Thursday, May 19, 2016

Even more fun at St. Petersburg in Russia

My dear friend Erika, aka BioArtGal is this month's host at Art Journal Journey, where the theme she chose was Journeys.  So we are off on another Journey, also to St. Petersburg, Russia.  She remembered St. Petersburg is also called Peter the Great's "Venice of the North."

Today we are returning to The Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood and St. Isaac's complex.  Directly between St Isaac's Cathedral and the City Hall building (originally known as Mariinsky Palace some of which can be seen on the right of the image) sits something nearly as famous as the Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood.

It is known by many as the Blue Bridge (Siniy Most) and is the widest bridge in St. Petersburg and is often referred to as the widest bridge in the world.

Made of cast iron, you can see one of the sides in the picture.  The name "Blue Bridge" originated from the tradition of color-coding downtown St. Petersburg bridges. As a result, the lower part of the Blue Bridge is still painted blue.

For the back side, I have chosen Smolny Cathedral.  Smolny Cathedral was originally intended to be the central church of a monastery, built to house the daughter of Peter the Great, Princess Elizabeth, after she was banished and not allowed to take the throne.  It was at this time she opted to become a nun.   However, as soon as her predecessor was overthrown during a coup, carried out by the royal guards, Elizabeth decided to forget the whole idea of a stern monastic life and gladly took over the Russian throne.

Based on several internet sources I visited, although the age in which she lived was rather harsh, Elizabeth (especially in her younger days) was an amazingly joyful woman, who later displayed a passion for entertaining. As Empress she was notorious for never having worn the same ball dress twice.  That gave the country an enormous collection of mid-18th century dresses. 

The cathedral is the centerpiece of the convent, built by Bartolomeo Rastrelli (he also built the Winter Palace and Hermitage which we will visit later, as well as the Grand Palace we visited on Saturday) between 1748 and 1764. When Elizabeth stepped down from the throne the funding for the convent ran out.   The building was finally finished in 1835 with the addition of a neo-classical interior to meet the changed architectural style of that time period.

Today Smolny Cathedral is used primarily as a concert hall and the surrounding convent houses various offices and government institutions.

Materials used for these two spreads include backgrounds created with a faux credit card and stencils, two travel brochures, washi tape, Sharpie, and a die cut flower from HOTP.

 Thanks for joining me again today for this imaginary journey to St. Petersburg, Russia.   And please don't forget to visit Art Journal Journey where this month's journeys are as unique as the people taking them.

14 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful pages on St Petersburg, thanks for the nice memories! I'm glad Elizabeth didn't wear the same ball gown twice, that's style. I usually wear my clothes til they fall apart. Have a fun day, I am busy getting rusty just now....Hugs, Valerie

Anonymous said...

Another fascinating history lesson and journey. Love the architecture. xox

My name is Erika. said...

Love your explanations Elizabeth. I didn't know about the Empress Elizabeth. I have heard of Catherine the Great and I am glad my memory isn't totally shot. This city looks absolutely gorgeous. I didn't realize how gorgeous it was. I guess I never thought much about traveling there as I never knew too much about it and never knew anyone who went there. So maybe I need to change that and go. Ha-ha. One of these days. Hope all is well. Hugs-Erika

froebelsternchen Susi said...

This are fantastic backgrounds and your infos and the photos make it very interesting!
You brought nice memories to me - thank you ELizabeth! And thank you as well for linking to Art Journal Journey again!
Happy Day!
oxo Susi

Meggymay said...

I always love to read all the information you add to the posts giving the backgorund to your fantastic pages. This was another great journey.
Yvonne xx

Lisa Comperry said...

Wonderful shots :-))

Sandra Cox said...

I loved these pieces and the history that accompanied it. Kudos.

Divers and Sundry said...

I feel like I've missed the entire month of May! I haven't been on the computer at all, but I'm feeling better so have ventured back to the blogging community. Thank you for keeping up with me :)

Jeanie said...

These are beautiful, Elizabeth. I really appreciate the history and you captured the atmosphere perfectly. I can tell this space and country holds special meaning for you.

Caterina Giglio said...

love your history lessons, you always find the most fascinating details, and sometimes the imaginary journeys are the best... x

~*~Patty S said...

Really nice visiting more of St Petersburg with you and your lovely golden pages E.
Interesting history too.

Linda Kunsman said...

beautiful buildings and history-and i am ever so happy to be introduced to it here as i would not like the cold! great pages Elizabeth, and I so enjoy your explanations too:)

Little Artbee said...

Dreamfully photos on wonderful backgrounds. It must have been great for you to visit all these amazing places. Very impressive!
Dear Greetings

pearshapedcrafting said...

Well Elizabeth, your namesake certainly had style - she must have been fun to be around too - Empress or no! These pages show a wonderful place to visit (I wish!!) and as ever your post is full of facts that I would never know otherwise! Hugs, Chrisx