Peter the Great’s Cabin.
The oldest wooden structure in St Petersburg and the oldest residential building,
Peter the Great’s house was built in 1703. Having come to St Petersburg to survey the construction of the Peter and Paul Fortress and the rest of his city, the small house was supposedly erected for him in just three days. Whatever the case he lived in the 60 square meter abode until 1708. Interestingly, the house was painted to make it look like it was built of stone. These days an actual brick shell has been built around the cabin to protect it from the elements. Inside the cabin are some of Peter’s personal effects and the house itself has been faithfully preserved since Peter’s era. Entrance to the cabin costs 150R ($5.50) for foreigners.
Directions: Petrovskaya Naberezhnaya, #6, metro Gorkovskaya. Tel: 232-4576. Open Wed-Sun 10:00-18:00, Mon 10:00-17:00.
The Aurora Cruiser.
This floating museum was a symbol of the Communist Revolution. On the 25th of October 1917 (old style calendar) a blank shot was fired from the Aurora to signal the storming of the Winter Palace, at that time occupied by the Provisional Government.
The Aurora was built in St Petersburg from 1897-1900. It was then sent to the Pacific and saw action in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 and was one of the few Russian ships that survived the decisive Battle of Tsushima. After the war the Aurora returned to the Baltic Sea and, aside from a short stint in World War One, was mainly used for training purposes. In 1917, while the vessel was undergoing major repair in St Petersburg, many of the crew became caught up in the revolutionary fervor and joined the Bolsheviks. And so it happened that the shot that started the Revolution was fired from the Aurora Cruiser. Since 1958 the Aurora has functioned as a museum.
Directions: The Aurora is moored off Petrogradskaya Naberezhnaya where the Bolshaya Nevka meets the Neva. Tel: 230-8440. It’s supposedly open Tuesday-Thursday and Saturday-Sunday from 10:30-16:00, but it seems to open and close as it pleases.
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