Saturday, December 6, 2014

Saint Petersburg: A City With Spirit

By: Madina Baimagambayeva
Produced & Edited By: Megan Laird
© Courtesy of SPB Tours, St. Petersburg
Something you may not know about the city of Saint Petersburg in Russia is that it has been renamed several times, in 1914 the name was changed from Saint Petersburg to Petrograd, later to Leningrad in 1924 and then back to Saint-Petersburg in 1991.
“Cultural city”, “North Venice”, “A child of Petet”, these are the frequent nicknames of Saint Petersburg. This city is famous as a capital of culture in Russia. But what makes this city so special, what makes tourists around the world want to go there? I believe that each city has it’s own soul, and which soul does Saint Petersburg have?

A Vibrant History
Saint Petersburg is 311 years old, the city was founded by ‘Tsar Peter the Great’ on May 27 in 1703. After the completion of the Hermitage there was a lot of construction debris near the palace; to solve this problem Tsar Peter decreed that the city folks could take anything they wanted from the street. The next day the Palace Square was purified. If it seems difficult to pronounce the city’s name, you may call it ‘Piter’ as Russians do. The time from May 23 to June 21 is known as ‘White Nights’. At this time of the year, darkness falls in the city for only a short while, after midnight, to put you into a romantic mood.
“Well, about Saint Petersburg I can talk endlessly…” This phrase was the start of almost all of my interviews, even people who have lived there for a couple years feel like it’s the only place they can call home. Saint Petersburg is full of mysterious legends and stories, and you won’t meet any city folk who do not know any. Today, every self-respecting tourist simply must move to a new apartment in Saint Petersburg, come to finch, make a wish and throw a coin so that it falls on his pedestal. If the coin does not fall from the pedestal, your wish will come true.
© Courtesy of SPB Tours, St. Petersburg

Culturally Rich     

     Saint Petersburg is also famous for museums and architectural monuments. There are more than 6,000 of them. The most famous are: Hermitage, Pushkin’s museum, Russian Museum of Ethnography, Petropavlovskaya Cathedral, Museum of Dolls and Cabinet of Curiosities. Despite the fact that there are a lot of places to see in Saint Petersburg, the most visited place to this day is Hermitage.

     Every year, he goes to the halls of the four million visitors from all over the country and around the world. The scale exhibitions and museum funds hit any imagination exhibit area of over 57,000 square meters and more than 2.5 million items. There are masterpieces of works by Da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, El Greco, Rubens, Van Gogh, Gauguin and many other great artists of all ages.
Another symbol of St. Petersburg - Leningrad - a legendary cruiser "Aurora". What an irony: Emperor Nicholas II in the presence of the entire royal family first launched the cruiser in 1900. And the same cruiser heralded the fall of the Tsarist regime, indirectly betraying its creator. Today, "Aurora" is sleeping peacefully and takes numerous excursions.
© Courtesy of SPB Tours, St. Petersburg

No other city in Russia enjoys such a breathtaking location. St. Petersburg was constructed on what were originally more than 100 islands formed by a latticework of rivers, creeks, streams and natural canals that flow into the Baltic Sea at the mouth of the Neva River. The Neva, the main artery through the city, snakes an east-west path across St. Petersburg, basically dividing it in half. 
Most of the people I have been talking to about Saint Petersburg mentioned the fact that, “Piter – is the place where your soul relaxes, there’s just something about this city that attracts you, makes you fall in love with it”.

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