St. Petersburg, Russia - My Family Travels

St. Petersburg, Russia is a marvelous city filled with rich culture and beautiful architecture. I was lucky enough to travel here this past February, on a mission trip. Not only did I get to help those in need and teach students English, I got to experience the Russian culture and visit the historical locations in this city so full of history. 

Walking through the ice covered streets of St. Petersburg this February, I saw many sights that nearly took my breath away. The frozen canals, vividly colored skylines, and the sight of modern automobiles driving down the street that Alexander II was killed on, immersed me in the city's hustle. The stinging chill and harsh syllables audible from the Russian language, reminded me that the city hasn't changed much from the times of Catherine the Great. From the February Revolution, to Stalin's communist rule, St. Petersburg played a major role in shaping the world between the 18th and 19th centuries.


On the fourth day of my trip, students from the school we were working with took us on a tour of the city. This was the day that I truly found my love for this city. We climbed to the top of St. Isaac's cathedral, and took in the snow covered view of the rooftops of the city. We circled the top of the tower to glance at a 360 degree view of history that this city offers. At the final part of our descent from the summit, we noticed a large, granite column. This column, explained to us by our predominant tour guide of this excursion, was the last standing column after the bombing of St. Petersburg during World War II. Standing at this gray, mammoth column, with nicks and scratches down the side of it, showing the affects of shrapnel and debris thrown at its side, you could feel the pain and toil that the war had on many cities and countries throughout Europe and Asia. Besides the marks that horrific times had on the city, many influences from Europe, mainly architecturally, can be seen wherever you look. The many canals, modeled after the waterways in Italy, can be seen in the winter season frozen with beautiful, white snow sprinkled on the surface. Cathedrals are also testaments of the history of St. Petersburg, especially the Church of the Savior on Blood, which was built in honor of the murder of Alexander II by revolutionary terrorists. Marks in the road can be seen where the bomb, that was rolled under his carriage, ending his reign as Russia's Tsar exploded, as the rainbow cathedral casts its eerie shadow on the landmark. This act of terrorism was a possible instigator of the first glimpse of communism that spread throughout eastern Europe, following into China and Japan. 

The most astounding thing about the city of St. Petersburg, is that the events that occurred in this city, had a major impact on the world. Russia, without question, caused many of the most influential events in history, many that were centered around St. Petersburg. Anyone who enjoys history and the impacts a location or event had on the rest of the world will surely enjoy St. Petersburg. I highly suggest moving this city of wonder to the top of your travel lists, if it isn't already. 

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