There are three cemeteries over on Vasilyevsky Island
(Basil Island) along the banks of the Smolenka River - Smolensky Lutheran,
Smolensky Orthodox and Armenian (Armenian-Gregorian). I am not planning to
show too many tombstones (this could be the subject of many hundreds of
interesting albums :); it would just be strange to ignore cemeteries
altogether. I'll try to keep in the middle.
This stretch of the Smolenka River
embankment resembles a quiet rural town.
Smolenka was called Chernaya Rechka (the
Black River) before the 18th century.
It separates Vasilyevsky Island
from Dekabristov Island (a.k.a. Goloday).
This doesn't stop people from calling both islands Vasilyevsky Island.
If we walk away from the Neva River
towards the gulf, the entrance to the Smolensky Lutheran Cemetery would
be the first on our right hand side.
Of all the three cemeteries this one is
the most neglected and it is also the most interesting with its old
graves and crypts severely damaged by people and worn over time.
Some of the widely known people buried
here are admiral I.De Ribas who led the construction and reinforcement
of Odessa in 1975, E.A.Engelgardt who used to be the principal of the
Tzarskoye Selo Lyceum, L.Nobel whose brother was the famous Nobel, and
F.Schubert (an astronomer).
Next to the Lutheran cemetery is a small
Armenian cemetery. It is well kept and very neat.
In 1791 the Church of the Resurrection of
Christ (a.k.a. Surb Arutyun) was built here from M.Felten's design, and
the cemetery formed around it.
On the other side of Smolenka is the
Smolensky Orthodox Cemetery. It is several times larger than either of
the first two. Close to a million people are buried here.
It was founded in 1738 by the order of Synod.
The Smolensky Church is at the entrance
of the cemetery.
There are also the Voskresensky (Resurrection) Church and the Chapel
of Ksenya Blazhenny (Ksenya Beatific), the heavenly patroness of Saint
Petersburg; both buildings are being restored now.
From time to time the local television station will report stories of
"miracles" that are happening at the cemetery.
The Smolensky Church was built in
1786-1790 by architect A.A.Ivanov.
There was a wooden church here in as
early as the 1760s.