Here are some photographs made in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Despite the Stalin's destruction of much of old Moscow, many old churches survived. The motif of five domes above a square central portion is part of the Russian church style. These domes are on the Church of St. George on Pskov Hill, built in 1657. While most Americans probably associate St. George with England, he is also the special saint of Moscow.
This Church has the five domes on the square core of the building, along with additional domes on a chapel and bell tower. It was built by the wealthy merchant Grigory Nikitnikov in the seventeenth Century in honor of the Trinity, and is consequently known as The Church Troitsy v Nikitnikakh. It is now surrounded by on three sides by modern, unattractive buildings.
This view of the Kremlin and Moscow skyline was photographed from my hotel room window. Visible just past the bridge is the crenelated wall which defines the Kremlin. Along and at the corners of the wall are watch towers; most of the buildings visible inside the Kremlin are churches.
St. Petersburg is a very different city than Moscow. The flavor of Moscow is defined by the mix of native Russian architecture along with twentieth century buildings. St. Petersburg was designed as a European imperial city by Peter the Great and was located at the mouth of the Neva River on the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea in order to strengthen Russia's hold on the region at a time of Swedish expansion. This photograph shows both aspects: the classical buildings of the University along one bank of one branch of the Neva River. One building shows signs of the major restoration campaign taking place in St. Petersburg.
This grand entrance is to a side building of the Winter Palace in central St. Petersburg. You can see why restoration is needed.
Apparently very few of the Czars liked living in the Winter Palace. Perhaps it was too grand for actual use. Instead most Czars built a summer palace outside of the city. This custom was also begun by Peter the Great, who surrounded his Summer Palace Peterhof with gardens. The Baltic Sea is just beyond the berm on which the three small trees are growing.
The lower garden at Peterhof contains many fountains.
Text and images copyright 2000 by Michael Briggs. The images are here for you to view and are not to be reproduced.
Revised 2001 January 31.