Children's Petersburg: traveling with a family

26 April 2021

Holidays with children for adult tourists are always different from independent recreation. If you are taking a child with you on a trip, you should know in advance about special conditions, prices and discounts for him/her in the places of visit. Depending on age, admission to museums or entertainment centers for a child will be either free, or at a lower cost than for an adult. There are also some peculiarities of using public transport.

Special attention should be paid to drawing up the travel program itself. When planning the route, you need to imagine what objects will be of interest to the child, and in addition to the entertainment aspect, they could tell something new and useful. In addition, every mom (and dad, of course!) wants to provide maximum comfort and safety for her/his child, regardless of his/her age.

I was able to follow a route designed specifically for a family visit to the Culture Capital. I think this tour will be interesting for both children and their parents.

The first point on this route was the KidBurg children's city of professions. Kidburg is a small model of the real world for children from 1.5 to 14 years old. Here, a child can master more than 50 professions, as well as acquire important skills and abilities that will certainly be useful to him/her in adult life.

In a friendly environment, while playing, children learn the basics of the profession of the future. Here you can become a brave fireman or a brave police officer, a successful banker or a talented hairdresser.

The child feels like an adult, learns how to make decisions, keep track of finances, cooperate with others, try his/her hand at cutting-edge professions, such as becoming a laparoscopic surgeon or reviving a robot.

Then we go to the "Poltava" shipyard. In my opinion, a very interesting place, especially for boys.

The Poltava project is a faithful recreation for museum purposes of the first large ship of the Russian Navy, launched at the St. Petersburg Admiralty.

On May 27, 2018, the 54-gun battleship of the 4th rank "Poltava" was launched as an exact replica of the legendary historical ship in full size, in the construction and design of which in 1712 Peter I himself took part.

In world practice, there are already similar projects for the reconstruction of historical ships - for example, the French frigate "Hermione", on which La Fayette went in 1798 to help the American states in their war of independence, or the recently built ship of the West India Company "Batavia" in the Netherlands. These projects have become very popular overseas.

The history of the fleet is inseparable from the history of the country. For a long time, the fleet determined the development of the economy and society of the leading European states. I hope that this project will attract thousands of visitors and tell them about the valor of the Russian fleet, and the frigate "Poltava", as the heart of a large modern museum complex, will become a scientific, cultural, research and pedagogical center for the study of the maritime history of the city and the country, about how a "window to Europe" was cut through.

Continuing the acquaintance with the history of the city, the country and the Russian fleet, it is impossible not to include in the route a small city with a difficult and amazing fate, located north-west of St. Petersburg on the island of Kotlin in the Gulf of Finland, 27 km from the mouth of the Neva - Kronstadt.

More recently, Kronstadt was a closed military city, which housed numerous bases of the Baltic Fleet.

In some places Kronstadt resembles St. Petersburg - it also has its own Admiralty, Summer Garden, Gostiny Dvor and Obvodny Canal.

There are more than 300 monuments of history, culture and technology in the city, although they are not always easy to notice and not all of them can be freely visited.

So, for example, you can easily walk past the foot gauge rail installed at the abutments of the "Blue Bridge" in Kronstadt, and from it, by the way, absolute marks of depths and heights are measured throughout Russia.

Kronstadt is remarkable not only for its hydrotechnical and defensive structures, beautiful ensembles of historical buildings and a ring of dilapidated forts, but also for its nature.

In the western part of Kotlin Island, a unique nature reserve "Western Kotlin" has been created with the largest massif of black alder forests in St. Petersburg and beautiful (deserted) sandy beaches.

Here, on the territory of the Demidov coastal battery, in the spring of 2018, the first stage of the Kronstadt Patriot Park of the Russian Ministry of Defense was opened.

At the end of the twentieth century, a protective dam was built in the Gulf of Finland, which connected Kronstadt with the northern suburbs of St. Petersburg - before that, it was possible to get to Kronstadt only by waterway. In 2011, the Ring Road around St. Petersburg was completed, and Kronstadt got access to the mainland from two sides. Now there is no regular water communication with Kronstadt, by sea you can get to Kronstadt from St. Petersburg only by excursion "meteors".

Today Kronstadt, as a part of the federal city of St. Petersburg, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (part of the Historical Center of St. Petersburg and Related Complexes of Monuments). In April 2009, Kronstadt was awarded the title City of Military Glory.

Separately, I would like to talk about the Naval Nikolsky Cathedral, built in 1902-1913. The Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker (St. Nicholas Stavropegial Naval Cathedral) is the last and largest of the naval cathedrals built in the Russian Empire. Since May 2013, it has been considered the main temple of the Russian Navy and the center of the Military Deanery of the St. Petersburg Diocese.

You can talk about Kronstadt for a long time, and perhaps I will write separately about this legendary port city and fortress on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, but you must definitely come here.

Our journey continues and we move to another island, already man-made, to “New Holland”.

The history of New Holland dates back to the founding of St. Petersburg by Peter I. In parallel with city construction, the creation of the Northern Fleet began. In 1704, a shipyard and the building of the Admiralty were laid on the left bank of the Neva. For the convenience of building ships and delivering materials and timber to the shipyard, canals were broken on the Admiralty side. This is how Kryukov and the Admiralteisky canals appeared, connecting the Neva and Moyka. The resulting island began to be called New Holland - the name was passed on from the custom of giving this name to the area around the Admiralty, which was modeled after the Dutch shipyards.

Since 2011, for the first time in nearly 300 years, New Holland has opened to visitors.

Today it is not just a theme park. The island functions as a concert, educational and film venue. On the territory of New Holland, concerts, film festivals, lectures, sports activities, children's events, theatrical performances, exhibitions, master classes and other events are held annually. Every year the island hosts several art objects designed by Russian and foreign artists.

Neither children nor their parents will be bored here. New Holland is both a monument of industrial architecture, which is a contemporary of St. Petersburg, and a multifunctional complex, which has become a significant object for residents and guests of the city.

The next point on the route is the “Grand Maket Rossiya” Museum.

A place, where children do not want to leave, and their parents, making several circles around the model of our country, discover new interesting moments. Collective images of the regions of the Russian Federation are combined in the museum on an area of 800 m². “Grand Maket Rossiya” is the largest model in Russia and the second largest in the world (after Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg).

Every 13 minutes, day and night gradually change over the layout. The movement of cars is as close to reality as possible: cars and buses stop at traffic lights and stops, flash signal lights, change the speed, go to overtake. More than 2,500 meters of rails have been laid and over 400 turnouts have been installed. More than 2700 units of rolling stock have been installed, of which 250 are locomotives.

And also, in the mountains of the Caucasus, you can even meet the heroes of the legendary film - Shurik and Nina.

Calculate your strength and plan a visit for at least a couple of hours.

It also hosts lessons for schoolchildren and quests. A lot of impressions for children and their parents are guaranteed.

And we are moving on. Museum complex "Universe of Water" is next.

The main exposition of the museum is located in the former reservoir of the Main Waterworks, built in brick style at the end of the 19th century, next to the Water Tower. The water tower, along with other buildings on the surrounding territory, is part of the complex of the former main station of St. Petersburg city water pipelines and is an architectural monument of regional significance.

I really liked the design of the museum very much. Firstly, the water tower itself, in the courtyard of which there is a monument to a water carrier, with which you must take a picture and rub his nose for good luck. Judging by the shiny nose, many of the visitors are as superstitious as me.

The entire museum is interactive. There are projectors everywhere, showing and telling about water and its value. But all these technical devices would not be so great without wonderful, loving guides. I will not reveal all the "cards", the museum is interesting to visit at any age, from small to large - informative, unusual, mysterious and very impressive.

A visit to this program allows you to better understand the meaning of water in the architectural appearance of St. Petersburg and get acquainted with the sea gate of Russia - the island city of Kronstadt.

You need to come to the Northern capital for at least a week, so as not to get tired and get the most out of the entire route.

After all, we have not passed half of the points on the children's route!

The next object is the Petrovskaya water area, an equally grandiose historical model on a scale of 1:87 and an area of ​​500 m². The exposition of the museum is a reconstruction of the most significant sights of St. Petersburg and the suburbs associated with the history of the creation of the city and the Russian fleet.

We make measured and calm stops for food and sleep. The choice of hotels and places to eat in St. Petersburg is huge. St. Petersburg has gained fame not only as a cultural capital, but also as a gastronomic one.

A gastronomic discovery for me was a visit to the cafe Mindal, which is on the Angliyskaya Embankment, house 26, with a bright and unique Marusya, she is known as the chef of the cafe Marina Naumova.

But, I will not waste the precious attention of our readers on the gastronomic aspects of our journey, I will tell you about it another time. And I will propose to go to the next point on our route - Lenreserv.

The exposition of the object is a one-of-a-kind collection of artifacts from the Great Patriotic War. In the collection of "Lenrezerv" there are hundreds of units of transport, firearms and edged weapons and other items, bit by bit collected by the owner Anatoly Bernstein.

Russian, German, Finnish, Czech weapons. Everything is deactivated. Formally, these are layouts, but with history. For example, one of the captured machine guns was brought to St. Petersburg from Venezuela. The Finnish assault rifle from a trial batch, produced in only 500 copies, costs like a fancy “Mercedes”.

It doesn't matter whether it is a rare car, a collection weapon or a simple army mug - this is just a decoration for understanding our history, the history of World War II and the 872 days of the siege of Leningrad.

This must be known, remembered and passed on to your children.

To unload the wave of emotions and impressions, you can visit the zoo, oceanarium, circus, planetarium. A week is hardly enough for everything. But this will be a reason to return to St. Petersburg again.

And we do not say goodbye to the city on the Neva, but say goodbye today!

And, if you want to take a piece of the Northern capital with you as a souvenir, visit the Imperial Porcelain Factory. Porcelain products from this factory, purchased in specialized stores, are the best souvenir that will delight both family and friends.

PS Before leaving, for dessert, we visited the exhibition "Grandmothers of Russian Porcelain" by Mrs. Oleskovskaya. An incredible experience!

The editors of the online edition "Zhivaya Karta" would like to thank the Committee for Tourism Development of St. Petersburg for the opportunity to visit the Northern Capital again.

The material was prepared as a result of a series of 5 informational and familiarization press tours that took place from November 28 to December 7, 2020 in the Northern capital. It was attended by 50 journalists and bloggers from different regions of Russia.

Published: 12/14/2020

Author: Denis Yurchenko