The first of a set of four batches of pictures from a visit to St Petersburg in July for academic conference (EUROMAR 2008). This first group is a quick tour of the historic heart of the city.

SPB Neva

View across the River Neva [59 57 8 N, 30 19 45 E] towards Troitsky bridge. The bridges are opened (here charmingly called “divorced”) for a few hours in the middle of the night to allow shipping to pass. The domes visible on the left are those of the Church of the Spilled Blood. The dome on the right is of St. Isaac’s cathedral.

SPB Fountain

View of the fountain [59 56 42 N, 30 18 34 E] in the Neva towards the Peter and Paul fortress.

SPB fountain2

SPB Pillars

The rather odd “rostral columns” on Birzhevaya Ploshad (place) at the end of Vasilievsky island.

SPB WinterPalace

View towards the Winter Palace.

SPB AlexandreColonne

The Alexander column (named after Emperor Alexander I and marking a victory over Napoleon) in the middle of Palace Square. The storming of the Winter Palace (extreme left), where the Provisional Goverment was based, from Palace Square on 25 October 1917 was one of the key moments of the Russian Revolution (although this was not quite the populist uprising depicted in Soviet propaganda).

SPB AdmiraltyArch SPB AdmiraltyArch2

Arch of the General Staff building leading off Palace Square.

SPB Canal

Although not quite the “Venice of the North”, the city is built on several islands and is criss-crossed by a number of canals.

SPB Admiralty SPB AdmiraltySpire

The Admiralty building with its distinctive spire.

SPB FountainMosc SPB Lenin

Fountain and statue of Lenin in Moskovskaya Ploschad [59 51 8 N, 30 19 23 E]. It was a relief to find some good old-fashioned Soviet Realism after all the magnificent architecture of the city centre…

St Petersburg I