Friday, April 28, 2006

OPTICAL TELEGRAPH

OPTICAL TELEGRAPH


The roof of the Winter Palace sports a hexagonal turret, clearly not in Rastrelli's style. It was built in about 1830 to house the "optical telegraph" by means of which, in the period 1833-1854, the occupants of the Winter Palace kept in permanent contact with Tsarskoe Selo (the "Czar's Village"), with Gatchina, and even with the cities of Vilnus and Warsaw. Fixed to the wall of the turret facing the tower of the city Duma on the Nevsky Prospekt (the second transmitter/receiver station of the optical telegraph) there was a T-shaped metal structure turning on a pin. Communications were effectuated by means of a signal alphabet: the various positions of the revolving "T" each corresponded to a letter of the alphabet. At dusk, the ends of the metal "T" were lighted. The signals were retransmitted by other towers, at heights of up to 17 meters; there were 149 transmitter/receiver stations of this type between Saint Petersburg and Warsaw.

Virtual tourism. St.Petersburg, Russia. OPTICAL TELEGRAPH

Thursday, April 27, 2006

RUSSIAN NATIONAL LIBRARY

RUSSIAN NATIONAL LIBRARY


In 1796-1801 the architect E. Sokolov built the first library building at the corner with Sadovaya Street. In 1828-1834, Rossi added a new building, the main facade of which faces Ostrovsky Square. The walls of the new addition were decorated with bas-reliefs and sculptures of scientists, orators, philosophers, and writers of antiquity, dominated by the figure of Minerva. In the late 19th century, Rossi's edifice was augmented by addition of a building, designed by E. Vorotilov, at the corner of the street named for Ivan Krylov, the narrator of fables who for many years worked in the library. Saint Petersburg's library is one of the world's largest (with 25 million volumes) and the second-largest in Russia. The Russian holding is the world's most complete collection of editions of books printed in Russia.

Virtual tourism. St.Petersburg, Russia. RUSSIAN NATIONAL LIBRARY

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

THE WINTER PALACE ENTRANCEWAY

THE WINTER PALACE ENTRANCEWAY


The Winter Palace is more than ever a destination for visitors: it is not a rare to see, along the sides of Palace Square, a queue of tourists awaiting the chance to pass through the elegant gates of the three arches of the main entrance. Once past these true works of art surmounted by the Imperial emblem, the visitor finds himself in the inner courtyard of the Palace, and from here, through the beautiful garden with its trees and benches under the inner facades of the Palace, as sumptuous as the exterior facades, the visitor enters the Hermitage Museum proper.

Virtual tourism. St.Petersburg, Russia. THE WINTER PALACE ENTRANCEWAY

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

ARCHITECT ROSSI STREET

ARCHITECT ROSSI STREET


Teatralnaya Street, behind the theater, is unique in its genre: one of the city's most "theatrical," in the Soviet period it was given the name of its designer Carlo Rossi (Ulitsa Zodchevo Rossi). It was opened in 1828-1834; it is lined by two identical buildings painted yellow and decorated with white columns like the theater. The street is as wide as the buildings are high: 22 meters, making the transversal section a perfect square. The length of the buildings is ten times their height: 220 meters. The street leads into the beautiful Lomonosov Square, designed by Rossi, on the Fontanka.

Virtual tourism. St.Petersburg, Russia. ARCHITECT ROSSI STREET

Monday, April 24, 2006

THE CHURCH OF THE SAVIOR ON THE BLOOD

THE CHURCH OF THE SAVIOR ON THE BLOOD


This church was built after the murder of emperor Alexander II in the place were the seventh attempt at his life, this time fatal took place - on the Catherine canal embankment not far from the Mihailovsky Palace.
The architecture of this church belongs to the later evolution of the Russian style. The final project belonged to A. Parland. The process of building lasted 20 years and the church was consecrated on 19 august 1907.

Virtual tourism. St.Petersburg, Russia. THE CHURCH OF THE SAVIOR ON THE BLOOD

Friday, April 21, 2006

THE SMALL HERMITAGE

THE SMALL HERMITAGE


Construction of the Small Hermitage was ordered by Catherine II (Catherine the Great), who intended to isolate herself from the Winter Palace. The two-story building in neoclassical style was built by Yuri Velten and J. Vallin de la Mothe in 1764-67; it is composed of two main buildings with facades on the Palace Square and on the Neva, united by a hanging garden. Here, the empress began her private art collection, first purchasing 225 paintings from a Berlin antique dealer and later adding other art. In practice, this private museum became the first nucleus of the enormous museum we see today.

Virtual tourism. St.Petersburg, Russia. THE SMALL HERMITAGE

Thursday, April 20, 2006

BANK BRIDGE




Since 1826, this lovely footbridge has united the two banks of the canal near a banking institution. This suspended bridge, one of the city's most beautiful, is supported by cables secured in the mouths of artistic griffins with gilded wings.

Virtual tourism. St.Petersburg, Russia. BANK BRIDGE

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

THE ALEXANDER COLUMN




September 1829 saw approval of the designs presented by the architect A. Montferrand for erection of a grandiose triumphal column: in theory, it would have been the monument to Alexander I (during whose reign Russia fought the Napoleonic Wars against France) but in fact it became a monument to Russian military might celebrating Russia's victory. Three years were required to hew the block of granite for the column from the cliffs in a cove on the Gulf of Finland.

Virtual tourism. St.Petersburg, Russia. THE ALEXANDER COLUMN

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

PETER KLODT




The same statues are in the Naples and Berlin, because emperor Nicolas I had presented them, accordingly, to King Ferdinand II and Frederick William IV, King of Prussia.

Virtual tourism. St.Petersburg, Russia. PETER KLODT