Russia – St Petersburg
St Petersburg Russia is a port city on the Baltic. We visited St Petersburg as port of call on a Baltic cruise and stayed 2 days – we could have stayed much longer.
The city itself is what I might have expected of a Russian city – on a wet gloomy day it seemed to fit in just fine. However, if the staid Russian communist era styling was interesting to see, the fabulous Czars palaces and other religious sites were just incredible. From the splendor of the Hermitage to the opulence of the Palace of Peterhof the senses were constantly bombarded and overloaded with jaw dropping experiences. The art collection of the Hermitage alone is simply staggering.
The Russian people suffered incredible horror during World War II and St Pertersburg (formerly known as Petrograd from 1914-1924 and 1924-1941 known as Leningrad) also suffered greatly during the 900 day siege by the Germans. The historic buildings and works of art were very seriously damaged by the Germans. In some cases, priceless items were able to be removed to be saved from destruction.
The post-war restoration work conducted on the inside and outside of the damaged buildings is a testament to the skill and determination of the Russian people to recover from one of the worst chapters of the second world war.
You cannot leave St Petersburg without being moved and awestruck – truly, it is an experience of a lifetime!