City of models, maritime history and unusual master classes family-owned Saint Petersburg

01 March 2021

The cultural capital of Russia, it turns out, is rich not only in ancient architecture and museums with rare exhibits, but also in other unusual places. Saint Petersburg is a city for excellent family tourism. Here you can see maritime history in reality, paint porcelain and visit unique private museums. «City Reporter» will tell you about non-standard places for families with children in Saint Petersburg.

History and geography of Russia and Saint Petersburg - in layouts

You can study the history and geography of the country with the whole family in the largest model museum in Russia - Grand Maket. The most interesting corners of Russia are demonstrated on 800 square meters. There are forests, mountains and seas here. Some places seem familiar: the Moscow Kremlin appeared, and then the Sochi railway station. Cities and regions are not accurately depicted, they are collective images. At the same time, the entire huge layout repeats the geographical offices of different parts of Russia.

The museum is interactive. It is worth pressing the button, and everything comes to life: the heroes of Krylov's fable, Crow and Fox, move; the rushing train hums; someone is being robbed on the high road. Everything is like in life.

You can study the history of Saint Petersburg and its suburbs in another museum of models - in the Petrovskaya akvatoria. The journey begins from the German settlement, captures Oranienbaum, Petershtadt and Peterhof. Particular attention is paid to the history of the creation and development of the Russian fleet. For this, with the help of 20 tons of water, seas, bays and bays were recreated, along which hundreds of ships ply. This museum is also interactive and, by pressing a button, you will see how carriages in the Tsar's castle begin to move or lay the keel of a new ship at a Saint Petersburg shipyard.

Become a tightrope walker, paint a mug and visit the water tower

For those who like to learn new things and to act, it is worth visiting the Great Saint Petersburg State Circus (Circus Ciniselli) and the Imperial Porcelain Factory.

The circus named after the Italian horse trainer Gaetano Ciniselli, built in 1877, was the first stationary stone circus in Russia. It conducts a number of excursions telling about the main genres of circus art, about the multilingual vocabulary of circus performers, about the artists who worked in the Circus, and others.

There is also a unique excursion for people with visual impairments - during it, participants will be able to touch circus items with their hands. And the most amazing thing is that for a few minutes you can transform into a tightrope walker, walking along a tight metal rope.

The Imperial Porcelain Factory appeared in 1744 and originally bore the name of the Nevskaya Porcelain Manufactory. This is the first and one of the largest porcelain factories in Russia.

At the factory, you can take a tour of the porcelain production, as well as see the items on display in the gallery. It also hosts master classes on painting it. With the help of a special pencil, you draw on the surface of the cup or plate, and then paint with paints. The product is fired, and after three days the participant of the master class receives an exclusively painted porcelain object.

Another unusual museum is the Universe of Water multimedia exhibition area. It combines modern technologies and historical architecture of the oldest waterworks in the city - the main waterworks of Saint Petersburg in the 19th century on Shpalernaya Street.

With the help of multimedia technologies, museum visitors are told about the role of water in nature and in the human body. There is also a place here for myths about mermaids with mermaids, and for the history of the Saint Petersburg water supply system, as well as stories about regular floods in the city, which ended thanks to the construction of a dam (it was built for 32 years - from 1979 to 2011 - editor's note).

Kronshtadt: maritime history in the form of a cathedral, a museum of lighthouses and an island

The maritime history of Saint Petersburg is embodied in Kronstadt. There is also the «Island of Forts», and the naval cathedral, and even the House of Lighthouses.

The Island of Forts is an entertainment and educational cluster of Kronstadt. It is dedicated to the history of the Russian Navy. It began to be improved in 2019. Over the next five years, there will be a museum, an oceanarium and a number of other objects, and a cable car will be built to Fort Alexander I.

Now on the «Island of Forts» there is already a training and sports camp for children. The Alley of Heroes of the Russian Fleet is also equipped here, where its origin and development are shown in the form of sculptural compositions of outstanding navigators and statesmen.

The Naval Cathedral of Nicholas the Wonderworker in Kronstadt is the largest naval cathedral in Russia and the last in the history of the Russian Empire. Its construction was completed in 1913. The temple is made in the New Byzantine style with fancy nautical ornaments on the floor. It was conceived as a memorial temple, where the names of officers and sailors who died in battles were immortalized on black marble boards, and priests who died while serving on naval vessels were immortalized on white marble boards.

In Soviet times, this building was used as a cinema, later there was a club and a concert hall. The naval cathedral resumed its work as a church institution with services only in 2005.

The history of marine life is illustrated by the first museum of lighthouses in Russia, which is located on Kommunisticheskaya Street. Here you can see flashing lights, various beacons (from coal-fired to modern LED ones), sailors' navigation devices. The decoration of the museum is a huge lens of Auguste Fresnel, which was used at the Seskar lighthouse (Seskar is an island in the Gulf of Finland, part of the Leningrad region - ed.) The Fresnel lens is multi-tasking - it combines a spherical and a cylindrical lens and at the same time has the properties of a prism.

In addition to the familiar and beloved Hermitage, the Russian Museum, Tsarskoye Selo, there is really something to see for young travelers and their parents in Saint Petersburg.

Text and Photo: cityreporter.ru