seeing the sights in Saint Petersburg

seeing the sights in Saint Petersburg

[ Aug.2017 ] In the pictures of Saint Petersburg in Russia, you often see the photo of the Church of the Savior on Blood.

That was where we visited after Smolny Cathedral.

The look of this church is similar to Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, but Saint Basil was built in the 16th century, while this one was much newer, which was built from 1883 to 1907.

The reason why this is “on Blood” is that Alexander the second was killed exactly on this spot in 1881 and they say that the stains of his blood stayed there for a while.

Our guide warned us that we did not have enough time to go inside, but when we got off the bus, it was drizzling, so we went in quickly.

I was surprised to see gorgeous mosaics all over the space inside.

I would have liked to looked at them more closely.

The group tours’ problem is always that there is not enough time to do everything…

According to our guidebook, when they built this church, the trend was to go back to the Russian traditional style from the western European type of buildings and that is why this design was chosen.

During Soviet era, they regarded this building as worthless and many people strongly argued to demolish it, but because the mosaics inside were so beautiful, in the end they decided to keep it as the mosaic museum.

After this, we went to see Saint Isaac’s Cathedral.

The land of Saint Petersburg is nearly all swampland, so it was very difficult to build heavy stone churches.

And the first person to succeed it was a French architect called Montferrand who took a long time to build this cathedral.

The building work started in 1818 and completed in 1858.

According to our guide, Vlad, the reason why it took so long was not only because it was a difficult work, but also “He had a prophesy that this work would be his last, so he prolonged his work”.

And as the prophecy said, Montferrand died soon after the completion.

We did not go into the cathedral and looked at it from Saint Isaac’s Square where the statue of Nicholas the first is standing.

On one corner of this square, there is a hotel called Astoria.

It is a long standing hotel built in 1912 and in those days it was apparently the most prestigious hotel.

So it is said that Hitler planned to have a celebration here if he won the Siege of Leningrad during the second world war, but of course he lost.