Another stop during our Baltic Sea cruise: St. Petersburg
For two centuries, St. Petersburg was the capital of the Russian Empire, but fell into neglect under the communism regime. However in the last twenty years, it has risen to become recognized as Russia’ s intellectual and cultural hub. I found out on Google that St. Petersburg was Putin’s birthplace and home. No wonder it is considered now one of the cleanest cities in the world.
We spent two days in St. Petersburg and took a guided tour organized by the cruise ship. The tour started with a stop at the Church of the Savior, also called Church of the Spilled Blood because it was constructed on the site where Czar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881. Inside the church, the walls and columns are covered with mosaic work depicting scenes from the Bible.
In St. Isaac’s Square the magnificent cathedral showcases the world’s largest central gold dome, saturated with two-hundred and twenty pounds of shining gold, that took three decades to complete.
Here is the Synagogue of St. Petersburg.
And here is the Mosque of St. Peterburg.
As you can see all the religious edifices had incredibly beautiful domes.
Below is the Lady of Kazan Church. The interior of the church is impressive due to its twelve columns in green malachite and blue lapis lazuli. After Napoleon invaded Russia, (1812) the commander-in-chief General Mikhail Kutuzov asked Our Lady of Kazan for help. The Russians saw the cathedral as a memorial to their victory over Napoleon. Kutuzov himself was interred in the cathedral in 1813; and Alexander Pushkin wrote celebrated lines meditating over his sepulcher. In 1815 keys to seventeen cities and eight fortresses were brought by the victorious Russian army from Europe and placed in the cathedral’s sacristy. In 1837, Boris Orlovsky designed two bronze statues of Kutuzov and of Barclay de Tolly which stand in front of the cathedral.
Here is a picture of the famous Hermitage Museum that was the winter palace of of the czar, so it’s no wonder that we stepped into opulence and splendor at every turn. Now it’s home to some breathtaking masterpieces by Leonardo Da Vinci, Rembrant, and other famous painters.
Inside the Hermitage
She can’t abandon her patients for his crown.
To please his dying grandfather and protect his country’s autonomy, Prince Paul of Rensy Island must marry an American doctor, descendant of a Rensian princess. Paul, a confirmed bachelor, agrees to meet Amy incognito during her vacation in Paris. Although her career and ex-boyfriend are major interference, attraction sizzles between Amy and her driver Paul, but the rumor of her engagement to Prince Paul outrages her. Can he convince her that he loves her, in spite of his lies by omission?
While cruising the British Isles, I visited Guernsey, in the English Channel. This quaint island with special privileges and autonomy became the setting of my new story, Rensy Island. The prince’s romance was inspired by Prince William and Kate’s, but my heroine is a dedicated American doctor.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, writes all the time, at home in Florida, or when she relaxes on a cruise. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are inspired by the people around her, and set in the fascinating places she visits during her endless traveling.