Monday, February 15, 2010

Saint Peterburg Part 1 (Early Winter in December)

Besides Chinese characters, I find myself hopelessly and inexplicably drawn to Cyrillic alphabet. I love to see them, write them, read them (with my heavy Singaporean accent) and want to learn more and more in years to come.

Strolling in the city that encapsulated the grandiose vision of Peter The Great.

I found an angel in the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, one of the iconic attractions in Saint Petersburg, and one of my favourites.

Modelled after the famous St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood was built on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated, on 1 March 1881, by socialist radicals.

Restored impeccably as a museum, the richly ornamented exterior of colourful enamelled domes, gilded mosaic panels, ceramic tiles, and stained-glass windows with intricately carved arches is matched by the gleaming marble and glittering mosaics of the interior.

Lilies are my favourite flowers, as they only wilt away in a dignified manner, and they are on the walls of the Church.

Many years ago, I unknowingly completed a zig-zag puzzle of a Russian church, only after I came here, I realised it was the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood. It has really been a long way to get here. Better late than never, the Russian saying goes.

Proudly presents The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood!! I could not take my eyes off it.

One of the largest museums in the world - Hermitage. My short stay did not allow me to visit in December, that left me a reason to visit again, and again!

Decorated railings along the River Neva, how will I ever get enough of it? Neo-classical, Art-Noveau or you name it, they have all found their place in Saint Petersburg.

Watched Opera:Turandot, singing in Italian and helped (or not much helped ) with Russian subtitles.

Like an excited a 300-plus-years-old city, I am compelled to think that I need to live that long to see all the exhibitions and works in galleries and museums, stroll in all the parks and appreciate every single piece of cultural achievement that mankind has indelibly made. I feel breathless!

A satisfied audience after seeing Puccini's opera, patiently waiting for the mile-long queue to disappear so that she could claim her winter coat, cap and gloves from the counter.


  1. Hi, Barbara, Happy New Year to you. I'm just back to HK from Singapore the warm country, to see your photos of that cold Russian city.
    Thank you for all the breathtaking pictures of St Petersburg. Wish I could see them personally.
    Just curious: Have you ever heard any Russians still calling the city "Leningrad" (named after Lenin), as they still say "Kaliningrad" (named after Kalinin) instead of Konigsburg?

  2. Hi!! Nice to hear from you Allen.
    Sorry, this year I couldnt send you diary..:)
    Nobody calls SPB Leningrad anymore. But Kaliningrad is different, it is the city's new Russian name after it was no longer part of Eastern Prussia.

    SPB is a great city, too bad, it has no direct flights to Asia. You have to come to Moscow and then change flight. But everything is accessible here. If you dare, you could even come to Russia on your own, and get everything booked online, for instance, air-tickets and hotels.

  3. Thank you for your explanation.
    How I wish I could travel as freely as you do.