Saint Petersburg is a very beautiful city. Some friends told me it was the most depressing city they’ve seen or heard of, like something straight out of Dostoyevsky’s saddest pieces of writing. I found that untrue in the busy city center, when the lights, natural or artificial, enhance its natural beauty. Yet it is true that if you go further, the buildings are less flamboyant and a grey sky can make the canals look a bit wistful. The snow makes everything better, though.
I managed to reach the top of St Isaac’s cathedral on time to see a breathtaking sunset. My hands were freezing after two rounds around the domes to take pictures, but then I just walked one more time with my hands in my pockets to fully enjoy the views one more time.
The next morning, the Neva was even more frozen and the light truly nice. I walked from my beautiful Airbnb to the beautiful Saviour on the Spilled Blood church, with an interlude in the Russian Museum.
Some parts of the city that made me aware of how they inspired authors like Dostoyevsky, Pushkin or Tolstoy. Canals, palaces and lonely snowy landscapes.
Technically a few of these pictures were taken in the last day of November, but the lights look quite festive, and brighten the times nearing the winter solstice.
Some interiors, in churches or in museums, were truly impressive. I spent something like 4 hours in the Hermitage Museum, which has nocturnes on Fridays, trying to see as many rooms as I could. I think I saw all the rooms I could visit in the Winter Palace and adjacent building. Most of the time, I was gasping at the sheer magnificence of these rooms. One interesting feature was back to back display of a portrait of Tsar Nicholas II and a portrait of Lenin. Also, some Siberian antiquities displayed in a truly anachronistic manners in gilded rooms.
I was particularly impressed by the Pavilion Hall, a striking room featuring Escher-like elements in a mix of styles (Oriental, Antiquity…) and a grandiose British Peacock Clock and automaton, acquired by the Empress Catherine in the 18th century.
Domes inside, domes outside, sacred and profane alike.
Time traveler and many-world explorer wannabe into goth, steampunk, Doctor Who (New Who), many-world fantasy, urban fantasy, sci-fi, art, language, science, robots, potential literature...
View all posts by Ophelia Autumn