Saturday, June 30, 2012

St Pete-Moscow Nevsky

We took the Moscow Nevsky from St Petersburg to Catherine's Palace.  I have to differ with Marcia on the palace.  I believe it is named after Catherine I, second wife of Peter the Great and mother of Tsarina Elizabeth.  Indeed, Elizabeth renamed Sophie when Sofie married Elizabeth's nephew, Peter II.  She named her after he own mother and she became Catherine II.  Catherine II had the good political sense to accept the name and alligned herself with Peter the Great whenever she could as a good public relations move.

BTW-Catherine I was a peasant.  Peter I (the Great) fell in love with her and had his first wife, Anna, sent to a nunnery.  Catherine I had been the mistress of one of Peter's friends.  She had two daughters.

Anna (Peter's first wife) also had a son or two.  The first son and heir to the throne was "convicted" of plotting a coup against his father and suffered tourture and eventual death at his father's hand.  The second son was locked away and claimed to be unfit.  Catherines daughter, Elizabeth had no children, but her sister had Peter II by a Prussian nobleman soldier.  There must have been a strong Prussian gene for playing soldier as the succession of Peters all got it and though they basically sucked at politics, they could run soldiers around like crazy.  Dressed them up in various uniforms and marched them all around parade grounds.  Must have been very satisfing for them.

But, I digress, and I'll get back to those Romanoffs later.

On the way to the palace we were reminded that in WWII the Germans got to within 20 kilometers of St Petersburg.  They effectively stopped all supplies from coming in and it was winter and many people starved and froze.  These things are not easily forgotten.

So, all of the Catherine Palace is rebuilt.  The Germans made use of things that were there to warm themselves and they chopped down the beautiful gardens.  The gardens we will see are relatively young.

All of this to say that there are memorials to the Russian soldiers who lost their lives in fighting the Germans and keeping them from taking the actual city of St Petersburg. 

What Tanya didn't say was that it was actually Stalin who had the Catherine Palace bombed.  He didn't want to Germans to have it.

Tanya was always glat to see buildings being reconstructed.  They have gone neglected for some time.

Just so you know that Carl Jr is in St Petersburg on Moscow Nevsky.

Metro station.

Moscow Nevsky

Memorial to Russian soldiers of WWII.


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