St. Petersbourg - Russia
St. Petersbourg, most western placed town of north Russia, was always extraordinary and inside out of non-Russian character. For Tzar Peter I. the Great, the town became a window into Europe. At present, this town radiates, with its wide boulevards, parks, embankment promenades and many bridges, its open and reserved fluidum in northern way. Along Neva-prospekt, most popular from local majestic boulevards, there is dominating business, but not hectic atmosphere. Glittered palaces are glistering one after the other. So, boasting town villas, shopping centres and churches are placed here next to each other. As an example, it is St.Peter Protestant Church, St.Catherine Roman-Catholic Church and Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Numerous caffees and restaurants invite you to have a seat there, including Wolff and Beranger literary caffee-house, visited frequently by poet Alexander Pushkin in past.
St. Petersbourg is situated in absolute plain-land. The town was established on place of inhospitable swamp and inside inundation area of Neva-river. among several sources of its delta. Nevertheless, this locality became the only one, where Russia could get an access to some of West-European Seas, and so, to West-European culture. The Russian colonizers lived at the end of Finish Bay just since 8th century, in Ingerman Country. The whole scarced inhabitated area, was dominated by Swedes. It is true that Alexander Nowgorodsky had beaten them in 1240, but the Swedes attacked the country in 1617 again, and built there, along Neva-river, just up to Ladoga Lake, a citadel. Only Tzar Peter I. the Great proved to get advantage of great opportunity which was offered to him at the beginning of this Northern War. Within one night, he crossed on boats Ladoga Lake, conquested Noteborg Citadel, located at the estuary of Neva-river. Some time later, he took over Nyenschanz at low flow of the river. Finally, he put basic stone of Peter-Paul Area on Sayatschi Island, at the estuary of the river.
Shortly afterthat, the works on Admirality dockyards on opposite bank were statrted. The town was built on pillars, which were driven in flat base. This hard work was in charge of bondmen, and many persons lost their lives there. So, there is a legend, that St. Petersbourg was built on human bones. Although at the beginning, only a few houses were constructed in swamps, in 1712, Tzar Peter I. the Great, transferred just there the capital from Moscow. Tzar pressed the aristocracy and citizens from Russian inland, to change their seats towards Baltic Sea. So, the first stone home was established there in 1710, and was preserved till now! After Nystad Peace Agreement of 1721, the architects from all over Europe came there, in order to create one great artistic work. When German military troops besieged and bombarded St. Petersbourg (Leningrad) within 1941-1944 for neary 900 days, from many boastful buildings remained ruins only. Anyway, after the war, the Soviets took the measures, which could return the town its past glitter and fame. Thanks to great effort of all workers, builders and architects, the town flashed up again in its full beauty. Probably most magnificient building of St. Petersbourg, there is Winter Palace, the building constructed according to ideas of Tzarina Elizabeth. From this Italian composition of Baroque style, created according to plans of architect Bartolomew Rastrelli, executed in white and green colours, there was adjoined later, in 1764, a building of Neo-Classical style, Hermitage Gallery, made according to ideas of Catherine II. the Great, art lover. At present, this art collection, containing nearly three millions of artistic works, the greatest art gallery of the world. St. Isaak Cathedral belongs also to one of biggest cathedrals of the world. The construction arises to the height of 100 metres, forming height dominanta of St.Petersbourg in such way. Their internal spaces, presenting real symphony, made from marble, jewels and semi-jewels, offer 14000 places for visitors. Golden cupola is boarded with 100 gramms of pure gold. From here, it is being offered a view, expiring a breath towards most beautiful of historical nucleus of the town, registered in UNESCO Heritage Surevey in 1990.
Text: Denisa Arvajová
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
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