12 November, 2013
This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to go visit a place that I had previously only heard about in a college Russian history class, as it was the site of a rebellion among sailors against their officers. The place is a little island town located right in the middle of the Gulf of Finland known as Kronstadt (Кронштадт). If you think that name sounds very un-Russian, you are right, because like many places near St. Petersburg, this tiny town’s name comes from German and was established by Peter the Great as the home base for the Russian Baltic Fleet. You can still see the navy’s presence there, with many old war ships are still docked nearby.
Walking down the streets, it almost feels like a mini St. Petersburg in respect to the architecture, canals and naval influence. But what is different, is the much higher abundance of green spaces sprinkled around the town and the smell of the sea everywhere you go. The town also has its own fair share of impressive cathedrals too, the most prominent being the incredible Naval cathedral of Saint Nicholas (Морской Никольский собор), which just months ago was reopened after extensive restoration work.
The town is a great place for a quick little day trip on a weekend. The bus ride there only costs 35 Rubles and leaves from the Metro station Staraya Derevnya (Старая Деревня) on the purple line and takes about a half an hour to reach the center of the town. If you like St. Petersburg, and Russian naval history, then this is a must see for you.