22-24 June 2014: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Looking for New Things in an Old Place

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

We returned to glorious Saint Petersburg, this time greeted with near-summer-like weather. You can read more about an earlier visit this month in my blog entry for 15-17 June 2014.

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The spectacular Kronstadt Naval Cathedral is the central gathering place of the island. The old church, which suffered the indignity of being converted to a cinema during Soviet times, has been beautifully restored. All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

 

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The interior of the church is one of the most spectacular we have seen, mixing ornate Russian Orthodox elements with ring lighting that reminded us somewhat of Agia Sophia and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

 

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Kronstadt island was first developed by Peter the Great, and many of the naval elements includng canals, locks, and stone quays remain. All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

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You must see the Hermitage, Catherine the Great’s fabulously decorated palace. The problem, though–especially in the summer months–is that it can be almost impossibly crowded. It sometimes feels as if the entire population of small towns–or countries–stands between you and the treasures.

On this cruise, though, we took advantage of a special evening tour after hours. We had a brief tour of some of the great halls and then a¬† performance by a talented Russian orchestra in one of the halls. As is perfectly appropriate for Russia’s European window on the world, most of the music was European: Mozart, Brahms, Mascagni. In a nod to one of Petersburg’s greats, we also heard from Mikhail Glinka.

All test and photos copyright 2014 by Corey Sandler. If you would like to purchase a copy, please contact me.