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kronshtadt-picture

Kronshtadt

Kronshtadt isa port city in Russia, located on Kotlin Island, its surrounding  smaller islands of the Gulf of Finland and the dam.

kronshtadt-cathedral
Taken from www.peterburg.ru
Construction of the city-fortress of Kronshtadt began in 1703 with the laying in the shallows near the island of Fort Kronshlot (translation – Crown Castle).
The purpose of the construction of the fortress was to close waterway that lead to the mouth of the Neva. In June 1704 the Swedish squadron of ships tried to break past Kronshlot, but it had no success.
In 1709, by order of Peter I the construction of marinas, harbors and warehouses for the fleet was launched. The first harbor was completed in 1714. In 1723 the construction of the main fortress began. The city itself was built according to the plans of the most successful architects of that time who were also working on the architecture of St. Petersburg.
In 1990 the historical center of the city was included into the list of  UNESCO World Heritage objects. In 2009 the city got the title of Hero-City (City of Military glory) as it’s citizens contributed a lot during the the National War 1941-1945.

kronshtadt-picture
Taken from fyodor-photo.livejournal.com

I hope the information above and the nice photos below will be a good reason to check all the places on your own.

Important information

Be aware that the city is surrounded by water, so it may be cold and windy during your walk. Take warm clothes and boots. Also, keep in mind that it is hard to find a product shop with a big range of products in historical center, so in addition to hot tea in thermos take some food.

Attractions:

kronshtadt-photo
Taken from www.visit-saint-petersburg.ru
    • Monument of admiral Makarov
    • Naval Cathedral
    • Chapel of the Epiphany
    • Cathedral of Our Lady of Vladimir
    • Museum of the history of Kronstadt
    • Museum of Kronstadt Fortress

    Websites

    There you can find some historical notes about the places that you are going to visit, the photos, some plans of the places of interest and, of course, information about fees and schedules. All the information can be saved and/or printed.

    Kronshtadt: how to get there

    By regular bus

  • from subway station «Chornaya Rechka» russia-petersburg-subway-2-line № К-405.
  • from subway station «Prospect Prosvesheniya»russia-petersburg-subway-2-line № К-407.
  • 300 meters away from subway station “Staraya Derevnya” you can catch a bus № 101. You should exit at “Grazhdanskaya St”, it will be the 6th stop.

By tourist bus

  • You could buy the tour tickets to Kronstadt near the tourist stands which are located near the mall Gostiniy Dvor, on Nevsky prospect.

    Photos

    You can see the photos of this wonderful place in Instagram by searching #kronstadt, #кронштадт

    Instagram

Trying Airbnb for St. Petersburg

Several years ago when Airbnb, the platform for travelers and hosts, just appeared  I was skeptical about the whole idea of moving into random house without any 24 our client service, paying in advance, expecting a tough reality instead of nice and inviting pictures.

Now, after returning from Europe and using mostly this website for housing I do not have any doubts at all: if a flat is rated well and costs less than a hotel (which is situated in the same area and does not have breakfast) I will definitely book a flat.

Advantages:

  • You can use the filters for searching the best deal: you can choose the price for accommodation, the type of  accommodation (flat or house, separate room or shared room), location, wifi, elevator and etc.
  • You can see the ratings and comments of the places right under the main information about apartment.
  • You can ask the landlord all the questions about housing and neighborhood in advance with a help of airbnb platform. It usually takes no more than 24 hours to get the answer. You can track all interactions later.

Here is a list of flats (4stars and higher) which would cost you less than $50 per night. There is usually a fee for cleaning, the information about it is displayed under the main picture of apartment on the left. You can save money by registering through the link of a person who is already registered on the website. If you register through my partner link, you will get welcoming $20 for covering some of the housing expenses.  Later, of course, you could create your own partner link and send to your friends and members of family (I got mine in the same way).

Welcome there, anyway!

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Walking along Nevsky Prospect

Hello, dear residents and guests of St. Petersburg.

I invite you to walk along my favorite route: along and a little bit  around the Nevsky Prospekt. In this article I have tried to show you the most interesting sights, which make this city  unique.

If you want to  get acquainted  with the beauties of the city  gradually, the best way to start your journey is from the Rebellion Square (Площадь Восстания). The route will be particularly interesting if you arrive to this place by subway. The subway station has the same name as the square –   Ploshad’ Vosstaniya (Площадь Восстания,  which means Rebellion Square).  [1].

The subway line of this station is considered to be the first in terms of age (the first subway line of  St. Petersburg was opened in 1955) and beauty.

Coming out of the station hall, go down the stairs, turn left and walk to Nevsky Prospekt (a wide street which can not be missed). Start looking around. Turn and look at the subway station – a tall, beautiful, long dome and spire resembles a church.  petersburg-subway-lobby-Ploshad Vosstaniy

There is a historical reason for that – earlier there was a church on the same place, called Znamenskaya. The church was demolished  when Stalin was ruler, but  it’s design was approved for the architectural model of  a lobby. The square itself (and a subway station) was called “Rebellion Square” in honor of the October Revolution (it is also called the “Great October Socialist Revolution”, “Red October”, the  “October Uprising” or the “Bolshevik Revolution”)- one of the major political events of the 20th century, occurred in Russia in October 1917. Armed uprising on 25-26 October (7-8 November, New Style)  overthrew Russian Provisional Government (Vladimir Lenin and L.D. Trotsky were  the main organizers).  All-Russian Congress of Soviets became the supreme governing body with the absolute majority of  Bolshevik delegates.

Behind the building  of the subway there is the center of document printing (street Vosstaniya, 1),  here you can not only print documents but also make and print your photos.

Turn to the square. On the right you can see the building of pink color – a Moscow railway station (a vast majority of trains departs from here to Moscow. The capital has an identical train station, which is called Leningradskiy, which means of Leningrad). If you keep moving right along the wide Ligovsky Avenue past a train station, you will see the popular shopping mall Galeria, one of the largest in Europe.shopping-mall-galeria

On the information desk you can see the maps of the city and discount coupons for visiting St. Petersburg attractions. Make sure to take those! in the center you will find cafes and restaurants, a food court and a supermarket  Окей [2] with the average prices for the products.

There is  an obelisk in the center of the square , it was placed here in 1985, in honor of the fortieth anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Leningrad  was awarded the title of “City- Hero”  in 1945. On May 8, 1965 there was issued a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, in which all the “Cities- Heros” of the country were obliged to install the  obelisks, confirming this high rank.

This obelisk is monolith as well as another obelisk on your way (the Alexander Column, which is in front of the Hermitage). The base of five-fold trunk is decorated with bronze wreath of Glory and  high reliefs, which depict the events of the war years. Obelisk is crowned with a gold star. Earlier there was a monument to Alexander 3 – one of the Russian emperors. Now the monument is publicly available for viewing, it stands in front of Marble Palace, located a short walk from the Hermitage. Nevsky Prospect extends beyond the obelisk, but the part that goes further to the ensemble of Alexander Nevsky Lavra is  called StaroNevsky (Old Nesky) Prospekt.

To the left of the obelisk there is a small indoor Information  pavilion  for tourists – here  you can take information booklets, posters, cards, receive a free  advice during the working hours of the pavilion. You will meet a similar pavilion once again on your way – it is on Palace Square.  Next to the first information pavilion there is a large self-service cafeteria “Щелкунчик”  – if you are looking for something inexpensive and nutritious in the city center that is close to the train station, check this site.

 petersburg-view-of-nevskiy-avenue

We turn to the Nevsky Prospekt, the main street of the city, frequently mentioned in the literature about St. Petersburg. The most famous mention of the avenue can be found in the novel of Nikolai Gogol (a dramatist, novelist and short story writer): “There is nothing better than Nevsky Prospect, at least in St. Petersburg; for that city it represents everything – a beauty of our capital!” He also says the following: “The Nevsky Prospekt is St. Petersburg’s universal means of communication”.

Nevsky Prospekt was loved by many for its brilliant appearance and variety of leisure places in the immediate vicinity from the Avenue theaters, palaces, museums, upscale restaurants and  interesting shops. And now the prospect still attracts residents and visitors, especially during city holidays: there you can see military parades and festive processions in honor of the city.

Let’s start the movement. If you do not cross the road, you continue walking on this even side, which is the most sunny, therefore, more popular for walking.

You are passing a  little “Vosstaniya” street. A big Law Center is situated on the  “Vosstaniya” street, 6. There is another shopping center  at the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and this street – Stockmann (the complex is called the Nevsky Center). As well as in  Galeria, there you can take a free city map and coupons (they can be available in  Russian and English) and use a free public restroom.

  map-in-petersburg-city-pass

 On the -1 floor there is a big  deli  shop Stockmann with imported and domestic products. With a large selection, its prices are above average. There are also cafes and restaurants on different floors of the shopping mall.

Having passed just a few meters from this building to your left you will see the stops of  public transport: trolleys, regular and commercial buses. For the price of a  transport fare you may definitely  have a good independent self-made tour of the city. For this purpose the most suitable trolley numbers are 1, 5, 7, 10, 11, 22; buses 3, 7, 22, 24 [3].  For a  successful planning of your itinerary I would advise to use the websites  wikiroutes  and rusavtobus.

You will see different chains on your way: souvenir shopslacquer-miniatures, book stores, cafes and restaurants. On your right there is a sign “Теремок”, further there is a sign ” Чайная ложка” (their logo is a teaspoon) – two chains, offering food and drinks of traditional Russian cuisine at the price of a bistro. Most of the food is cooked in front of you (starting from pancakes with different fillings, finishing by salads and soups). Also, on the right you will see large elegant windows of cafe-confectionery “Север – Метрополь”. This is one of the oldest pastry shops of that chain[4]

To your left you can see Marata street (Улица Марата). There is the Oceanarium practically  in the end of it. Part of the building on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and the Marata street has a  Mayakovskaya (Маяковская) station lobby [5] , the station of the 2nd line subway. petersburg-subway-mayakovskaya-station-mosaics

There is a Nevsky Atrium shopping mall above the lobby. you can go to the lobby of “Ploshad’ Vosstaniya” (starting point of our route) or to the Moscow station  through the underpass of the station. Anyone who knows about it, saves time and energy.

Continuing walking along the Nevsky Prospekt,   on the right you will see the street Mayakovskaya. There are several grocery stores and café-restaurants on the street.  Also, on your right, after you cross the street,  you will notice large windows of the Imperial Porcelain Factory store. This is not the only store of the chain on your way. imperial-porcelain 

I highly recommend visiting any of those shops.

After passing the shop on the right side you will also see the bright colored windows of a folklore tavern «Трын Трава». During the work days they offer so called “cart” – unlimited offer of traditional Russian salads, appetizers and side dishes (some places of the chain also have the hot meals for  buffet).

On the other side of  Nevsky Prospekt after  “Nevsky Palace” (a noticable building) a little bit further there is  a sign ” Советское кафе квартирка” – one of the places with the Russian / Soviet kitchen.

Next, you will cross a wide street, which, in fact, consists of two streets: there is Liteyniy Prospekt on the right of  Nevsky Prospekt and Vladimirsky Prospekt on the left. Vladimirsky Prospekt ends with Vladimirskaya Square with  Vladimirsky cathedral (according to the official website of the cathedral.  In the upper church there is an  iconostasis of the 18th century, moved to the 1809-10 year, the church Anichkov Palace). Do not forget the rules of visiting the churchs if you want to come in.vladimirskiy-cathedral2  

Also there are the lobbies of two subway stations of different lines on the square: the station of the 1st line «Владимирская» (Vladimirskaya),  the station of the 4th line  – «Достоевская» (Dostoyevskaya). During the weekends the entrance and exit of «Достоевская» is closed, you should use the lobby of «Владимирская» station,  keep that in mind!

Another street that branches from Nevsky Prospekt on the left is a  Rubinstein (Улица Рубинштейна). It is considered to be one of the most  restaurants-saturated streets of the city (almost every other space is a cafe, a pub or a restaurant). The street ends with a unique  “Five Corners”  square  – the only place in St. Petersburg, where five corners of buildings are turned  to the square.five-corners

 While continuing walking along the Nevsky Prospekt,  you will see the pink building  on the left side. This is grand-ducal palace Beloselsky-Belozersky, the last construction of a private palace on the Nevsky Prospect.  palace-beloselskih-beloserskih 

 Another street that branches form Nevsky Prospekt on the left is a  Rubin The  palace of Count A.S. Stroganov, that is also located on Nevsky Prospekt (you will see him on the way),  became  an architectural prototype for this building.   Beloselsky-Belozersky palace was built for the project of Rastrelli in the mid-18th century. In accordance with the baroque facade the building has numerous columns, figures of the Atlanteans,  the facades have elegant coloring. Since the mid-19th century palace Beloselsky-Belozersky was the site of the famous balls and other social events. It still hosts performances and concerts. The gala rooms on the 2nd floor still have decorations of mid-late 19th century.

The bridge, which is on your way, is called Anichkov. According to one version, the etymology of the word is explained by name of lieutenant colonel-engineer Mikhail Anichkov, whose battalion during the time of Peter the Great was behind  Fontanka  river the so-called  Anichkov settlement. sculptures-anichkov-bridge2

 On the bridge you can see four sculptusculptures-anichkov-bridgeral groups, united by the common theme of “Taming of the horse.” The sculptures represent  four stages of conquest of a horse by people, each of which, of course,  looks different. Walking around the city, be sure to look at each of them. Pay attention to the second pedestal during your move: in stone you will see a trail left by a bomb during the Great Patriotic War. A young city with a considerable history cherishes the memory of  events which occurred there.

The bridge was erected over  Fontanka (Фонтанка)  river. Morphology of  this word determines a connection between the river and fountains: earlier the river  watered fountains of the Summer Garden, located along the river. After one of the flooding of the city it stopped functioning in a similar way, but the name did not change. Do not forget to stop and look at grid of the bridge – Petersburg is famous for its original grids, fences and even lanterns.

On the left side of Nevsky Prospekt right after the bridge there is a bright building in the early Baroque – another palace, it has the same name as the bridge. The facade is turned to the  the river, not to Nevsky Prospekt  as the entrance planned to be from the water. After the erection in 1753 the palace was the Imperial, passing from one  royal family member to another as a wedding gift. In Soviet times, the palace became the Palace of Youth Creativity, and to this day it  functions as institution of additional education. anichkov-palace-park

 Children from 3 to 18 years old can find a class on their liking from more than 200 and this additional education may determine their further professional development. I myself visited several classes, including excursion education – it was called Petropol  (one of the literary names of Petersburg), we were taught to lead the tours around the palace on our own. Believe me, there is a lot to explore in the city: a unique red glass, invented by the genius Michael Lomonosov, unique chandeliers, winter gardens (in imperial Russia there were only two winter gardens. You can see another one in Winter Palace). Before and after  New Year the palace makes gala events for children with  a festive Christmas tree.

Keep moving along Nevsky Prospekt. The first street, which branches off from it to the right, is called Karavannaya. It has a large number of restaurants, including folklore. Street runs past beautiful buildings of Circus and the Cinema House – the place, where you can watch the film festivals, films, including not translated ones (those movies always include subtitles).

Also, on the right on Nevsky Prospect you can see an arch with the word “Aurora”. In the courtyard of the building there is another theater, which also shows films in foreign languages (all other cinemas of t. Petersburg have Russian postscoring unless stated otherwise). Interior of VIP hall cinema is very similar to the theater’s: comfortable chairs, curtains, sculptures – all these features are ideally suited for viewing movies.anichkov-palace-park3

Passing the palace and the adjoining garden, you will see the square, in the center of which there is a monument to Catherine the Great.catherine-the-great-sculpture

Come closer to see the monument: the Empress is surrounded by her comrades. There is one woman among them – Princess Dashkova known by helping Catherine the Great to ascend to the throne in a coup; later she was a director of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. You can see a beautiful two-tone building in Empire style  Behind the monument, it is decorated by chariot on the top. aleksandrinskiy-theater3

That is the building of Aleksandrinsky theater – the 1st Russian theater, that has always amazed audience with great performances. There is one of the most beautiful streets of St. Petersburg hiding behind the theater – Architect Rossi Street.

famous-proportional-Petersburg-Rossi-street
A must-see street from the right angle.

The street is famous for being symmetrical and proportional: it’s width equal to the height of buildings forming the street (22 meters), and the length is exactly ten times more – 220 meters). A small park with the Impress and the Theatre are located on Ostrovsky Square (Aleksandr Ostrovsky was a famous Russian playwright), the red double-decker sightseeing bus «City tour» departs from the street that passes the square on  the right (if you look at the square from Nevsky Prospekt). Moreover, from time to time you can see there fairs and festivals.

To the right of the square rises another building with sculptures – it is the Russian National Library. russian-public-library

Currently, in addition to rooms with reference services and electronic resources,  several library halls, there is an office of Faust or Gothic hall. The office was built and equipped in medieval style in 1857. In it’s center there is a statue of Gutenberg – the first European book-printer. Also this room has books published before 1501.

Turn back to the Nevsky Prospekt. There is an interesting Modernist building  in front of you, called Eliseevsky store. You will definitely notice large windows with moving figures of rats (their author is a world known Michael  Shemyakin) petersburg-exotic-Eliseevsky-shop

The interior is  partially available for viewing from the windows. Interior was recreated, however, I would advise you to go inside and feel like a part of the beau monde, who gets into the shop of the early 20th century. petersburg-exotic-Eliseevsky-shop-on-nevsky-prospect-inside

Surprisingly, the prices of products offered are not as high as might be expected. With a multilingual staff you can choose a delicacy to take with you or to eat in a luxurious ambiance of the store.

Coming out of the atmosphere of the 20th century, going around the building, you will get to Malaya Sadovaya (Малая Садовая) street, saturated by wish-fulfilling sculptures. Magic-fountain-petersburg-on-Konushennaya-street

Right in the center there is a granite ball- fountain, a popular place of  tourists and locals  for photographing. The ball is rotated due to water pressure (at the period of time when the fountains work). To make your wish come true, you just need to go to the fountain and touch it. You shouldn’t spin the ball – it spoils the internal mechanisms of the fountain and harms it. Among other original sculptures I can also draw your attention to the sculpture of cat Elisey and lady-cat Vasilisa, petersburg-magic-cats-Elisey-i-Vasilisa

standing at different sides of the street on the second floor facing each other. To fulfill the desire you should throw a coin to the pedestal so that it can stay there. A little further on the left side of the street you will notice a sculpture of photographer with the dog. magic-photographer-on-Malaya-Sadovaya-street

You can take a photo with photographer,  touch the  bulldog’s tongue  – plus two desires are guaranteed!

Continuing walking along Nevsky Prospekt, you cross the underpass with a variety of souvenirs. Some are cheaper than similar items in the shops, some are more expensive, but their quality is about the same.

Underpass is located under Sadovaya street, if you walk along it to the left, you will see the Engineers’ Castle, the Moika River, the Summer Garden.

Not turning in the underpass, continue following your planned path on the avenue. gostiniy-dvor

There will be a long yellow building  on your left – it is a shopping complex Gostiniy Dvor, created in the 18th century as the largest commercial premises in the Russian Empire. By the early twentieth century Gostiniy Dvor continued to be the largest in St. Petersburg, the center of trade of industrial goods. Nowadays over three thousand Russian and foreign companies  offer their products in its salesrooms length of 2 kilometers; there are about 170 thousand varieties of goods  in the assortment, and about two million units for sale (according  to  information on official website of Gostiny Dvor). The building also has a free public toilet [6], it is situated in the part of the building, located on Sadovaya Street (after the Lego store).

A little further from the Gostiny Dvor you can see pinkish gabled tower of the Duma. City Council building-dyma

After construction it was used for optical telegraphy (specular telegraph linked  Winter Palace with Tsarskoye Selo) and as a fire tower. Now the building houses the Children’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Music School of Rimsky-Korsakov, the Institute of St. Petersburg, and since 1998 – the North-West and Saint-Petersburg branch  of Sberbank of Russia.

 On the Dumskaya Street (between Gostiniy Dvor and a tower of Duma) you can see a lot of  buses for  sightseeing the city, it’s suburbs and other Russian cities (if you want to visit several cities, you will have a two- or three-day trip). Ticket offices are located near Dumskaya street, you can book a tour in a foreign language.

Let’s return to our side of Nevsky Prospekt. Face the buildings – one of them has a sign “Пасссаж” (Passage). This is indeed a covered street of boutiques and various shops.

I advise you to look into a little shop hidden on the right side, which is called «Музей шоколада» (“Museum of  Chocolate”). Here you can see and buy multicolored chocolate busts of Lenin, vaious trophies, gifts and souvenirs, other handicrafts.  On the second floor  of the shopping center  there is a bridge, from which you can listen to music with a cup of fragrant drink from the cafe. Passage periodically becomes a venue for fairs with handmade goods. passage-with-exponents

This usually happens during holidays: New Year and Christmas Fair, the fair in honor of February 23 (Defender’s day) and March 8 (Woman’s day), the Fair devoted to the Day of the City.

There is a major bookstore “Буквоед”  in the next building after Passage. Here you can find souvenirs, books in various languages, maps, guides; on the second floor of the store you have different sets for hand-made creations.

A little further you’ll see a ladder leading into the shop “Север” – one of the first confectionery café of this city chain. There you can find not only delicious desserts, but also hot meals as well.

Then you will see several churches of St. Catherine almost one after the other – they were allowed and built during the reign of Catherine the 2nd. The first one is Armenian Church of St. Catherine, built in the classical style with blue and white colors.armenian-church-of-st-catherine5

After construction the church became the center of Armenian culture in St. Petersburg: it opened it’s typography and the Armenian national school.

Next street, blocking your way to the right, called Mikhailovskaya. Not crossing the road, look at the Square and a beautiful bright building located behind it. russian-museum

The building is a grand Mikhailovsky Palace,  opened to public as the Russian Museum  since 1898. It contains paintings and sculptures by the world-famous Russian artists, sculptors.   Be sure to visit it, if you have free time! There is a monument to the great Russian poet and writer Alexander Pushkin (a world-known poet and novelist)  on the square. By the way, the same sculptor (Michael Anikushin) created another monument of Pushkin, it stands at the  Pushkinskaya  station of the first line of the St. Petersburg subway . petersburg-subway-pushkinskaya-station-Pushkin

Keep in mind – when you are crossing  Mikhailovskaya street there is an underground passage that leads not only to the opposite side of Nevsky Prospekt, but also to the lobby of “Nevsky Prospekt” station  of the second subway line.

Second cathedral on the right side is a Catholic church of St. Catherine. There is usually an exhibition of paintings for sale (artists start coming after 10.30 and stand till late). Catholic Church of St. Catherine2

Even if you do not plan to buy anything, be sure to take a look at modern art.

Let’s keep walking.  A grand Modernist building is standing right in front of you, it is completed with the composition of a globe. petersburg-popular-book-store-Dom knigi

This building is definitely above the ones that you’ve already seen. You probably noticed while walking, that all the establishments were around the same height. This has a historical explanation: due to the decree of Nicholas 1 it was not allowed to build houses higher than the Hermitage (22.5 meters to the eaves). This building fits into the required standards as a decorative globe is not the part of premises for use – it is surprising, that the diameter of the globe of 2.8 meters! People can fit in it!

The building was constructed for the joint stock company Singer (sewing machine manufacturer). Now the first two floors are occupied by a book store, that offers a wide range of diverse literature in several languages, as well as souvenir items. On the second floor there is a panoramic cafe – it is worth visiting as minimum for beautiful pictures of the city! As far as I know, the upper floors of the building belong to the headquarters of the social network “v kontakte”. It is said that the illumination color of the globe (red, blue, green) is determined by the mood of the company’s management!

Cross  a small road ahead and stop at the bridge. view-on-Savior-on-blood

In front of you stands the jewel of the cathedrals – the Savior on the Spilled Blood.

russia-petersburg-cathedral-museum-Savior-on-Blood-2
Amazing Savior-on-Blood

Unfortunately, the creation of this festive decorated cathedral can be explained by the tragedy –  the Emperor Alexander 2, the man who abolished serfdom, was killed at the place where the cathedral was erected (that is why the canal has a slight turn). The cathedral was built on donations. During the Soviet era, when the government was getting rid of religious things, there was a warehouse of costumes for the theater, the cathedral was not maintained properly.  You can understand, that such a use caused considerable damage to the interior.In 1997, the renovated cathedral was open for visits.

Be sure to find time to go to the cathedral, explore it from the outside and see the stunning interior.

petersburg-mosaics-interior-Savior-on-Blood
Breathtaking view from one of the most fabulous Churches!

You will be surprised to know that the mosaic exposition of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the largest collections in Europe, its area is 7065 square meters!щаmosaics-savior-on-blood

At the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and Griboyedov canal embankment there is a lobby of “Nevsky Prospect” station, which has  certain schedule of operations.

If you change the side of the avenue and continue your journey along even side Griboyedov  canal, you will see Bankovskiy Mostik (the Bank bridge), which has magical griffins. petersburg-Griffons-bank-bridge

They look great on photos!

Continue walking along Nevsky Prospekt. On the opposite side of the Book house there is an active cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan (Kazansky sobor). kazanskiy-cathedral

This cathedral is main one of the city, contains a copy  of miraculous  icon of Kazan Mother of God. The cathedral has the burial of Russian general Michael Kutuzov. Over his grave there are the flags of the defeated French regiments, the keys to fortresses and cities of Europe, taken by the Russian army. There are the statues of generals  on the both sides of cathedral: on the right there is Michael Kutuzov, on the left there is Barclay de Tolly. Russia defeated the French in the War of 1812  under their command.

By the way, speaking about the bridge. Have you seen the fence of the bridge on the other side of Nevsky Prospekt? You have crossed one of the widest bridges of St. Petersburg – its width as much as 95 meters [7] ! Moreover, this is the lowest bridge Petersburg.

Continue following the designated route.  A pedestrian Malaya Konyushennaya Street  branches to the right of Nevsky Prospekt. It has a monument to Nikolai Gogol (one of Russian literature classics), at the end of the street there is a monument to a city policeman (generalized image).

As you walk, there will be  the Lutheran Church of Saints Peter and Paul to your right. Lutheran Church-Peter-Paul

 No original items on the church decoration  remained untouched  – under the Soviet regime, this church suffered no less than others: the decoration of the church that had a great art value was confiscated and put in store rooms of museums, the church building was turned into a warehouse of theatrical scenery, then the storage of vegetables, and later they built a swimming pool in the church! In 1990 the church was restored.

Also on the right side of the Prospekt you will see a wide Bolshaya Konyushennaya Street, which has a road for pedestrians in the center. There is the  Finnish church of St. Mary  on this street   church-of-Maria,

as well as modern sculptural fountains with Pegasus.

 There will be the building of the Stroganov Palace  on Nevsky Prospect  ahead to your left – a prototype of Beloselsky-Belozersky palace, which we passed earlier. This building was built in the Russian baroque style. At the moment it is an affiliate of Russian Museum.

Great Hall is open for the visitors – the only interior  in St. Petersburg which has an authentic decoration of Rastrelli and unique ceiling of Giuseppe Valeriani “Triumph of the Hero.” Two state rooms of the second floor are restored, they are decorated by  the most famous Russian architects of XVIII-XIX centuries – F. Demertsov, A. Voronikhin, P. Sadovnikov, I. Kolodin (information was taken from the official website of Russian Museum).

Behind the palace you will see  Moika river. The building on corner of Nevsky Prospekt, 18  and Moika, is very symbolic  for Russian people- there the poet Alexander Pushkin drank a last cup of coffee and went to the fatal duel. Currently there is the same restaurant “Wolff and Berange” on this place, it only takes a smaller area (the part of the ground floor is occupied by a flower shop “Orange”).

Keep going, in 40-50 meters you will see the beautiful arch General Staff Building on the right, go through it to the center of Palace square. general-staff-building-way-to-it 

Look around. You are in the so-called “Golden Triangle” of the city, the architectural ensemble mentioned at the UNESCO World Heritage List. Hermitage-in-the-evening

You see the Winter Palace  ahead  – the residence of the emperors, the palace, which houses part of the Hermitage Museum, with more than 2 million items.

Alexandrovskaya triumphal column  stands in the center of the square. It was  erected in honor of the victory in the Russian-French War of 1812, the face of angel that stands on it has facial features of Alexander 1 – Emperor, who won the war. This monolithic column keeps on the surface with  its own weight.

Turn to the side through which you entered: the right part of General Staff  building  hosts the command of the  Western Military District, the left side is a part of Hermitage Museum (you can see there creations of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, who had  been  previously displayed on the third floor of the Winter Palace). The entrance to the museum is in the Arch. On the arch connecting the east and west wings of the building stands the chariot with the goddess of victory Nike.general-staff-building

Next, I suggest walking along Winter Palace  to the right. You will  meet the Atlantes  on your way, who are bravely holding the palace. One of Atlantes makes the wishes come true – for that purpose you should  touch the little finger of one of them. magic-atlantes-of-Hermitage

Stop near the Winter Canal (so called canal in the Central district of St. Petersburg which connects Neva River and Moika near the Winter Palace). You will see the arch-transition  above it  which connects two buildings of the palace: the Hermitage Theatre and the Bolshoi (Old) Hermitage. Further you can see Hermitage Bridge and the main river of the city – Neva.

The Hermitage Bridge is a good place to look around and to enjoy extraordinary views of the Hare Island and Peter and Paul Fortress on it. petropavlovskaya-fortress-night-view

The first stone of the city  was laid here.  The fortress of the island was designed to protect Russian borders from the Swedes (Russia fought against the Swedes since 1700 and won the long lasting war).

 To the right you see the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island (eastern end of Vasilevsky Island in St. Petersburg) with magnificent Stock Exchange building located between the two rostral columns. Spit of Vasilyevsky Island

Rostral columns (“rostra” is a part of boats, which decorate the columns) were functioning as light houses, they lit a fire. Now the fire can be seen only on holidays: Day of  Leningrad’s  liberation from siege (on the photo) and Victory Day (the 9th of May).light-house

Palace Bridge, which is located on your left, is the most recognizable among travelers coming to St. Petersburg – during  navigation period [8]  both of the spans go up (only one span of other bridges  goes up).

Next, I would advise you to go from the left side of English Embankment (you’re located on it) to the right and look around. On the other side of the Neva river you will see blue-turquoise  Kunst kamera or Kunstkammer (that was the first building, which was built specially for the museum. It displays unusual exhibits: rarities and anomalies of nature. The museum also has a large collection of antiquities, revealing the history and life of many nations), the yellow building of the Zoological Museum.

On this side of Neva you will see yellow building – Admiralty. One time they were building shipyards there, and now it is the General Command of  Russian Navy. The building is crowned by spire with a  weather vane in the form of ship. This sign is unofficially included to the list of recognizable symbols of St. Petersburg.

If you are facing the Admiralty, there will be an interesting statue  “Peter the 1st – the carpenter”  on the right. petersburg-Peter-carpenterPeter the Great was an extraordinary man: he knew perfectly more than 20 crafts of his time, was fluent at several languages, always  preferred an active part in the construction of the city. This monument helps to make the wishes come true.

Go back to Nevsky Prospekt, that goes around  Palace Square. You will see the Alexandrovsky Garden on your right,petersburg-wish-place-fountain-Admiralty

there is the fountain with the original arrangement of tubes; a monument to Russian traveler and naturalist, Nikolay Przhevalsky (you can see  a camel  at the foot of a bronze bust of the traveler);

traveler-przhevalskiy-and-camel, 

a monument to Mikhail Lermontov, Mikhail Glinka (the world-famous Russian composer), Aleksandr Gorchakov (head of the Russian Foreign Ministry during the reign of Alexander II,  сomrade of Aleksandr Pushkin), Nikolai Gogol, Vasiliy Zhukovsky (Russian poet, academician), the sculpture “Flora Farnese,” “Hercules  Farnese”, a memorial plaque on the site of the first line of Petersburg tram.

To the left of the park you will see a huge St Isaac’s Cathedral – the biggest Orthodox cathedral in St. Petersburg. st-isaacs-cathedral

This is the handiwork of architect Montferrand, for whom creation of the cathedral became a matter of life and lasted for as much as 40 years! The cathedral is surrounded by 112 monolithic columns, each of which could be hoisted into place in less than 10 minutes by the engineers of the 19th century. How? You can find information about this in museum. The colonnade of the cathedral (there you can explore the city from a bird’s eye view) is available for visiting for an additional fee.

 If you want to take public transport to return to a particular point of the route, I would offer you to go to the bus and trolleybus stop, located close to the houses 7-9 or walk to Malaya Morskaya Street (the first street on your way that branches off from Nevskiy Prospekt to the right), turn there, you will see complex “Admiral” and there will be a subway sign  on the left side of the building. There is an  “Admiralteyskaya”  station  of the  5th subway line .

* You have probably noticed that on Nevsky Prospekt duration of the green light for pedestrians may be 3-5 seconds. By default, pedestrians can complete the movement and reach the opposite side of the street.

 


[1] A fascinating insight into the architecture of Petersburg underground is waiting for you in this article. You will read about the subway stations, listed in the Unified State Register of cultural heritage of regional significance.

[2] You can learn more about the product shops from this article.

 [3] In the nearest future there will be a list of routes of public transport.

[4] The widest choice of pastries and hot dishes you can try at the first cafe of this chain. It is located next to the store Passage.

[6] Free restrooms are also located in the malls Stockmann, Galeria. 

[7] The  widest bridge in St. Petersburg and in the world is 97.3 meters wide.

petersburg view of isaac's cathedral, bridge and gate
gate, Blue bridge and St. Isaac’s Cathedral – a wonderful mix!

This bridge is called the Blue, it is located in the Admiralty district of St. Petersburg, placed across Moika River, connecting  Kazasky and the 2 nd Admiralty Island.

[8] This sight is available from embankments, as well as from excursion boats and ships.

Russia--Vyborg-sculpture-Torkel- Knutson

Vyborg

History of Vyborg starts from the XI century with an arisen settlement of the Karelians. In 1293  Torkel Knutson, the ruler of Sweden, leading a large army invaded Karelia and built there a stone castle. And in 1323 the  Russian-Swedish border was established according to a Peace agreement between the countries.

After foundation of St. Petersburg Peter the Ist conquered the Karelian Isthmus and Vyborg in 1721.

In 1811 Vyborg province was administratively attached to the Grand Duchy of Finland as part of Russia. In 1918 Finland obtained independance, so Vyborg became a Finnish city. After the Russian-Finnish war in 1939, Vyborg became part of the Soviet Union.

Such an intense history leads to a mix of cultures and architectures revealing all the best in one place, Vyborg.

I hope the information above and the nice photos below will be a good reason to check all the places on your own.

Important information

Be aware that the city is surrounded by water, so it may be cold and windy during your walk. Take warm clothes and boots. Also, keep in mind that the food in historic center is quite expensive and it is hard to find a product shop with a big range of products, so in addition to hot tea in thermos take some food.

Attractions:

  • Vyborgskiy castle with
  • Round Tower
  • The mid-16th century parts of the Medieval Vyborg town wall
  • The Viipuri Library by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto
  • Monuments to Peter the Great (1910) and Torkel Knutsson
  • Park Mon Repos.

Websites

There you can find some historical notes about the places that you are going to visit, the photos, some plans of the places of interest and, of course, information about fees and schedules. All the information can be saved and/or printed.

Vyborg: how to get there

By bus

The buses departing  from the bus terminal near subway station russia-petersburg-subway-2-line“Parnas” and station russia-petersburg-subway-1-line“Devyatkino”. The busesgo every 40-60 minutes. The whole way takes 2 hours. The bus arrives to the bus terminal that is close to historic center of the city and it’s attractions.

By train

Trains depart from Finlyandskiy train station. If you choose not an “Allegro” train, which goes to Helsinki through Vyborg, you will have a lot of stops on your way to the final destination, so you will spend the same time as going by bus.

Keep in mind that you can ride a  bus only if you have a ticket with a seat, but i you go by train the space is unlimited, which means that during rush hours there may be too many people. Also it may be too cold or too hot in the trains unless you are traveling by “Allegro”.

Photos

You can see the photos of this wonderful place in Instagram by searching #Vyborg, #Выборг

Instagram

russian-toy-chebyrashka

Russian music instruments and toys

Russian toys

 Tin Soldiers  (Оловянные солдатики)Russian-toy-olovyannyi-soldatik 

good gift for boys. Figures are dressed up  in the form of  Russian Empire  army of different years.

 Domovoi (Домовой) – Russian-toy-domovyonok-Kyzya

a home  spirit of Slavic nations, mythological host and patron of the house, that provides a normal family life, fertility and health of people, animals. The most recognizable fictional character is a Domovyonok (means a small Domovoi)  Kuzya (Домовёнок Кузя) – known for the  animated films about an active home spirit, known from fairy tales.

 Cheburashka (Чебурашка)— russian-toy-chebyrashka

a fictional character invented by the writer Eduard Uspensky in 1966 as one of the main characters of the book “Crocodile Gena and his friends.” It is a creature with big round ears, big brown eyes and brown hair, walking on its hind legs.  The recognizable image known today  first appeared in the movie- cartoon “Crocodile Gena”.

Many times was a symbol of the Russian Olympic team.

Matryoshka (Матрёшка)  — Russian-matryoshka

(a diminutive form of “Matrona” – mother of the family) – is a painted wooden doll, inside of which there are smaller dolls similar to her. More expensive  matryoshkas are  hand-painted with a brush and have additional decorations, cheap analogues have color print (not unique or special).

Bogorodskaya toy (Богородская игрушка) —Russian-Bogorodskaya-igrushka

 is represented by wooden animals, creatures, whose legs or hands move according to  rotation of the platforms-wooden planks. The toys are quite varied – from chickens pecking grain to bear with a balalaika or someone with an axe! Children love this toy and not just children.

Kovrovskaya clay toy (Ковровская глиняная игрушка) —Russian-toy-kovrovskaya-glinyannaya-igrushka

folk craft, resulting in the area of the city Kovrov on the banks of the Klyazma. Kovrov toys feature a bright juicy colors, using traditional palette Vladimir school of painting.

Plots of Kovrov toys are very diverse. They re taken by artists from Russian folk tales  as well as from the life of the peasants, and the festivities (for example,  couples,  bathhouses or girls with  yoke).

Filimonovo toy (Филимоновская игрушка)  —

usually represented by traditional whistles: ladies, horsemen, cows, bears, roosters, and so on.

A narrow skirt bell of Filimonovsky ladies smoothly goes to a short narrow body and ends tapered head is integral with the neck. The ladies are usually holding babies or bird-whistles. Knights look like ladies, but instead of a skirt they have thick cylindrical legs, shod in boots. Heads are crowned with intricate  hats which have narrow margins. Animals are traditionally painted with colored stripes along the body and neck.

Dymkovo toy (Дымковская игрушка) —Russian-dymkovskie-toys

unique and inimitable bright toys made by hand.

For its production they usually use local bright red clay, mixed thoroughly with a fine brown river sand. Figures are molded in parts, the individual parts are collected and finished by using liquid red clay as a binder. The products are competed by a smooth and neat surface.

The most common themes are the following: the nanny with children, sheep with golden horns, turkeys, roosters, deer and, of course, young people, clowns, noble ladies.

Bird of happiness (Птица счастья) —Russian-ptitza-schastiya

wooden toy in the form of a bird, made by woodcarving.

It is made from a single bar  without the use of adhesives and fasteners, by cutting thin petals and a special method of bending. Petals,  wings and tail can be connected by threads. Usually made of the wood of pine, spruce, fir and Siberian pine. Brings well-being and health of the family,  if located inside the house .

Music boxes  – Russian-moscow-petersburg-churches

the foreign guests like to buy the music boxes with the views of Russian cities (as on the picture, the music box is just turning, accompanying by a nice melody), also with the ballerinas. Music box

Musical instruments

Balalaika  (Балалайка)– Russian-balalaika

is one of the main symbols of Russian culture. Sound of balalaika is soft but sonorous. Modern balalaika is made of pine wood.

  Gusli (Гусли)—

 stringed musical instruments, common in Russia (21 th century), usually  different in structure.

  Ratchet (Трещотка = Treschyotka) —

 – folk instrument that replaces claps of hands.

 

Military and soviet styled things

Clothing, headgear

Telnyashka (Тельняшка)russian-traditional-telnyashka

- the naval underclothes sweatshirt. Made of knitted fabric with alternating horizontal blue and white stripes.

Budenovka (Будёновка)russian-traditional-bydenovka

— a distinctive type of hat and an essential part of the  uniform of the Russian Civil War.

It is a soft, woolen hat that covers the ears and neck. The cap has a peak and folded earflaps that can be buttoned under the chin.

Shapka-ushanka (Шапка-ушанка)russian-traditional-shapka-ushanka

 – is sold as with faux fur as well as with real fur (which is more expensive, of course). Due to its popularity among tourists, you can see a huge variety of colors, even pink!

Peaked hat (Furazhka=Фуражка)russian-militsia-furajka

Forage-cap (Pilotka=Пилотка)

Everyday objects

Leather flask

Hiking glasses

Cigarette case

Russian styled clothing, hats, shoes, decorations

 Clothes

Sarafan (Сарафан)Russian sarafans

- traditional Russian women’s clothing in the form of dresses, often sleeveless. Originally sarafan was a menswear. It was a ceremonial dress  made of silk, brocade, velvet and other expensive fabrics. It was long, touching the ground, with long folding sleeves. It is also known that sarafan had a golden embroidery.

The  clergy was also using that suit, but after a certain time it became women’s clothing. The complex of clothes  included – sarafan, shirt and belt. In a while it was supplemented with a headdress (kokoshnik).

Kokoshnik (Кокошник)

-old traditional Russian headdress.

Shawls

Orenburg shawlRussian-orenburgskiy-platok-ring

—Knitted scarf made of goat down and thread base (cotton, silk, etc.). It is known that regardless of the size it can easily pass through any engagement ring.

Fluff of Orenburg goats is the thinnest in the world: its thickness – 16-18 mkm, Angora goats (mohair) – is 22-24 mkm. Therefore, the products of the Orenburg fluff are especially gentle and soft. Orenburg goats have such a thin fuzz due to the harsh conditions, as well as eating habits on the mountain steppes of the Ural. Despite the thinness, the fluff is very durable – it is stronger than wool.

There are several kinds of Orenburg shawls.

  • The first is the grey (seldom white) thick down hair shawls. These shawls started the tradition of Orenburg down-hair knitting.
  • The second is the quite dense kerchiefs and pautinkas. They are used for every day wear and they give a similar warmth to shawls. Such pautinkas are knitted in the Orsk region.
  • The third kind of Orenburg shawls are very thin (compared with “spider web” pautinkas and tippets).

As a rule thin pautinkas have fancy patterns and are used as decoration on special occasions.

Each scarf  is an original work of art, which required a lot of creative work and patience of its masters.  A good knitter can knit two kerchiefs – pautinkas (“spider lines”) of medium size or three tippets a month. It will take a month or more to knit a largeshawl or a kerchief with a pattern or inscription. Because of the high cost of down hair and yarn, an original hand-made Orenburg shawl or kerchief is an expensive item.

Pavlovo shawls, stoles, silk scarves, shawls, scarves for men (Павловопосадские шарфы)

-items produced in Moscow Region, the city  Pavlovsky Posad,  at JSC “Pavlovo Posad Shawl Manufactory”.russian-traditional-pavlovoposadskiye-platki

Pictures on Pavlovo shawls developed from standard samples specific to tissues of Moscow region and eastern shawls (“Turkish pattern”).

In the 1870s there was a tendency to expand the range of scarves with naturalistic floral motifs. Preference was given to garden flowers, especially roses and dahlias.

At the end of XIX – early XX century, the final design was created: three-dimensional images of flowers, gathered in bouquets, garlands or scattered across the field of a shawl on a black  or a red background, sometimes with the addition of an ornament and stylized vegetal elements. Shawls were made of translucent or heavy wool fabric, later they began producing the silk ones.

Vologda lace (Вологодское кружево) 

- сommon  type of Russian lace produced in the Vologda region, made with a help of special wooden sticks. All the main images in the coupling Vologda lace are made of dense, continuous, equal in width, gently wriggling linen braid; they are clearly silhouetted against the patterned arrays decorated as asterisks and sockets.  Linen  is a typical material for the Vologda lace.

You can get Information about clothes and hats with military and Soviet themes  in the relevant article of the Russian souvenirs theme.

Fur products – mittens, hats

One of the original forms of folk decorative art is sewing and decorating clothes, shoes and hats with fur. For creating  artistic fur items they usually use fur of deer, elk, seals, walrus, polar fox, foxes, squirrels, beaver. More rarely they use synthetic furю

Stained glass, colored lanyards, badges, metal pendants made of copper, brass, iron are popular for  for decorations. There is also a term “fur mosaic.”

Footwear

Bast shoes=Lapti (Лапти)  Russian-lapti

- Low shoes, formerly in wide use in the countryside until the 1930s. They were woven from bark wood (basswood, elm, birch and others). Sandals were the main routine (and festive) summer (and sometimes winter) footwear.

Bast shoe laces were tied to the legs, twisted from the same bark of construction for themselves and sandals. The bast shoes would wear out very  quickly, so for each long journey it was necessary to take several bast shoes.

Felt boots=Valenki (Валенки)

- Warm felt boots made of matted wool (method of manufacturing identified the name of the shoes). They are often made solid, for wearing under other footwear (galoshes) they are made soft.

Earlier the colors of boots were black, gray or brown, now there are more options.

Russian dishes, utensils

Samovar (Самовар)

- Russian folk device for boiling water and tea making. You can try tea from a samovar at some of the places mentioned by me in this article.

Samovar for a Russian was a symbol of home, comfort, companionship. The presence of a samovar in the house was the evidence of material prosperity. During the XIX and XX centuries samovar became characteristic feature of Russian life, the central subject of tea drinking. In the XIX century it was already considered to be a part of the national cultural tradition.

XIX century was the “golden age” of Russian samovar manufacturing. Each factory was trying to come up with their original samovar. The items had extremely diverse shapes, sizes and capacities from a glass to twenty liters.

In Soviet times, they were producing samovars, running on coal and electric ones. They are still available in our days. Electric samovars are like the same kettles made in the shape of traditional samovar (so it is kind of fake samovar).

Faced glass (Гранёный стакан)

Faceted glass has a number of advantages over conventionalrussian-facets-table-glass glass of cylindrical shape. Due to its faces a glass is stronger than usual, can survive at falling to the floor. Therefore faceted glasses are produced so far and are used in schools, catering, passenger trains (usually with a cup holder), on ships.

Mass production of glass began only in 1756  after opening Gusev Crystal Factory. Since then, changing color, size, shape and number of faces (it ranged from 8 to 20, always staying even), faceted glass became  an integral symbol of Russian people’s life.

Cup holder (Podstakannik= Подстаканник)

- a convenient fixture that allows people to keep a glass with hot drink in the hands. Variety of shapes and decorative elements can easily explain the popularity of cupholders among foreigners.

The decoration on the kettle made of patches

Kettle covers made of patches are quite popular among foreign visitors, as well as bright toys, made from patches.

traditional-russian-rostov-finift

Items made of traditional Russian materials

Items made of birch bark

Soft, velvety surface of birch bark is very beautiful and nice to touch, moreover, it has healing properties. In birch bark were stored, such as milk, which could not turn sour two weeks, as well as fish, meat, mushrooms, that too long remained fresh. The natural properties of of birch bark allow  maintain the freshness of the bread for a longer time.  cereals and flour stored in birch bark box would never have insects, besides birch bark could  take the excess moisture of these products.

In Russia you can purchase the following articles made of birch bark: boxes, breadbaskets, mirrors, combs, hairpins, cases, flasks, napkin holders, coasters for hot food, sets for spices.

Semikarakorskaya ceramics

Semikarakorsk Russian folk art craft is located in Semikarakorsk city of Rostov region on the right bank of the Don River, near the estuary of Sal river.

The original artistic direction is characterized by swipe underglaze painting with the use of metal salts with a bouquet-floral ornament, with a focus on the larger central flower, narrative compositions in the style of Russian splint images using Cossack folk motifs, stylized Don landscapes.

Kazakovskaya filigree work

Filigree is one of the oldest forms of artistic metalworking. Feature of Kazakovsky products is the independent meaning of filigree, Kazakovsky products are entirely openwork.kazakovskaya-filigran-podstakannik

Kazakovsky products are primarily characterized  by white color of silvered copper wire, which may be associated with Russian winter. Kazakovsky plant produces a wide variety of art works: decorative vases and bowls, boxes with music, coasters, vases, candy, women’s jewelry, teaspoons, cups, medals, badges, medals and decals.

Filigree is a hand-made item. Each product is unique.

Glassworks, crystal glass (Goose-Crystal city)my-gus-chrystalniy-bell

Since building the plant in Gus Crystal city they started making products of simple and colored glass with flower painting and gilding. All the products made of crystal  were known for their diamond (brilliant) faces, decorated with engraving. The city was also well-known for it’s vases.

After studying the work of Czech factories that manufactured Bohemian glass, the Russian industrialist Maltsev, who was specializing in manufacturing glassware,  purchased samples of  Czech factories’ production, acquired recipes for products. Thus, the plant  mastered the technology of manufacturing Bohemian products as well.

Nowadays the plant still amazes by it’s assortment.  Bells with the images of goose are particularly popular among tourists as good fine souvenirs.

Finift

- production of works of art using a glassy powder, enamel, on a metal substrate, type of applied art. Glass coating is long-lived and does not fade over time, and products of enamel are remarkable for their special bright and clean colors.
russian-traditional-vologda-finift

Vologda (Usolye) enamel – traditional painting on white enamel. Initially, the main motive was floral composition inflicted on a copper base: masters were making on a white enamel flower ornaments, birds, animals, including mythological using a variety of colors. However, at the beginning of the XVIII century the art of multicolored enamel was lost, it began to oust monophonic enamel (white, blue and green).

traditional-russian-rostov-finift

Rostov enamel -There from the XVIII century in the city of Rostov (Yaroslavl region). The thumbnail images are performed on enamel by transparent fire-resistant paints, invented in 1632 by French jeweler Jean Tooten.

Kholmogory bone carvingrussian-traditional-kholomogorskaya-reznaya-rospis

-One of the types of Russian bone carving, art craft, now centered in the village Lomonosov of Kholmogory District of the Arkhangelsk region. Items made in this technique, are known from the 17th century. The basic techniques of thread developed in the heyday of the craft in the 18th century (combination of openwork ornament with the topical relief images, color engraving, the lining under openwork carving colored foil, coloring bones’ plates); the combs, snuff boxes, chests and furniture were very popular as well as glasses and other decorative crafts, lined with plates of bones.

russian-khokhloma-traditional-dishes-and-utensils

Traditional Russian painting techniques

Khokhloma

- an original Russian folk craft, formed in the province of Nizhny Novgorod. The main feature of Khokhloma craft is production of gilded wooden utensils without the use of a precious metal and an original special floral and herb painting.

Lacquer Miniatures (Palekh, Kholuy, Fedoskino, Mstera)

lacquer-miniatures-variety

Palekh miniature – is an original folk craft, formed and maintained in a settlement of Palekh, Ivanovo region. All Palekh lacquer miniature drawings  are based on the iconographic painting, its traditions and techniques.

From the very beginning Palekh artists widely used folk motifs and poetry of Pushkin, Lermontov and others. Range of Palekh miniatures products was very broad: brooches, jars, boxes, cigarette cases, snuff boxes, panels and so on.

Overall Palekh lacquer miniature has a special recognizable style. Conditional colors and architectural forms, subtle, elongated proportions of the figures, which stand out in gold on a black background, are typical distinguishing features of Palekh miniatures.

Kholuy miniature. The main difference is the use of painting Kholui bluish-green and brown-orange tones. Kholuy miniatures are not only more realistic compared to Palekh miniatures and Mstera, but also more decorative than those of Fedoskino.

School Fedoskino – lacquer miniature, executed with oil paints and covered with several layers of lacquer. Russian realistic painting had a significant impact on Fedoskino style. Favorite subjects of that time were drinking tea, scenes from of rural life, round dances and skating in troikas (oldtime Russian team of three horses). Exceptionally attractive caskets and panels, brooches and boxes of various shapes and sizes with miniature paintings and gold ornaments.

Mstiora miniature – kind of traditional Russian miniature painting by tempera paint on paper mache, formed in the village Mstera on the basis of the local icon painting by the beginning of the 1930s. After the beginning of the 20th century, preserving the principles of iconic letters Mstiora miniaturists turned to themes of peasant life, of Russian folk songs and fairy folklore.

Unlike other Russian lacquer miniatures based on the old Russian icon painting tradition (Palekh and Kholuy) landscape plays a special role in Mstiora miniature. It is written by small patterned strokes on the background of a radiant blue sky. Space is constructed by several picturesque parts and has depth. Usually a composition on the surface of the box is framed by thin elegant gilded ornament, floral painting often covers the side faces of caskets and boxes.

Attention: Be aware that cheap souvenirs are not hand made, they just have a colorful print. If you want to buy a good present, check the item several times so you get sure that it doesn’t look bad at another light.

If you want to buy a genuine lacquer miniature, check the name of the artist and the place of drawing on the irem you are going to get.

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Traditional Zhostovo trays

Their production started in the early XIX century. Zhostovo trays or Zhostovo painting on trays is a genre of Russian painting, craft, they are no longer used in everyday life. Now they are a separate independent decorative element of the room.

The most common motive of this painting is often multicolored bouquet on a dark background. This bouquet is necessarily alternated by large garden flowers and small field flowers. Sides of the tray are painted by gold ornaments and everything is covered with a special varnish that gives the tray a characteristic luster.

Gzhel

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Since the second half of the 20-s of the XIX century, many ceramic and porcelain products were painted only in blue paint. Gzhel has its own style – dark blue and blue patterns and colors and decorations on white background. The paintings are made with cobalt, which acquires typical Gzhel color during the process.

Traditional Gzhel drawings are folk life stories of the past – sleigh rides,  shrovetide, genre scenes, fairy tale characters, floral and geometric designs. Patterns are unique, because each dish or tray is painted by hand, in a single copy.

Modern masters were able to recreate a multi-color painting, as well as drawings of gold and platinum.

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Gorodets painting

- Russian folk art craft. Exists from middle of the XIX century in the town of Gorodets. Bright, concise Gorodets painting was on distaffs, furniture, shutters, doors. The usual drawing were genre scenes, figurines of horses, roosters, floral patterns, made by loose strokes with white and black graphic outlines.

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