Day 4 – met Tatyana, st Nicholas’ church, city tour, yusopov palace, pie lunch, Finland station, Leningrad memorial
Day 4 : We began the day in St Petersburg by meeting our guide Tatyana. She described the city St.Petersburg by explaining its history; from 1712 to 1918 it was the capital of Russia, however was changed to Moscow when the Bolsheviks came in power. The name of the city was established by Peter the Great named after the apostle St Peter. During World War 1 in 1914 the name was changed to Petrograd, then to Leningrad after the election, and eventually changing back to its original name.
Our first trip was to the Russian Orthodox Church named St Nicholas. The building was humongous and in bright blue colour. When we entered people who were Catholics were worshiping and praying. Our next stop was to Yusopov Palace which was owned by the richest dynasty, within this amazing tour we learnt about the owners of the palace and their lifestyle, and about the very last few hours which Rasputin, the charismatic, miracle healer had. Once we left the palace we went to have our first lunch in St.Petersburg cafe, their Pie’s were different to that of pies in London as their pastry was much sweeter and wasn’t as crumbly, it was also different to find a pie stuffed with rice and chicken, nevertheless, it was very tasty and a new experience.
We then went to Finland station, where Tatyana said that when Lenin was returning back to Russia the guards were waiting for him at the Finland station however, Lenin had got off two stops before and had walked it to the private meeting place.
The city tour on the coach was interesting as well as tiring as half of us were asleep. We past the National Library which was constructed in the 19th century and is the second largest library in the world. We also saw St Isaac’s cathedral which was closed for a short time during the soviet period, but later re-opened. Many people fled to church during the war and after due to food shortages and the collapse of the economy.
Last but not least, we visited the Leningrad memorial where it showed us a clip how people had managed the second world war in Leningrad. It was really touching and emotional as we witnessed scenes of death where 1,00,00 people had died during starvation and 250,00 bombs had been dropped in Leningrad.
Overall, the day was very tedious as everyone was sleep deprived due to the overnight trains, however we all persevered to get though the day and learnt many new information regarding the city of St.Petersburg.