Monday, 21 June 2010

St Petersburg

The Great Palace. Taurida.  Wikipedia says it is the " largest and most historic of the palaces in St Petersburg" and in a city of beautiful palaces that certainly puts it in illustrious company

Built between 1783 and 1789 by Ivan Starov for Prince Gregory Potemkin it is plain neo-classical on the outside but very elaborate in the inside. I cannot tell you which room this is because the full title of the card was partially covered by a stamp.  It looks like a reception hall.   Potemkin was called Prince of Taurida for his successful military command during the conquest of the area, which we now call the Crimea, and was a favourite of Chatherine II.   He lost her patronage and in an attempt to win back favour put on festivals and illuminations for her but was to die on April 18 1791 without attaining this objective.

Although Catherine was not impressed by his attempts she must have been impressed by the palace for she bought it and employed Fyodor Volkiv to alter the interior and also put in a theatre and a church; transforming it into her summer town-house.

More changes happened in 1906 when it was partially rebuilt for the State Duma (parliament) and was the centre of revolutionary events in February 1917.  The main hall can seat 1000.  The present occupant of the building is the Commonwealth of Independent States and it is not open to the public but is still used for conferences.  How wonderful to work in a building like this.

The card came with a 4 of the 12 definitive stamps issued on October 1st 2009 of Russian Kremlins.  The name kremlin means a fortress or castle.
Now you can see why part of the title was covered by the stamps, what a great selection from my sender.
From top left to right they are: 5.00 - Novgorod Kremlin; 2.50 - Kolomna Kremlin; 10p. Moscow Kremlin
Botom left to right: 1.50 - Zaraisk Kremlin and another 5.00 Novgorod Kremlin.

My sender sends greetings from Moscow where summer has arrived and everything is green, very warm and sunny.

The card travelled 1,606 miles (2585k) and took 12 days.
Thank you Vadim.

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