St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg

is a city of federal significance in the Russian Federation, the second largest city in the country, located in the north-west of the country, on the shores of the Gulf of Finland. St. Petersburg was founded in 1703 by Peter I and from 1712 to 1918 was the capital of the Russian Empire.

Today the city’s population is about 4.5 million people, it is an important economic, political, transport and cultural center of the country. St. Petersburg is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, attracting many tourists every year.

The city center and palace and park ensembles are declared UNESCO World Heritage sites. In the city there are more than 200 museums and about 70 theaters.

St. Petersburg

The city is certainly a cultural pearl of mankind. It is no coincidence that a large number of stories, legends and myths revolve around him, his history, some of which we will consider.

The aboriginals of the Petersburg lands were the Finns.

This myth is often used by Finnish historians, which is not surprising. Ostensibly native inhabitants of the Prinevsky lands are not Russians at all, but Finns-Ingermanlanders. In the press of this Scandinavian republic, and we often have information that some toponyms in St. Petersburg and its environs were renamed from the original Finnish forms. However, researchers note the mismatch of Finnish names of places with supposedly renamed Russians. On the terrain along the bed of the Neva, long before the founding of the city, there were Russian villages, while the number of Finnish settlements was insignificant. It is believed that the Finns appeared here in massive quantities only after the Peace of Stolbov in 1617, when this territory became part of Sweden. Investigating the Swedish population census, historian S. Semenov found that in 1623 Russians in Ingria were almost 90%, but after 70 years their share decreased to 26%. Obviously, the local population gradually migrated to Russia, not wanting to live under Swedish rule. Previously, this date the population was mixed, in addition to Russians lived here Karelians and Izhores, while the proportion of Finns was small.

St. Petersburg was built on swamps in uninhabited terrain.

Largely thanks to Pushkin, who wrote about the emergence of the city “from the darkness of the swamps, from the marshland of bluffs,” this myth arose. In fact, in this area since ancient times there was a fairly large city of Nien, as well as at least thirty villages. Where Liteiny Prospect now begins, there used to be the village of Frolovschina, at the sources of the Fontanka – the settlement of Kandua, Spassky was located in the place of Smolny and so on. There were villages on the Krestovsky Island, on the Karpovka River, and there were as many as 12 settlements on the shores of Okhta. It is therefore not surprising that all this infrastructure was actively involved in the construction of the city. It is not surprising that the barracks of the Semyonovsky Regiment were far from the center of the constructed city, because they were actually attached to an existing village that served soldiers and officers, thus providing food and shelter.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is actually built on bones.

There is an opinion that during the construction of the city, the labor of serfs was widely used, which no one particularly protected, so in the difficult climate among the builders there were many victims. However, the source of this information is foreigners who did not particularly understand the real situation, and built their conclusions on the basis of dislike of the reforming tsar. But then there must have been traces of mass graves! The remains of the deceased peasants could not disappear without a trace, which according to modest estimates killed from 30 thousand, and by the most courageous and up to 300 thousand. And in the fifties of the 20th century archaeologist A. Grach conducted systematic excavations to discover mass graves. Imagine his surprise when, instead of mass graves, he found ordinary cesspools, in which food wastes from cattle were digested, which the builders fed.Having studied the documents, the historians came to the conclusion that St. Petersburg was built at all on serfs, and civilian workers, while there was a humane shift method, according to which the work was carried out 3-5 months a year. To winter the artels did go home at all. The death of several hundred people who built Oranienbaum can be considered the most mass death of builders, but this was not caused by atrocities of the authorities, but by the outbreak of the epidemic. In addition, the construction was conducted under the direction of Menshikov, in a private way, so that the state did not control the entire process. Naturally, the labor of serfs was used, largely thanks to the landowners, who cost their homes with the help of their subjects, and the state used the services of convicts, but we should not exaggerate the scale of this phenomenon.

During the war on the Road of life, huge losses were incurred.

Many Western authors, and the domestic ones, quote the following statistics: only one truck out of three successfully passed through the Road of Life. However, the figures vary, but this myth unites them. But, considering that more than 280 trucks came to the city every day, it follows that the losses were 560, which means that only in one blockade winter the country would lose 88 thousand cars. For comparison – in the USSR in Lend-Lease was delivered much fewer machines. So do not underestimate the significance and effectiveness of the Road of Life.

St. Petersburg

During the Finnish war, Mannerheim’s troops stopped at the old border.

The memoirs of Marshal Mannerheim indicate that the Finnish troops stopped at the Sviri line. The fact is that the reason for the war on the part of the USSR was the security of Leningrad, and the violation by the Finns of the border would justify the legitimacy of Soviet claims. That is why the troops stopped at old lines, despite the pressure of the Germans. However, there are opponents at this point of view. Many historians believe that the Finns were stopped not by political motives, but by the fortifications of the “Stalin Line”, which, moreover, were provided with artillery fire. Including large caliber. Moreover, there are documented facts of orders on Finnish military units to cross the old border, which was met with mass refusals among soldiers. It should be mentioned that after the closure of the siege ring around Leningrad in the fall of 1941 Mannerheim officially declared that Finland is not interested in the existence of such a settlement as Leningrad. Thus, the Finns did not really cross the border, but the reasons were not their peace, but the power of the Red Army.

The blockade of Leningrad was specially delayed by Stalin.

According to this myth, Stalin did not hurry to break through the blockade of the city, although he had all the possibilities for this. The goal was the annihilation of the Leningrad intelligentsia by the fascists. However, public sources indicate that throughout the city’s defense, the country’s leadership took all measures to evacuate the country, and in the first place it concerned those who could not actively participate in the defense of Leningrad – the elderly, children, including the intelligentsia. Often, for the export of children, aviation was used, as well as for the delivery of particularly valuable cargoes. In the city, until the last moment, intellectuals remained, but those who could help the city with the help of their specialization. It should be said that the rations were smaller than those of workers who were working hard. So the position of the intelligentsia was on a par with other groups of people, it is not necessary to speak about any planned destruction.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg – a large city by area.

Townspeople, idle hours in traffic jams and spending considerable time on travel, believe that St. Petersburg is a big city. Especially this opinion is affirmed if we compare Peter with the nearby cities of Finland. However, it is worth comparing the area of ​​the city with the really giants – Berlin. Paris, the same Moscow.It turns out that the area of ​​St. Petersburg is relatively small, the center occupies a gigantic area, as it is a historical building, and it does not allow alterations. The number of residents is significantly higher than reasonable rates. In addition to the center, there is a ring of sleeping areas, which are actually isolated from it by industrial zones. The layout of the city is absolutely not adapted to the number of inhabitants who live in it. The area of ​​the city itself is 5 times smaller than Moscow, 8 times – London and Paris. But the same area, for example, has Saratov and the population is 4 times smaller. Thus, the infrastructure of the city is adapted for living 1, a maximum of 2 million people. This discrepancy causes discomfort among the townspeople, which is manifested in the difficulties with transport, lack of rest places, problems with housing, poor work of municipal services and so on. The solution is either in the development of infrastructure, or in the gradual outflow of citizens to more favorable places, a trend towards which is observed.

St. Petersburg is the largest port city.

Here only tourists who stay in St. Petersburg by land, this impression does not arise. The fact is that the city can not be called a port in the traditional sense of the word. Indeed, the architecture is rich in naval motifs, but the port huddles close to the center, while its berths and taps are hidden from the eyes of tourists. In the city there is no seafront embankment with cafes and yachts at the pier. And the cargo port is not significant by European standards, it can be compared with Helsinki – the port backyards of Europe. Already in Petrine times it was known that the average depth of the section of the Gulf of Finland to Kronstadt was 3 meters, which is clearly not enough for the passage of merchant ships. Therefore, a canal 12-14 meters deep was built along the bottom of the bay, but this is not enough for passing ships to 100,000 tons. Today, the need for freight turnover is about 150 million tons per year, whereas in fact it is five times less. Yes, and in the port simply can not turn ships more than 200 meters long, which automatically excludes the city from among those that can be visited on a cruise liner. With this limitation, the city loses a large number of tourists. And there is no developed infrastructure in St. Petersburg for tourist ships or yachts. It turned out that having got access to the sea through the Baltic states in the USSR, the port of Leningrad did not develop much, the fruits of what we are reaping today – the city is not a major European port.

St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is a major tourist center.

For the emergence of tourism, it is necessary first of all to create conditions for the guests. A developed tourist center should meet all the requirements of the most demanding visitors. In the case of St. Petersburg, the city, despite the attractiveness comparable to Paris, is far behind in terms of tourism opportunities. For example, the city is able to keep the tourist almost the most in Europe, only the hotel rooms are only 31 thousand. On this indicator, it makes no sense to compete with Paris or Berlin, but with a modest Finnish Turku, in which there are 45 thousand hotel rooms for 180 thousand people – it is quite possible. St. Petersburg is practically devoid of sightseeing transport, which would drive tourists to places of interest, and municipal transport is poorly developed. In the city there is no decent entertainment center – water park or Disney Land, an aquarium or a SPA-hotel. A foreign tourist is known to be discriminated against, as it pays for all tourist services more expensive, and this repels, damaging the prestige of the city. In Europe it is accepted that the main travelers are people of retirement age who, in case of pleasant impressions, will advise this place also for richer children.But what will pensioners see in Petersburg? What kind of a visit to the Hermitage from them take 5 times more? On the development of tourism, the city still work and work, for example, in London 70% of the city budget is filled precisely due to this article.

St. Petersburg is the cultural capital.

Undoubtedly, the city is rich in its cultural roots, the number of museums and the education of its inhabitants. But does this all make the outer ring of residential arrays more cultured? Today, the overwhelming majority of residents can not normally rest, attend cultural events, since almost all places of culture and entertainment are in the historical center. In the sleeping areas, the leisure industry does not develop. Exit to the center, “thanks to” the transport network is issued infrequently, besides, this pleasure is not cheap. It is no accident that most of the townspeople rarely leave the boundaries of their microdistrict. Today, the number of children’s creative groups, theatrical studios and other organizations that the city was famous for is constantly decreasing. Of course, in the past St. Petersburg really was a cultural capital, but this rank can quickly be lost with the current trends of the city’s development.

When the announcement of the city’s laying of Peter appeared eagle.

The legend says that on May 16, 1703, Peter I examined the island of Yeni Saari. Suddenly the king stopped, cut out a couple of pieces of turf, put their cross on the cross and said that there would be a city. And at that moment an eagle appeared in the sky and began to soar above Peter. It looked very symbolic. In fact, on the island of Yeni Saari (the Finnish name will later be replaced by “Zayachy”), it was not the city, but the fortress that was laid. The settlement appeared later, on the neighboring Berezovy Island, under the protection of the defensive complex. Some researchers argue that from 11 to 20 May, Peter in these places did not exist. It was doubtful whether the eagle appeared in the sky – what could a mountain bird do over the swamps? Over the Neva she was never seen.

St. Petersburg is named after its founder, Peter I.

Tsar Peter was baptized June 29, 1672 in Petrov’s day. The ruler has long dreamed of calling a fortress in honor of his heavenly angel. It was planned that the city of Petra will appear on the Don in the event of the successful completion of the Azov campaign. But there was a failure. May 16, 1703 on the Neva was laid the fortress of St. Petersburg. But already on June 29 after the Peter and Paul Cathedral was laid in it, it was called Petropavlovskaya. And the old original name has already been transferred to the whole city. But before this name was officially fixed, in the correspondence there was another name – St. Petropolis. The Hermitage even holds the first engraving depicting the city with this particular, unusual name.

St. Petersburg

The symbol of the city is a copper monument to Peter I.

This monument became the very first in the city. Surprisingly, the “Bronze Horseman” is not at all copper, but bronze. The same name was given to the monument, thanks to the Pushkin poem of the same name.

The Kisses Bridge is named after the lovers.

It is believed that on this bridge constantly met lovers and kissed, which gave the name of the object. It is symbolic that the bridge is never divorced, as if not wanting to separate the hearts. In fact, Kisses Bridge got its name because of the “Kiss” tavern. This institution was located on the left bank of the Moika at the corner of Nikolskaya Street in the house of the merchant Potseluev. It seems obvious that it was the name of the merchant who gave the name to the tavern, and then to the bridge.

Vasilievsky Island is named after the artilleryman, captain Vasily Korchmin.

There is a legend that under Petra in the western part of the island there was a fortification under the command of Korcmin. When the king sent orders there, he simply said: “To Vasily on the island.” Just so, it seems, the name has appeared. However, the island received its name long before the founding of St. Petersburg. In 1500, in the census-book of the Vodinskaya Pyatina of Veliky Novgorod, Vasilievsky Island is spoken.But he also had another name, Finnish – Losiny or Hirva-Saari. Peter planned to place here the center of the new city.

Barmaleyev Street on the Petrograd Side was named after the robber from Chukovsky’s fairy tale “Aibolit”.

In fact, everything was exactly the opposite. In the 1920s, Chukovsky, walking around the city with the artist Dobuzhinsky, suddenly came upon a street with a strange name. Creative personalities immediately began to fantasize about this subject, inventing the African robber Barmalea. The artist created his portrait, and the poet later wrote poems about him. In the Russian language, there is even the old word “bar”, meaning indistinct speech. Perhaps a “barmaleum” was nicknamed a certain person, then the nickname became a surname. And then there was a street in the place where Barmaley or Barmaleyev was a landowner.

St. Petersburg is the world record holder for the number of bridges.

This beautiful myth flattered the locals. In the city there are about a hundred rivers, hoses, channels and canals, about the same number of reservoirs. The total number of bridges is 340-370, depending on the quality of the count. But this is clearly not a world record. In Hamburg, there are 2300 bridges, which is more than in St. Petersburg, Venice and Amsterdam combined.

Floods in the city are caused by the Neva.

This myth has existed for two centuries. Today it is already clear that the cyclones that are driving the autumn floods of water to this place in the Gulf of Finland are to blame for this. This is how a high wave forms, causing the Neva to rise. Over the entire history of the city, more than three hundred floods were recorded, three of which (in 1777, 1824 and 1924) were catastrophic.

In the gold-plated balloon of the spire of the Admiralty, there is a casket with gold coins.

It is believed that this cup contains samples of all gold coins minted from the time the city was founded. The casket does exist, but hidden in it are not treasures, but information about repairs to the spire and weathercock for the entire existence of the Admiralty, as well as the masters who conducted the work.

St. Petersburg

Вале Valery Chkalov flew under the Troitsky Bridge.

During the shooting of the film “Valery Chkalov” director Kalatozov heard how during the tsar’s time some brave pilot flew under the Troitsky bridge. This story impressed the cinematographer, and she got into the script. Allegedly Chkalov was kicked out of the Air Force for a hooligan span under the bridge. And he did it to win the heart of his beloved. This legend acquired a life, began to write even when the flight took place, on which plane and what the future wife of the hero watched. However, she herself claimed that she had never seen the flights of her husband. And Chkalov himself in 1926-1928 could not fly over Leningrad. He then served in Bryansk, then studied in Lipetsk, then served a criminal sentence. You can fly by the bridge only during the day. But then it would be full of eyewitnesses on the embankments! They were not found, and in the Leningrad press in 1924-1928 nothing was written about such a flight. But in 1940, the press enthusiastically wrote about how Chkalov’s trick was “repeated” by Yevgeny Borisenko. He did it under the Kirov Bridge during the filming of the film about the pilot.

St. Petersburg is on 101 island.

In the middle of the XIX century, when the metropolitan islands were counted, there were really 101 of them. Even then, this number was less than in the previous century. Then the islands counted 147. The number was reduced due to numerous factors, both natural and related to human activities. Some islands were blurred by the sea and the wind, others became victims of new canals, others merged. By the middle of XX century on the map of the city there were only 42 islands.

The building of the Twelve Colleges stands facing the embankment to make room for the Menshikov Palace.

This myth turned into a kind of historical anecdote. Indeed, it seems strange that the building does not stand along the embankment, but perpendicular to it. After all, it has always been significant and could become the center of the whole complex.According to legend, Peter, leaving the city under construction, instructed Alexander Menshikov to monitor the building structure. The assistant saw that the long building, according to the architect’s plan, should face the Neva. Only then on the embankment, the best part of the city, there will be no room for Menshikov’s own palace. He certainly wanted to stake out a place for himself, ordering to turn the building perpendicularly to the river. Peter, seeing the structure, was furious. But it was too late to stop construction. To execute Menshikov the tsar did not dare, simply fined him. The legend still raises doubts. Historians believe that the facade of the building of the Twelve Colleges was planned to focus on the main square of the city. Just later, there was a redevelopment and it was not possible to implement, the building has already taken its place.

St. Petersburg

Zhdanov Street is named after party official Andrei Zhdanov, who led Leningrad during the siege.

Zhdanov street got its name back in 1887. It, like the embankment of the same name, was named in honor of the Zhdanovka River in the Petrogradsky district of the city.

Zhukov Street is named after the legendary commander who fought near Leningrad.

The street in the Kalininsky district has no relation to the Soviet marshal. Her name she received in 1923 in honor of Ilya Zhukov. This secretary of the Vyborg District Party Committee was a participant in the Civil War. In honor of Marshal Zhukov in the city called the prospectus.

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