CYCLE ARTICLES ABOUT SAINT-PETERSBURG
"A FEW DELUSION ABOUT ST. PETERSBURG"
Probably, every location has its legends and fables; no matter it is a big city or a small village. These incredible stories spread among citizens and get more and more detailed. And of course it is true about such prominent city as Saint-Petersburg!.. It is often called the city of legends and fables. However, it simply couldn’t be otherwise as Saint-Petersburg is a huge city located on the banks of the Neva-river. It has the many-century history, full of events, both sad and happy. The city has seen so many wars, revolutions, celebrations, rulers, and a number of talented and famous persons… On the other hand, all these caused a lot of misbelieves and contradictions with reality. In this article you are going to find several examples of them:
- A lot of people consider this city to be named after its founder Emperor Peter I. However, it reality Peter the First wanted to give the name of his protector Saint Peter to the main fortress of the modern city that was under construction at that time being the fervor of the Great Northern War. Consequently, when the city was founded, it received the same name, in honor of the Saint Disciple.
- The Finns are considered to be native inhabitants of the territory of modern Saint Petersburg. Naturally, such opinion is supported by Finnish scientists who state that all the place-names of the city and surrounding territories are changed and their original names had Finnish origin. However, scientists have proved that the Finns appeared on these territories only in the XVIIcenturyalong with the Swedish. The number of Russian people considerably exceeded the number of the Finns.
- Everyone knows that Saint-Petersburg is situated on the wetlands. Some people even state that these lands are not suitable for living. However, the city has existed for several centuries and is even growing. Furthermore, there were settlements – small villages and even cities - long before Saint Peter-Petersburg was constructed.
- A legend says that Saint-Petersburg is built on 101 islands. In reality, there are much less of them. Many centuries ago their number really equaled to 101, but influenced by human and natural factors it started to decrease. In the early XX century there were only 42 islands.
- There exists an opinion that praedial serves constructed the Northern Capital of Russia. Such myths were created by foreigners who had no idea of Russian people’s life. If only suppose that labor of praedial serves was used for the city construction, it is hard to imagine how high the death rate would be. Fortunately, this is just another misbelief proved by excavation works. In reality, workers doing labor service received payment for their work. They used to work in shifts and nobody forced them to build.
- Well-known monument in the center of St. Petersburg located on the Senatskaya square and called “Copper Horseman” is actually made of bronze and not copper. A.Pushkin is to be blamed for this opinion as he called the monument “Copper Horseman” in his eponymously-named poem.
- And the last misbelief about Saint-Petersburg. A legend says that Vasilyevskiy island got its name during the lifetime of Peter I. At that time there was a fortification on this island ruled by Captain Vasiliy Korchmin. There is no reliable evidence to this fact. However, other data state that the island got such a name much earlier. As early as in the XV century there appeared mentioning of the island in chronicles.
It was just a short retrospective to the legends of Saint-Petersburg. Decide yourselves!...