The markets of St Petersburg and surrounding areas
14 April, 2014
Its markets are the best place to take the pulse of any city,places where you can experience the day-to-day life of the people and mingle with the local population. This is no less true in Saint Petersburg, where haggling is encouraged and stallholders will even offer you their wares without any kind of pressure to buy.
The most central and representative of the markets in Saint Petersburg (and also the most expensive) is the Kuznechny Market where you will find flowers, vegetables, cheeses and natural honey for sale.
Numerous attractions are located close to the market: the Arctic and Antarctic Museum can be found in the former Church of Saint Nicholas and includes exhibits on the characteristics of the polar regions, the history behind the conquest of the Great North and the economy and culture of the Nordic people. The Floral Exhibition Centre, the Vladimirskaya Church and the Lensoveta Culture Centre at 42 Kamennoostrovsky Avenue are also worth visiting.
The Dostoevsky Museum is another nearby attraction – the place where this famous writer and author of such novels as ‘Crime and Punishment’, ‘Demons’ and ‘The Idiot’ lived and died. This house museum has been faithfully restored to how it was originally.
What was once an old hay market has now become a major food market with clothing stalls that fill the surrounding streets.
A large part of ‘Crime and Punishment’ by Dostoevsky is set in the streets of the Sennaya district, where the Sennoy Market is to be found. It is more popularly known as the Dostoevsky District.
It is an excellent area for a spot of shopping in the large department stores. Sennaya Square is a bustling hive of activity where you can find the famous PIK and the large Sennaya Shopping Centre.
For some nice, reasonably-priced home-made food, you should head over to Kafe Adzhika.
If you’re up for a short walk, take a stroll over to Yusupov Palace, located on the edge of the River Moika and one of the most spectacular monuments to classicism to be found in Saint Petersburg.
On the small Zayachy Island in the River Neva is the true historical centre of the city: Peter and Paul Fortress, the original citadel of Saint Petersburg. Peter I the Great ordered its construction in 1703 and it contains such remarkable buildings as the Peter and Paul Cathedral, where all the Tsars from Peter I the Great to Nicholas II and his family are buried. Standing 122 metres tall, the cathedral bell tower is the highest point in the city.
Although initially designed for defensive purposes, it never needed to be used for that but rather served as a prison until 1917. Its most famous prisoners included such individuals as Trotski, Dostoevsky and Bakunin.
Also nearby is the Saint Petersburg Zoo and the Political History Museum.
A good choice for something to eat would be the popular Salkhino restaurant where they serve Georgian cuisine. In the evening, you might want to try out the legendary Tunnel Club, the first techno club to open in Russia.
Vernisazh Souvenir Market
Less of a market and more a collection of souvenir stalls, this is to be found behind the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ or the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood and is one of the most popular tourist sites and an attraction in itself. Here you will find many traditional Russian gifts and souvenirs.
The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood was built on the spot where Tsar Alexander III was killed. The interior and exterior mosaic decorations are fantastic, as are its stained glass windows. The temple was built in the Russian architectural style of the 16th-17th Centuries (pure Russian orthodox) and bears a striking resemblance to Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow’s Red Square.
Its five large bulbous domes decorated in numerous colours and gold, as well as the meticulous detail work that covers the exterior, are yet more features that make this an outstanding piece of architecture.
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14 April, 2014