вторник, 30 апреля 2013 г.


Saint Petersburg

St. Petersburg is an unusual city in many ways. We know exactly the date of its foundation and the name of its founder. Even its geographical position is unique- no other city of its size is so far north. Standing in the center of the city you can hardly believe that three centuries ago there was nothing here but moors with no sign of civilization. St. Petersburg is a young city but its short history is rich in significant and tragic events. The city saw the glory of the Imperial Age and witnessed the exultation and cruelty of revolutions. It survived floods and fires, suffered from the famine during the last war. Peter the Great wanted to build a European city, and from the very start the city was built in stone, the streets were wide and spacious. The life of the city was organized in European manners, with military parades and assemblies.
The patron saint of Russia and one of the patron saints of St. Petersburg is St. Andrew. The legend goes that St. Andrew moved around Russia preaching Christianity and reached as far as the Neva delta. And as he was walking along the river he saw lights of such divine beauty that he considered it to be an omen that some time there would be a town on the site, majestic and powerful. St. Andrew was highly esteemed in Russia. Peter I instituted the order in his name, which was the highest order in Russia.
Another patron saint of St. P-g is Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky. Peter I ordered to build a monastery consecrated in his name and the sacred relics of the Hole Prince were moved from Vladimir to St. P-g.
Every city has its emblems and symbols. There are three main symbols of St. P-g: the coat of arms, the flag and the anthem. The coat of arms represents a red shield bearing a sea anchor and a river anchor crossed, combined with a gold scepter. You may find the coat of arms of St. P-g on the facades of some buildings. It decorates the entrance to the Admiral Nakhimov Naval School.
St. Petersburg has always been a busy city. It has attracted people from all parts of Russia and abroad. People came to the city and brought with them their culture and traditions. They settled in national or professional communities, and names of some streets show now where those communities were.
From the very start the city was multinational and besides Orthodox churches there are many other places of worship: Lutheran and Catholic churches, a Buddhist temple, a mosque and some others.
St. P-g has always been the center of public and cultural life. Many prominent people of Russia lived and worked in St. P-g. The city has been famous for its theaters, art galleries and museums.
Visiting St. P-g today you immediately notice the lively atmosphere. The city can be crowded during the summer months. St. P-g is most famous for its classical and baroque architecture. Palace Square with its magnificent Winter Palace, the Mariinskiy Opera and Ballet Theatre,  Peter and Paul’s Fortress  are just a few of them.
 There is a lot that is worth seeing in St. P-g but there’s one building you should not miss while visiting the city. This is St. Isaac’s Cathedral, one of the highest one-cupola constructions in Europe. The golden dome of St Isaac’s Cathedral dominates the historical center of St P-g. The Cathedral was named after Isaac of Dalmatia, the Byzantine monk, who was the patron saint of Russian tsar Peter the Great. It was designed by the French architect Auguste de Montferrand. It took more than four decades to complete the work. The interior decoration includes mosaic and painted panels, as well as a great variety of fine architectural details made of lapis lazuli, malachite and the best kinds of marble.
Getting around St P-g is easy by underground, but in the center the best way is walking. However, it is difficult to call it “a pedestrian dream” because of a lot of traffic in the center. The most romantic time to come to St P-g certainly is June when you can enjoy white nights here whether you take a boat trip along the rivers and canals or walk along great embankments and watch raised bridges. In any case, in this time of the year you are falling in love with the place.
Some people call St P-g the northern Venice, others say it reminds them of Amsterdam, but in fact St P-g is unique.

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