CYCLE ARTICLES ABOUT SAINT-PETERSBURG
"WHITE NIGHTS IN ST. PETERSBIRG"
Saint-Petersburg is a city of incredible beauty, music, and romance, a true wellhead of world architectural masterpieces…Due to this fact the city has several symbolic names. Due to the richness of rivers and canals Saint-Petersburg is called the Northern Venice, for its unique and magnificent beauty – the Northern Palmira, and also it’s named the Northern capital as far as for 200 years Saint-Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire. However, most often this city is called “the city of white nights”.
During the period of white nights the city of the Neva-river is filled with a peculiar charming and acute sounding, felt by almost everyone watching this unrivalled phenomenon in the transparently grey sky.
At this time the atmosphere in Saint-Petersburg is fully soaked with romantic mood, for some period of time guest and citizens forget their everyday chores and problems and immerge into dreams and romance. Famous palaces, churches, ensembles, bridges, fences and monuments of Saint-Petersburg against the background of mystic atmosphere of white nights not only impress with their magnificent and unique appearance but also create some inner unforgettable feeling of unreality and fabulousness, when it seems that all the wishes come true at that instance.
There are a lot of beautiful and interesting places, and Saint-Petersburg is one of the most surprising. Metaphysics of this city as well as its logically inexplicable charm are not only human merit. The reason why this city is so unique may lie in the geography of it, and namely in the aware choice of place and time of its creation.
Some people think that white nights are some mystical natural phenomenon which can be observed only on the banks of the Neva-river. In reality, it’s not true. White nights are rather wide-spread natural phenomenon that can be seen in a number of world cities. Close to the solstice on the latitudes above 40’ nights are replaced with light smoky twilight. This phenomenon is observed in the southern hemisphere in December, and in the northern one – in June. Depending on the closeness to the Northern Circle the number of white nights increases. For example, a white night in Volgograd region occurs only once a year on the 22nd of June, there are 23 such nights in Saint-Petersburg, 77 in Arkhangelsk, and nearby Tiksy Bay the night doesn’t come for 2.5 months.
Local people in such places believe that the sun doesn’t goes below the horizon. However, such opinion is not true. Astronomers call a white night civil twilight arriving after the sun goes below the horizon and before its depth of submersion is not more than 6 degrees. In the north civil twilights last till the sunrise.
This phenomenon is caused by the change in the sun altitude above the horizon which is the Earth inclination to the plane of its orbit, due to which the sun lights illuminate the planet in various ways and various time. During the summer solstice the whole Northern Polar region gets lighted, and a polar day comes to the altitudes higher than 65 degrees – this is the time when the sun never goes below the horizon.
When it comes to Saint-Petersburg, the period of white nights lasts here from June, 11th till July, 16th. In the night of July, 17th the city streets are again illuminated with street lamps, which symbolizes the end of this natural festival. As citizens observe, nights get darker and darker at the end of June, which is why the best time to visit Peter is mid June. The lightest night of this period is on the 20th -21st of June. On this night the sun goes below the horizon only to 7 degrees, and the day lasts for 18 hours and 53 minutes.
The most important event accompanying the white night and which you really can’t miss while walking around the night Peter is opening bridges and letting steamboats go along the Neva-river. This spectacle is so beautiful and fascinating.
Bridges are moved apart according to the schedule and with an interval, starting from 1.30a.m. and till 4.30a.m., that’s why you can see several “bridge shows” during one night. You should remember that bridges in Peter are opened as far as a part of Volga-Baltic waterway lays on the Neva.
During the period of white nights Saint-Petersburg turns into a true city of holidays. A number of concerts and festivals are held here. Since 2005, “Scarlet Sails” Festival has become a traditional and the brightest one. For several years of its existence this festival has become the most favorite holiday of citizens and a visiting card of Saint-Petersburg on the international arena, having become a unique event of international standard. The festival agenda includes concerts on the Spit of Vasilievsky Island and on the Palace square, as well as light and pyrotechnic multimedia show in the Neva water area. Every year about 2-3 million people become visitors of the “Scarlet sails” Festival which is startling number of participants for any event of the world standard.
White nights in Saint-Petersburg are berhymed by such great classics as A.Pushkin, N.Agnivtsev, described in the novel “White nights” by F.Dostoyevsky. Classics of literature and painting in love with this city made Saint-Petersburg famous in the whole world for its beauty and uniqueness and its surprising phenomenon – white nights.