St. Petersburg, Russia….Peter & Paul Fortress
Another late night and early morning; but have finally solved the problem of loading the slideshow for more photos at the end of the journal….thanks to help from my son-in-law Tushar in NYC!
Our guide Tatiana picked us up at 10 am and we were off by taxi to the Fortress of Peter and Paul that is located on an island in the Neva River. In addition to being a major military fortress it is also the final resting place of the Royal Russian family since the time of Peter the Great. Even the family of Nicolas II who was murdered in the twentieth century is buried in the church of Saints Peter and Paul that is located in the center of the fortress.
About noon we were met by our driver, George, and we visited the Cemetery of the Great Russian composers and writers, including Dostoevsky, at Alexander Nevsky Monastery. The most famous are buried on the right side of the cemetery in spacious lots; the less famous are buried on the left side in a crowded cemetery reminiscent of those in Paris. Most of these bodies and tombstones were moved here from other cemeteries and the unknown were moved to another cemetery. There is also a seminary for priests at this Monastery and it is impressive to see how many young priests were there and also the large amount of people who were stopping for prayers during the noon hour.
We stopped for an early dinner about 2 pm at an Italian Restaurant; Tatiana and I shared a pizza and Jim enjoyed pasta. Our next stop was to visit the Apartments of Kirov; he was Stalin’s personal representative in St. Petersburg after the Revolution. He was loved by the people because he devoted his life to helping them improve their lives. But, after only four years he was assassinated and because a legend. This original apartment is now a museum and eventually they took the apartment next door and moved his office furniture in to complete the museum.
Stopped for a photo of the battleship Aurora that was used in the Revolution and is now a museum; and then another photo stop at the only Mosque in St. Petersburg. Our last stop for the day was at the Engineers Castle also known as St. Michael’s Castle. It is a castle that was built like a fort for King Paul…he died forty days after the completion during a coup lead by his son inside the castle. It is called the Engineer’s Castle because after he died no one wanted to live there and it was made a school of engineering.
A long day was finally over as we walked the short distance from there to our hotel. We finally had about five minutes of rain and that was all.
For those that can access slideshows, click on the photo below and it will take you to my picasa web album to see a large selection of photos from today.