OFF BEATEN TRACKS OF GUIDE SERGEY ALEXEEVICH

Kronstadt

The shield of Saint Petersburg and the maritime capital of the Empire.

You’ll learn about the foundation of Kronstadt during the Great Northern War with Sweden; the first Russian navy base amazing defence system – the naval Maginot Line; various historical sites like gardens and buildings; unique 18th century engineering structures; Crimean, First World war and other military conflicts events; famous Russians who lived and worked in Kronshtadt; the Red Revolution drama; the second world war Batlle of Kronstadt and its striking similarities with Pearl Harbour.

In the end of the trip you will visit the famous Naval cathedral with its magnificent both exterior and interior bearing no resemblance with any Petersburgian church or cathedral.

The Artillery Museum

Sightseeing might be a hard labor, particularly in such a city as Saint Petersburg. On a certain stage the splendor of the pictorial art collections of the city’s world known museums and architectural glamour of its palaces starts wearing you down. The best way to make the sightseeing process more efficient is to diversify it. We’d recommend visiting The Military-History Museum of Artillery, Engineer and Signal Corps commonly known in Russia as the Artillery Museum. This way you’ll understand what the cultural treasures of the country have been guarded with. In the Museum you will see the development of the Russian artillery through the centuries — from the 14th to 20th. You’ll see and learn about the medieval cannons and the modern day ballistic missiles launchers and self propelled cannons. The museum’s collection is huge – just cannons amount to 1200 pieces. Apart from the cannons you’ll find an impressive fire arms and cold steel arms collections. Also the museum holds a fine battle-scene paintings collection. Everybody knows what AK 47 is – the most famous assault rifle on the planet. So, in the Artillery museum there is a permanent exhibition dedicated to Kalashnikov – the father of the AK 47. There the very first model of the assault rifle is exhibited and on the top of that any visitor can take the AK 47 apart and put it together. By many foreign visitors the Saint Petersburg Artillery Museum is considered to be the best or one of the best on the planet. Frederich Krupp — the greatest cannons manufacturer was of that opinion when visiting museum in 1883.

The Museum is located beside the Peter and Paul fortress, 30 minutes by foot from Casa Leto hotel. Trip to the Museum can be combined with the “Wartime St. Petersburg”.

Stalin Line

Stalin Line is a chain of fortified districts along the 1939 Soviet Union border. It is almost 2000 km long. The line’s purpose was to protect the western part of the country from the military attacks from “the west”. There are similar defensive lines with similar purposes in Europe like the Maginot line and the Ziegfried line. They are a way shorter though. It was in construction from 1928 to 1939. The construction of the Line began in the Leningrad district because the city was just 30 km away from the Finnish border and Finland was not an entirely “friendly” state at the time. This Line is crossing the entire Karelian Isthmus and is 80 km long. I should say that this stretch of the Stalin line was the only line in Europe what wasn’t broken through by the Axis armies during the WW2. In other words, the Stalin Line saved the city of Leningrad then. During the the trip we will visit the western tip of the defense line – the most accessible and best preserved. You’ll see at least six canon bunkers and machine gun casements and have a chance to get inside and of course hear the war stories. Apart from that you’ll visit the town of Sestroretsk, the town founded by Peter the Great and have a short walk through the local gardens to the shores of the Gulf of Finland.

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