You will not find here dramatic stories about heroic doctors, about sick and recovered, and even about stupid officials. Do not expect agitation for or against quarantine and lockdown.
This is nothing more than sketches from nature - about how a large city lives in a pandemic, which once survived the blockade and still has not forgotten how to just work.
At the exit and at the entrance
In the difficult 2020, the author managed to get from Moscow to St. Petersburg twice. Of course, with the suburbs and neighboring Vyborg, Sestroretsk and Kronstadt.
With a rehearsal of the naval parade, which it is better to write about separately, and with a small series of temples and monuments, each of which is connected in its own way with the military history Russia.
The first voyage took place at the exit from the first wave of Covid-19, when we settled not in the city, but in Repino. There was the sea, and the quarantine restrictions were much milder than in the center with closed cafes, museums and theaters. During the second arrival in November - in the midst of the second wave of coronavirus, they settled on the Obvodny Canal.
Where submarines are being designed very close by and still producing a lot of what was previously, and even now, is considered top secret. There is also a small square named after Pyotr Ivanovich Bagration with a quite solid monument to the Russian hero and the Georgian prince.
Well, a little further away - the Old Jaeger Barracks, the very name of which eliminates the need to explain anything. Almost half of the city is built up in St. Petersburg with barracks, headquarters and other kinds of institutions - it happened historically. The number of museums with military themes is hardly inferior to numerous art museums.
Finally, St. Petersburg monuments - among them the military is definitely in the majority. On the travels of 2020, only a few have received special attention from the author. And two - to Admiral Spiridov and General Brusilov, can generally be considered the purpose of the trip.
By the way, during the almost three weeks that the author eventually spent in St. Petersburg, he saw an ambulance with signals only a couple of times and never - doctors dressed in impenetrable gowns and plastic glasses-masks. On the surface, few people are in a hurry in the northern capital under the nineteenth Covid, and there is no hysteria on TV and radio.
We got to the city of Petrov in both arrivals in a personal car along the brand new toll road M-11. On it, even when you go together, it turns out to be cheaper than on the Sapsan. And when there are four, then count it almost for free. Even the money withdrawn from the transponder can be disregarded - the time saved is worth it.
By the way, there is not so much time to Sapsan on M-11 and you lose. Here it took 8-9 hours to get from door to door. And by Sapsanov's four o'clock it is necessary to add the road from home to the hotel, as well as the indispensable waiting for the train.
In general, the road troubles on the routes Moscow - St. Petersburg - Moscow almost did not cause problems. Not counting the fine on duty in late autumn a couple of hundred meters from Petropavlovka.
There is simply a classic trap at the inviting free parking lot near the library. When, due to pedestrians and crowded trams (especially in bad weather), almost no one sees the “one-way traffic” sign. Well, the brick on the road notices when it’s already, what is called "late run."
The silent northern city does not slumber
There is no doubt that Peter is working hard in the fall, in contrast to the short period of white nights, to the fullest. On weekdays, people appear on the streets only after lunch, when it’s time to pick up the kids from schools. There, by the way, gyms are in full swing - this can be seen even through the uncurtained windows.
Meanwhile, in all districts, lights start to light up in factory workshops, research institutes and office centers, which are much smaller here than in Moscow. Almost no one walks the streets in masks, although in shops and the subway they are disciplined to be put on all at once.
The sphere of culture, tourism and service is also fighting for its existence with all its might. Of course, there are not enough people everywhere. There are no Chinese at all. But practically nothing is closed. Although they are about to promise to hang locks at the entrances to stadiums and food courts in supermarkets.
Literally before our very eyes, navigation on the Neva and the canals was completed. Although it will be possible to ride under a direct order until the ice finally rises. Not pleased with the absence of both Russian and trophy banners in the Kazan Cathedral. But the grave of Kutuzov and the keys to the German and French fortresses hung right above it have not gone anywhere.
Of the iconic St. Petersburg objects, perhaps only the good old Ciniselli circus did not work. Yes, the Hermitage exposition in the General Staff building was a little let down. On Thursday, when I was there, there was a free day for people with disabilities, large families and cadets with art students. Yours truly is not on this list.
He was fully satisfied with other excursions. Including the renovated New Holland - which was once a huge warehouse of timber with an addition (in the form of a complete set) naval workshops.
Now New Holland is something like an expanded version of the art space with an open skating rink, cafes and entertainment. But the main thing is with a clear reference to the times of Peter the Great, up to an exact copy of the frigate under construction, which in the summer is given to the power of the little ones.
Directly across from New Holland via the Kryukov Canal is an updated version of the legendary Naval Museum. He moved here not so long ago from the Spit of Vasilievsky Island from the Exchange building. But he received much larger areas, but is still waiting for a large influx of public.
Where is the admiral, where is the general
Is it worth explaining that a visit to Kronstadt, one of the favorite brainchildren of Peter the Great, became a roll call with this museum and New Holland. The city on the island, blown by all the winds, has now become something like the capital of the St. Petersburg dam and comes to life just before our eyes.
Comparison with earlier arrivals there is clearly in favor of our time. And I am especially glad that there are again many sailors in Kronstadt. Until now, the impressive ruins of the Cyclopean baths of the Petrovsky Dock (literally behind the back of the monument to the first Russian emperor) have been taken under special supervision here today.
They were neatly fenced off, made as safe as possible, cleared of trash and thickets. This is because next to the dock there is now the St. Petersburg Patriot Park, which (unlike the pompous Moscow namesake) does not in any way resemble a sort of military-Expo.
Here in late autumn, of course, it is empty, only the last apples in the ennobled garden are pleasing to the eye, but it is quiet and somehow in a special modest way, although on the gate it is written - the Admiralty of Emperor Peter I.
And the alley of admirals is impressive - perhaps the main goal of my autumn voyage to St. Petersburg. The heroes of this alley were not chosen blindly. And the matter was not limited to the decision of a working group of 15 people, which included local historians, historians of the Russian fleet, the military and the director of the park itself.
There was even a vote, and the author is especially pleased that among the best Russian naval commanders Grigory Andreevich Spiridov, the triumphant of Chesma and the hero of several publications on "Military Review" (Chesma. 250 years later: the return of the admiral.).
It remains only to note that the monuments to the admirals on the alley were executed by young St. Petersburg sculptors Ivan Zubarev and Vladislav Mukhanov.
Kronstadt Park "Patriot" gently, even delicately added to the already formed historical ensemble with the Eternal Flame, ship guns of all eras, a monument to Admiral S.O. Makarov and the restored beautiful church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. For a reason, he was always considered the patron saint of wanderers, and above all, sailors.
The snow-white cathedral named after him with blue domes, which are decorated with golden anchors, seems to float on sails under leaden Baltic clouds. And it can be seen from almost every point of the city, and the entire island. The interior is so elegantly decorated that at first you don't have the heart to just enter the dome.
However, the scrupulous chronicle of the Russian fleet, engraved in gold letters on the memorial plates around the perimeter of the temple, is even more catchy. Immediately - icons, icons, icons. Only those dedicated to Fyodor Ushakov could count four or five. And the monument to the famous naval commander quite logically stood at the cathedral.
Returning to St. Petersburg, we went to a meeting with another monument - not to the admiral, but to the general. More precisely, to Adjutant General Alexei Alekseevich Brusilov. I don’t know what the logic is, but why General Brusilov, who immediately sided with the Reds, found a place only near the building of the former State Duma of the Russian Empire, I don’t presume to say.
There are plenty of explanations on the Internet, but few people remembered that it was Dumtsev Alexei Alekseevich, by whose name the brilliant breakthrough of the Austro-German front in 1916 was named, in fact, did not really like it. And this is despite the fact that it was the Duma leaders who, having put together their Provisional (not in name, but in fact) Government, gave Brusilov the post of supreme commander in chief.
But as they gave it, they took it away later. Although the Supreme Brusilov was categorically against the failed July 1917 offensive. I do not exclude that a rather extraordinary choice of a point for the monument a few years ago prevented the author from finding it at the intersection of Shpalernaya and Tavricheskaya.
In the worldwide network, which was cut off at the right moment, then it seems that the necessary information did not arrive at all. So the author removed to the side of the Suvorov Museum. However, now I cannot but admit that the monument, executed by Jan Neumann, is very worthy. And although flowers, let's say, it is not overwhelmed, but not forgotten for sure.
In Moscow, for now, only the modest grave of the famous commander in the Novodevichy Convent. Yes, the same unobtrusive bust by Denis Petrov (pictured above) on the wall of a house in Mansurovsky Lane, where Brusilov once lived. Now the Syrian embassy has settled there, kindly providing a place for a commemorative sign and a sculpture.