg, Russia

Quote:
As my husband and myself were about to embark on the Trans-Siberian railway across Russia I thought what better way to begin our journey than at the Railway Museum in St. Petersburg. I naively cast aside doubts that we would have a difficult time understanding the exhibits - our guidebook had sensibly advised that it’s a good idea to take along a translator if you don’t speak Russian. I wish we had taken that good advise because after our self-guided tour we were left bored and disillusioned.Founded in 1813, the museum is one of the oldest engineering museums in the world and was established years before Russia even had its first working train. It contains many models of steam engines, ca...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 6, 2007

Central Museum of Railway Transport of Russia
50 Sadovaya Street
St. Petersburg, Russia
+7 (812) 168-80-05

Winter Palace/State Hermitage Museum

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Attraction | "The State Hermitage Museum"

The State Hermitage Museum Photo, St. Petersburg, Russia
Quote:
As the premier attraction in St. Petersburg, The Hermitage Museum deserves a trip irrespective of whether you’re an art lover or not as its halls are as spectacular as the art collection it houses. Commissioned for construction by Empress Elizabeth in 1754, the Winter Palace is more commonly associated with Catherine the Great, who took residence after her coronation in 1763, and was responsible for starting the palace’s lifelong association with art. With a collection of around 3 million items, the museum is a triumph in terms of quantity as well as quality. The Hermitage has over 1,000 rooms although incredibly only half of the collection can be displayed at any one time.The entrance hal...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 6, 2007

Winter Palace/State Hermitage Museum
Palace Embankment, On The Neva River
St. Petersburg, Russia