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Published: September 16th 2011
Here are some new photos after my short trips to Pushkin, Lomonosov, Gatchina, and Zelenogorsk. Definitely those places are of much interest. Zelenogorsk I didn't see previously, so I can say that it's a wonderful place, looking like a resort. It's full of trees and greenery and has two interesting churches and generally the place is pleasing in all aspects. I have already written about Pushkin, Lomonosov and Gatchina. I had about 10 days off work in September and had nothing to do, so it was a good idea to revisit those places. In October I will go to some other interesting destinations near St. Petersburg.
This time (30 May 2013) I add the photoes of Shlisselburg Fortress (Oreshek) where we went in 2011 in the company of three persons. The weather was not fine, so photoes are few. It was founded in 1323. During the Great Patriotic War, it was sieged for 500 days but the garrison did not allow the Nazis to win. The fortress is located on an island, so its merit is obvious. Beware that it looks very gloomy (Wars are not fun, neither the first, nor the second, nor the n-th). New text:
Strelna October 6
I bought a ticket for a guided excursion via the Konstantin Palace website for 350 Roubles. I have been planning to visit Strelna since 2007, and six years later I finally went there.
I descended the marshrutka near Sergiyeva Primorskaya Pustyn, an Orthodox friary founded in 1734, whereof only a single eye-catching construction has survived (the gate church of Savva Stratilat), the other churches were destroyed in the 1930-ies and during the War.
Strelna is a small settlement close to St. Petersburg and Peterhof, on the Finnish Bay shore, and boasts a fine architectural monument of the XVIII century – Konstanin Palace and Park Ensemble, or, since 2003, the Palace of Congress. Until 1917, the manor was property of the Russian Emperors, the first owner being Peter the Great, in 1797 Pavel I gifted it to his son – Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovitch, after whom the palace is named. During the Great Patriotic War, Strelna complex was almost completely annihilated, but excellently restored not many years ago to house various events, such as summits, balls, etc. The palace interiors and facades, the park, and the channel system were
restored according to ancient drawings, and some new constructions, such as bridges and foundations, also 20 two-storey cottages (the so-called consular village) were built.
Visitors are allowed to the palace only in guided groups of 15 persons, and I waited some 20 minutes till the scheduled time. Our guide was a charming lady, young and attractive. We passed the entrance after security check) and walked to the Palace with a monument to Peter I in front of it. Inside the palace, we took off our clothes and put on shoes covers. I wonder whether Presidents and Prime Ministers wear shoe covers, probably not, because they are Excellences and would look funny in such outfit.
We visited three halls, namely, the blue one, the small hall for informal talks very close to the roof, and the marble hall which produced a fine impression on me. It was all yellow though not glittering.
Then the guide showed us the collection of objets d’art collected by Mstislav Rostropovitch and Galina Vishnevskaya, gifted to the State by entrepreneur Alisher Usmanov, including porcelain, paintings, and other curiosities of the past. Porcelain items were excellent, though I’m not an art connoisseur, but in
appearance they were most formidable. Photos were not allowed in the halls of this exhibition. Among the paintings, my attention was drawn by a painting by Boris Grigoryev entitled “Countenances of Russia”. I emphasize this painting because foreign tourist like so much to search for Russia, and they might be interested in searching them in Grigoryev's paintings. As such, however, Konstantin Palace is expensive and its joys are limited - walking in the park, for instance, is prohibited (unless guided, summer only).
Our tour ended on the the terrace overlooking the park where the guide finished her story and returned us back to the entrance gates.
I hope to add some more places of interest to this entry.
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