Sunday, 14 December 2008

Training in St. Petersburg

We had another opportunity to go to St. Petersburg last week. We left on the train Wednesday evening to do training with the new humanitarian missionary couple there and came back Friday evening. The Araves had invited us to stay with them in their apartment, and it was an easy walk from the train station.

We walked along Nevsky Prospect, which is the
main street in St. Petersburg.

It was dark when we arrived, but Sam remembered the way. The Araves are in the same apartment where we had visited the Eastleys when we were there last spring.

Patti & Tom Arave
are the missionary couple we trained.
They are from Blackfoot, Idaho.

After spending most of the day with training, we went walking while the Araves stayed at their apartment with those who came to get their Internet connected. It was a pleasant evening for walking, and the city was decorated for Christmas.

A mall on Nevsky Prospect.

One of the numerous canals in St. Petersburg.

Our Savior on the Spilt Blood Cathedral,
also known as the Cathedral of the Resurrection.

This cathedral is seen at the end of the canal.

We enjoyed our walk along the canal.

Another pretty night scene.

There was a little snow on some of the walks,
but the air was still and not too cold.

After our walk, we invited the Araves to
eat with us and picked this small cafe.

We spotted this place that looked just like the place in Tver where we had eaten the best blini we have had, so I was looking forward to another delicious blini. Here we ordered blini with chicken and they were good, but not like the ones in Tver where we had ham and cheese blini topped with tomato, cheese, and a cheese sauce. For dessert, the ladies ordered a strawberry blini, and the guys ordered ice cream.

After we ate, the Araves walked with us along Nevsky Prospect. A main attraction is the Kazan Cathedral at the center of this long street.

Kazan Cathedral

The Kazan Cathedral has a curved colonnade of 96 huge columns and is modeled after St. Peter's in Rome, although it is an Orthodox church. The construction began in 1801 and continued for ten years.

A closer look at the columns of the Kazan Cathedral.

Even the big Christmas tree looks small
by comparison to Kazan Cathedral columns.

Standing in front of the statue of Mikhail Kutuzov
in front of the Kazan Cathedral are
Patti & Tom Arave and Narene.

Mikhail Kutuzov was the Russian Field Marshal who is the army leader and hero of the 1812 War against Napoleon and is immortalized in Tolstoy's "War and Peace." He is buried in Kazan Cathedral, and a statue of him is erected in front of the cathedral.

A statue among the columns on the colonnade
of the Kazan Cathedral.

Friday morning, the Araves were still trying to get their Internet connected, so Sam and I toured two important churches in St. Petersburg - The Savior on the Spilt Blood and St. Isaac's Cathedral. In May, with Jeff & Rochelle and Doug & Shannon, we had toured the most famous tourist attractions in St. Petersburg, the Hermitage Museum and Peterhof. I wrote about that trip on my blog in June. (See the blogs posted June 15 and June 22.)

The Savior on the Spilt Blood
showing some of the
mosaics on the exterior
covering 1050 square meters.

Our Savior on the Spilt Blood or Cathedral of the Resurrection was built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was mortally wounded. In order to build the bell tower over the exact spot where the emperor was attacked, the body of the church was extended beyond the line of the embankment and juts into the canal.

Interior of Our Savior on the Spilt Blood Cathedral
where mosaics cover 6,000 square meters.

Our Savior on the Spilt Blood
is decorated throughout with mosaic representations
of Old and New Testament subjects.

St. Isaac's Cathedral
Built between 1818 and 1858

St. Isaac's Cathedral
It's four porticoes have 72 huge granite columns
ranging in weight from 64 to 114 metric tonnes.

Narene standing by one of the pillars
in front of St. Isaac's Cathedral.

St. Isaac's Cathedral showing part of the dome.

The front entrance of St. Isaac's Cathedral.

One of the huge doors at St. Isaac's Cathedral.

Entering St. Isaac's Cathedral

Inside St. Isaac's Cathedral looking toward the
open doorway where the priest can enter
with the iconostasis on both sides.

St. Isaac's Cathedral is decorated with many
mosaics and painted decorations as well
as gems and marble.

See the white dove at the very top of the dome.

Interior of St. Isaac's Cathedral

One of the chandeliers in St. Isaac's Cathedral

We passed by the Admiralty on our way
to St. Isaac's Cathedral.

The Admiralty was founded in 1704 as a fortress and shipyard, but the building standing today was built between 1806 and 1823. It was Russia's Naval Headquarters until 1917 and now is a naval college.

The Hermitage Museum
We enjoyed our tour of the Hermitage in May; and
although it would take weeks to see it all, we opted
to see other sites on this visit to St. Petersburg.

We enjoyed seeing the variety of architectural styles.

This is a unique building,
but I don't know anything about it.

St. Petersburg is an interesting place to visit,
and we could walk everywhere we went.

The train was comfortable, and we got back
to Moscow about 10:00 p.m.

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