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Enchanting St. Petersburg - the ' Venice of the North '

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By Commander Giridhara P. Mallya (Retd.) [ Published Date: September 11, 2012 ]

St Petersburg in Russia is a historic  city with over 300 years history. The city was founded by one of the greatest emperors in Russian history, Peter the great on the marshy lands on the Russian Baltic coast , as a bulwark against the marauding Swedish Navy, 300 years. St. Petersburg, the federal city of Russia is located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. To get the best of Architecture and design for this city, Peter himself went to Western Europe in disguise  and later invited Italian, French architects and painters to help him out. To give the new city a look of Venice, he had his engineers dig several interconnecting  canals, thereby earning the city the nickname of “Venice of the East”.

Breathtaking Monuments

Catherine's Palace, Pushkin

Fontanka Canal 

Fountains in Tzar's Summer Palace in Peterhoff

Hermitage Museum

Inside Catherine's Palace

Inside Hermitage Museum

Inside St. Isac's Cathedral

Magnificent Dome of St. Isac's cathedral

Peter and Paul Fortress

St. Isac's Cathedral

Summer Palace ,Peterhoff

The Church of the Spilled Blood

Typical Canal bridge

St. Petersburg is the second largest city after Moscow with almost 6 million inhabitants, and it is a major European Cultural Center, and also an important Russian Port on the Baltic Sea. It is also a major trade gateway, financial and industrial center of Russia. St. Petersburg described as the most Western City of Russia, is also home to The Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks and other corporate businesses are located here. St. Petersburg houses many museums,( almost over 200), more than 50 theatres, monuments, and other unique and amazing sight-seeing places.

The city is full of palaces created by the Tsar dynasty and also a Hermitage museum which stocks some of the most exclusive paintings and artifacts worth Billions of dollars. I was privileged to visit this city several times since 1994 the latest in August during a cruise of the Baltic seas. As the accompanying photos show, it is a magnificent historic city and worth a visit in a lifetime. St. Petersburg has significant historical and cultural heritage and thus a highly tourist destination.Though the city is named St. Petersburg, it is named after the Saint Patron of the city, Saint Peter and not after Peter the Great, the emperor of Russia and founder of the city!

Hermitage Museum

About The Author

Commander(retd.) Giridhara P Mallya,  is a native of Kinnigoli and alumni of St. Mary’s Higher Primary School, Kinnigoli, Pompeii Junior College Talipady, National Institute of Engineering Mysore and Pune University. He has a Bachelors in Engineering degree from Mysore University and a Masters in Engineering from Pune University. After completing his PUC from Pompeii Jr. College and graduation in mechanical engineering from Mysore University, he joined the Indian Navy in 1985 as a Marine Engineering Officer and served in various capacities prior to taking up  premature retirement in the rank of Commander in 2007. Since then he is working as a General Manager in Samsung Heavy Industries, Geoje Shipyard in South Korea.

He is married for over 23 years and stays with his wife Geeta in S. Korea with his lone son a Computer Science M.S. student in University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (UIUC) near Chicago. He regularly visits Kinnigoli during the vacations and has published his travelogues in His elder brother Manjunath is Manager of Syndicate Bank, Kinnigoli. He is passionate about travelling (with over 32 countries visited), writing, Quiz, GK etc. He can be contacted at and in Facebook as “giridhara mallya”

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Oneal D'Cunha, UAE:
Nice write up and thank you for sharing
J M Bhandary, USA :
Mr. Mallya,
Beautiful pictures and nice article. There are lots of wonderful monuments and sights and you have captured them all very well. The place used to be named "Leningrad" for over 70 years of modern Russian history; are those symbols all gone?
vasanth pai, India :
Great narration and breathtaking photographs. Loved reading this
Thomas Sequeira Abudhabi , UAE:
Me and my Doughter took aeroflot flight to N.Y,Via
Moscow,the flight originated from Kabul -Dubai and
MOSCOW Our flight delayed we Landed 3 hours Late with the Result we miss onward journey we had another 24 hours we made good use of this and visited ST,PETERSBURG,including the Cathedral A free trip to this Lovely city Thanks AEROFLOT,
Next day our flight full of U.S.Citizens most of them came to visit ST PETERSBURG, Mr MALLYA Good
Exposure and colorful photographs ,
Harsh Bhargava, India :
Thanks for sharing Giridhara. Nice pictures and cool narrative. Enjoyed browsing it.
Keep up your writing.
Alfie D'Souza, Kudla, India :
I had a great opportunity to visit Kiev, Ukrainne, and St Petersburg, Russia when one of my friend got married to a Ukrainian girl, and the posh and elegant wedding bash was held on a mini cruise ship. St Petersburg is great, you need quite a few days to explore the complete beauty and grandeur of St Petersburg. Good pics, Mallya!
HG Harsha, India :
St Petersburg is a dream visit for any traveller. Just commuting in a bus there keeps you spellbound with the scenic beauty around.
A person who has been fortunate to have been there, always yearns to go back to experience the pleasure once again.

Good article with excellent photos. May you have the passion to write a book on all the places you have visited at the end of the day. It would be an ideal case of mixing business with pleasure. All the best.
Sushanta Kumar, Korea:
Wonderful. Keep it up Mallya Sb. GOD bless you. Good luck.
Prashanth Pai H, India :
Awesome Girdhar Mam, When i was reading through the aricle i came to know that you have visited over 32 countries!!!! Fantastic..I can just imagine living life like you!!..All the best..We will definately meet up when you visit India next time..
Vasu Iyer, India :
Very well written Mallaya ! I relived my trip to ST. Petersburg through your article .
Vidya Nayak Shenoy, India :
Wonderfully written Giridhar.. I felt as though even I was travelling with u ppl. Travel more n more .. visit more places n write about it and post pics too.. All the good wishes..
Total Comments: 11   Showing: 1-11

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