Enchanting St. Petersburg – the ‘ Venice of the North ‘

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 Mangalorean.com. 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?

Author: Commander Giridhara P. Mallya (Retd.)