Thursday, June 29, 2006




"MINSK, the capital of Belarus, was founded more than 900 years ago. Independence Square with its Government Building. Nice?"

"PIONNERS - In the USSR, all children aged 9-14 were Pioneers. There were 900,000 Pioneers in the days of Soviet Belarus..."

"KHATYN MEMORIAL – a vast WWII Memorial to commemorate the tragic fate of the villages burned by the German SS punishment operations against guerrilla. In March 22, 1943, 26 houses with their inhabitants (149 people, including 75 children) were burned in Belarusian village of Khatyn"

"GLORY HILL - A memorial complex including a majestic hill, topped with four rising bayonets, in honor of the victory in the War. It was built with soil brought from nine Hero-cities of the USSR and from the most fierce battlefields"



"The CATHEDRAL OF SS PETER and PAUL, the oldest church in St. Petersburg, marked a radical departure from traditional Orthodox churches, being built in early Baroque style. It is home to the graves of nearly all the Tsars of Russia since Peter the Great"

"The CHURCH OF RESURRECTION, aka Church of the Saviour on the Spilled Blood - or even just the Church on the Blood - marks the spot where Alexander II was fatally wounded in an assassination attempt on March 1, 1881. Designed in the style of 16th and 17th-century Russian churches, provides a stark contrast to its surroundings of Baroque, Classical and Modernist architecture"

"The historical ship AURORA, turned into a museum, is docked just a few hundred yards upstream from the Cabin of Peter the Great. The cruiser gave the signal to the attack of the Winter Palace, during the October Revolution of 1917"

"The SMOLNY CATHEDRAL was intended to be the church of a monastery, built to house the daughter of Peter the Great, Elizabeth, after she opted to become a nun. However, as soon as her Imperial predecessor was overthrown, Elizabeth decided to forget the whole idea of a monastic life and happily accepted the offer of the Russian throne. The cathedral is one of the masterpieces of Rastrelli, who also created the Winter Palace, the Grand Catherine Palace in Pushkin, and the Grand Palace in Petrodvorets"

"The SMOLNY building was created in 1806-1808 for the Smolny Institute for noble girls. After the October Revolution Smolny became the residence of the first Soviet Government, which worked in this building till the 10th of March, 1918, when the capital was moved to Moscow. The statue was from Lenin"

"NEVSKI PROSPECT was Leningrad's main avenue and one of the best-known streets in USSR. It runs from the Admiralty to the Moscow Railway Station and then to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery"

"From the 1760s onwards the WINTER PALACE, aka the HERMITAGE Museum, was the main residence of the Russian Tsars. Built for Empress Elizabeth, who however died before the palace's completion, only Catherine the Great and her successors enjoyed its sumptuous interiors. Located on the bank of the Neva River, the green-and-white three-storey palace is a marvel of Baroque architecture and boasts 1,786 doors, 1,945 windows and 1,057 elegantly and lavishly decorated halls and rooms. At 59º 57' N (roughly on the same latitude as Oslo, Norway, and Seward, Alaska), it looks great on the White Nights! "

"The Bronze Horseman, a monument to the founder of St Petersburg, Peter the Great, stands on Senatskaia Square, facing the Neva River. It depicts the reformer of the Russian State as a Roman hero. He also looks great during White Nights"



Petrodvorets (now Peterhof) is an immensely luxurious and beautifully preserved Imperial estate, founded in 1710 by Peter the Great on the shore of the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea). It combines several ornate palaces, a number of beautifully landscaped parks and a dazzling array of magnificent statues and fountains, lending it the epithet "The Russian Versailles"

"One of the many fountains in the park"

"Views of the magnificent GRAND PALACE (Bolshoi Dvorets) with the GRAND CASCADE (Bolshoi Kaskad ) in front of it. The original palace was built for Peter the Great between 1714 and 1725 and the Grand Cascade flows spectacularly from beneath the palace towards the Baltic Sea and is one of the largest fountain ensembles in the world"

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