Curious Facts & Notes About Venice of the North

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This is a pretty random collection of facts, but we liked them once and decided to keep for the travellers. Now it’s time to share them. The collection will be refilled from time to time, you may even offer your own amazing fact about our beloved St Petersburg!

  1. Peter the Great overlooks his city, literally with love: his pupils are heart shaped. The thing is that the head for the monument was created by Falcone’s apprentice Mari Anne Kollo. The legend says that this was an implied declaration of her love to her mentor. 

2. Trinity Bridge was designed and brought to life thanks to outstanding French engineer Gustav Eiffel, who worked under Eiffel Tower in Paris and contribute to the Statue of Liberty in New York. It is the third bridge over Neva river and one of the most beautiful bridges in St. Petersburg. Until the construction of the Alexander Nevsky Bridge in 1965, it remained the longest in the city (582 m). 

From here you can see 7 other bridges. Russian pilot Vassiliy Chkalov performed his famous daring flight under Trinity Bridge. People say that for this deed he received a strict penalty from his commandant.

The bridge was named Trinity because it is nearby Trinity Square and the Trinity Cathedral that was destroyed in 1932. Nowadays only the name of the bridge itself and a little chapel remind us about this church. 

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4. The Winter Palace, or Hermitage, has been repainted in different colors eight times. It wasn’t just an appearance change, it also represented the advent of a new era in the history of our country. It went from red-brown, terracotta and ochre, through the military grey to the present fresh mint tinge.

5. The height of the Admiralty Spire is 72 meters. The boat shaped wind vane on the top weighs 65 kg and is covered with 2 kg of gold. The building itself is 407 meters long! 

6. The sculptures of Horse Tamers on Anichkov bridge, created by Pyotr Klodt,  has four twin brothers: it was copied for the royal palaces in Naples and Berlin, for stables in Kuzminki and for Belvedere Palace in Peterhof.  

Horse Tamers in Naples waere gifted by Nicolas the I.

7. St. Petersburg has one of the deepest subway in the world. The average depth of its stations is 70-80 meters!

The deepest station of St Peterbsurg subway is Admiralteyskaya. It goes as deep as 85 meters.

8. The Hermitage collection contains about 3 million articles, exhibited in the 350 halls within its five buildings. If you stood by each exhibit for one minute, you would have to spend 8 years of life your life in the museum to see all of the exhibits!

9. St Petersburg is the capital of tramsThe length of city tram rails is more than 600 km. This is just a little bit less than a distance between Moscow and St Petersburg! This fact was listed in the Guinness World Records.

10. During the years of the Great Patriotic War St. Isaac’s Cathedral was never targeted by artillery. Even though, once a shell hit the western corner of the cathedral. The military assessment is that the Germans used the highest dome of the city as a landmark for shooting at other targets.

In the basement of the cathedral, city authorities had hidden valuable items from museums, which were not taken outside the city when the siege began. At the end of the siege, both the building and the valuables were saved.

11. On 45, Kolomenskaya Street  you may see an iron head of a horse sticking out from the wall. This is all that is left of the Yamskaya area, the main cluster of cab drivers yards of pre-revolutionary Petersburg.

12. Surprisingly, the name of city’s main avenue (Nevsky) is related to Neva river only indirectly. Nevsky Prospect was actually named after Prince Alexander Nevsky, the saint patron of St Petersburg. This prince was nicknamed Nevsky after his victory over the Swedes near Neva river. Later he was canonized.

Peter the Great ordered holy relics of the Prince to be transferred from the town of Vladimir to the Alexander Nevsky church (now Alexander Nevsky Lavra). That is why people started calling the avenue leading to Alexander Nevsky Lavra, Nevsky Prospect.

Alexander-Nevskaya Lavra gave the name to St Petersburg’s main avenue  

 

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