On St. Petersburg: The Royals

Whereas the first post focused on a few of St. Petersburg non-Royal sights  (here’s the first), today is about royalty, so “opulence” is the word of the day.

An appropriate red sky greeted our second day
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Catherine’s Palace (quite a small, humble abode)
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There’s a tad of gold in most rooms, but they prohibited photos in the awesome Amber Room (here’s a video of Catherine’s Palace for those wanting more)
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The fountains at Peterhof are an architectural marvel (See more of Peterhof’s 234 acres in this video)

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Hermitage: a palace turned into the world’s fourth largest art museum
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The Hermitage’s grand entrance (well, part of it)
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We would love to attend a dance event in the Hermitage’s ballroom
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Our last day ended by visiting Rasputin
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Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of the royal opulence in St. Petersburg. As the Celebrity Constellation sails away for Helsinki and a chance of us to gain an extra hour of sleep, enjoy these short videos recapturing some of the beauty this city has to offer. (Direct link to Helsinki post)

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34 thoughts on “On St. Petersburg: The Royals

  1. I’ll have to dig through my book collection, see if I have any photos of those buildings right after World War 2. I don’t think the north side of the city was hit that hard, it was mostly Finns and light German forces without too much heavy artillery.
    And you have to give the Russian Royals one thing – when they build a “Grand Entrance”, they build a GRAND “Grand Entrance”! 😀
    So does “dancing in the ballroom” go on your bucket list? 😉

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    • John E,
      In most of the buildings we visited, the guide said something about the buildings during WW II. But, with so much information, I can’t remember! Sorry about that.

      In terms of dancing in that ballroom being on my bucket list, well, two stumbling blocks exist: Doubt I’ll ever make it back to St. Petersburg, and the odds are better to win the lottery than getting invited to a dance event in that room.

      Thanks for commenting.

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    • Paradise,
      Given only a handful of pictures, opulence may not be that evident. But when you’re there, and room after room after room, then it fits. Your comment reminds me of the first time we danced in a ballroom. How funny! Thanks for commenting.

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    • Cyclist,
      St. Petersburg is quite the place. Because we were on a tour, we didn’t get to experience being an on-your-own tourist, which I would presume would be a totally difference experience. Thanks for commenting.

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  2. The Hermitage is spectacular indeed, but it’s easy to see how in 1917 it brought up the same issues as the Palace of Versailles did in France in 1789. The wonder is that the same thing didn’t happen in England where the Royals lived in similar lavishness, but I guess they were just smarter than Catherine and Louis at finding ways to “spread the wealth.”

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    • Tim,
      Good point! Although 128 years apart, the conditions of the two situations would be an interesting compare and contrast study. Thanks for stimulating the thought. Meanwhile, you would love the art in the Hermitage!

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  3. What beautiful architecture. It’s so sad what happened to their royal family. Such a tragedy. But so good that the architecture has been preserved and the public can now see it for themselves xx

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    • Spiced,
      The architecture there was distinct, but actually not my favorite architecture of the trip!

      The last of the Romanov is a sad, yet interesting tale. Their remains were discovered and verified in the early 1990s, then were buried in St. Petersburg. Go back to the first post, see the pic of the of the old city, and they are buried in the church with the long, thin steeple.

      Meanwhile, the palaces were damaged in WW II, so there has been restoration.Thanks for commenting.

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    • Guapo,
      Good question. The gold on the walls were a bit repetitive, then again, each room had unique qualities with the occasional room with a totally different motif. Bottom line, I was impressed and didn’t get bored with them.

      FYI: Our guide also talked in every room via wireless, so much extra info! Great question, so thanks for asking!

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  4. So lovely! I can’t wait until WW gets home to show him your pictures. It will make him “homesick.” He did a term of college in Russia many, many years ago. In fact, when I met him he spoke fluent Russian (his major in college). He had me at “zdravstvuj.” WW has always said his favorite city was St. Petersburg and so many of your pictures brought back memories of his adventures there. We were speaking about your cruise last night and are seriously considering doing the same via the same ship. Before we book it, I’ll send you a message to get the pros and cons.

    I’m sure you and Mrs. A had the time of your lives, BUT did you “cut a rug” on the dance floor of the ship and show off some of your moves while you were cruising?

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    • E-Tom,
      First of all, we danced a lot …. and heard “You’re the dancers” at various time.

      Wow … interesting that WW studied Russian and had time there to boot …. thus he would be great to have along on the trip! Are you going to take him? 😉

      This cruise was wonderful. At least this year, Celebrity did it out of Amsterdam & and maybe out of Harwich (England). Royal Caribbean is out of Copenhagen, thus 2 days shorter. But not sure what either is doing in 2013. Plus I recall you enjoy Celebrity. Meanwhile, I’ll be happy to share any info with you that you may find helpful.

      BTW – Did you see the first St.P post? Here ya go …. https://afrankangle.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/on-st-petersburg-the-city/ …. thanks for commenting.

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  5. Another interesting post. Looks like a great place to visit. With this sort of in-your-face opulence you can see the motivation for the revolution, but of course it changed nothing except put different people in the big houses. It’s always the way I’m afraid.

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    • Fasab,
      Absolutely our thought too. Interestingly, the revolutionists didn’t trash the palaces because they wanted the people to see how the royals were living.

      Meanwhile, the royals took care of other families giving them money-making rights. Interestingly, some say Putin does the same thing. Thanks for commenting.

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    • Debra,
      The ballroom was gorgeous and spacious, of course the dance floor would be smaller with tables around. Then again, sit in the other rooms – why waste the space! 🙂 I’m going to going something out about the royal family when I reply to you on the other post. Thanks for commenting.

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  6. I believe in am in love with Spilled Blood Cathedral (first vid). The palaces are amazing, I never tired of wandering the opulence of past times. Having wandered through most of the great ones across Europe, Russia for me is what remains. These were wonderful Frank, thank you for sharing your trip.

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  7. I finally got here and all I can say is WOW. Catherine’s palace is amazing. I’ve been to Versailes in France, and I don’t know how the two places compare, but wow. You make me want to visit there. I need a bucket list.

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    • Christine,
      As I said in the post, opulence is the key word. I haven’t seen the Palace in Versailes, but I can’t imagine anyplace more grand than what we saw in Russia. Maybe as grand, but not more. If you like travel, I encourage you to consider a Baltic Sea cruise. Thanks for visiting.

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