Category Archives: Russia

Midnight in the White Nights of Sint Petersburg

In the middle of summer they have the White Nights in Sint Petersburg. It never really gets dark. Here are a few photos taken from the water between 11 and 12 at that time.


Csar Peter lived in Amsterdam for a time and was so inpired by the city that he built Sint Petersburg on the same plan. You can now take a canal cruise around midnight to see the place in the (semi) dark.


See how warm it is in summer here?

On an island in the Neva river is the St Peter and Paul cathedral and fort.


The flag is on the fort in front of the cathedral. Terrible story, Csar Peter (yes Peter the terrible) had his own son tortured to death in the fort. I don’t think it gets a lot more terrible than that. He suspected him (wrongly) of treason.


The rostral columns with the old stock exchange building behind them. A revival of Greek architecture. The columns were initially light houses for navigation on the river, – which they front. Pity they don’t light the torches on top, it really looks good.


The Aurora, an old Russian cruiser. They started building her in 1897 and she still served in the Pacific during the second World War. And here she still lies, today as a monument, as old ladies sometimes do.

Do you know the word cruiser comes from the crusades? Next time you plan a cruise, spare a thought for the old knights of that time.


I haven’t a clue what this building is, looks like the Scottish flag there.


And finally the Palace Bridge. The crescendo of the midnight cruise is that the bridge opens. Here we are, hoping to heaven midnight would strike so we can get off the freezing water.

A bit funny really as I was there with a friend from Amsterdam. In the Netherlands of course many many bridges open, all the time, without any tourists attending the momentus occasion.

But this is Russia and its a big hoopla and it works in fact. There we are on the boat waiting for midnight to strike so that the bridge can open..

Sint Peter and Paul Cathedral – St Petersburg

St Petersburg – a view on the Sint Peter and Paul Cathedral, built on the Zayachy island in the Neva river between 1712 and 1733. At 123 metre, the tallest orthodox church in the world.

Nearly all the Russian emperors are buried here from Peter the Great who extended the Russian land with thousands of kilometers in his lifetime up to the east coast of Asia, to Nicholas II and his family (killed in the revolution) who were laid to rest here in July 1998.

Catherine the Great, ruler for 34 years is also buried here.

And finally the Empress Maria Feodorovna, mother of Csar Nicolas. She died in exile in her native Denmark in1928. The Danish and Russian governments agreed to reinter her in the Sint Peter and Paul Cathedral in 2006 in accordance with her wish to be buried with her husband – 78 years after her death.


As promised the post on the czar’s palace on the Baltic.

The palace is situated outside Saint Petersburg. After walking two blocks in St Petersburg your feet are black even on top, so I can understand anyone wanting to get out of the city. Whether it is those terrible cars they drive or the ships or perhaps the factory where they make those terrible cars I don’t know..

But if you have a little place outside of town life is good. Just a short boat ride and you reach your own little paradise on the Baltic, – let them eat cake.




Continue reading Peterhof