Thanks to the habit of ponds to freeze in winter, we do get to see the landscape from a completely different point of view.
So, let’s use this opportunity and explore on foot, The Big Pond in Catherine’s Park.
“The Hall On The Island”
In summer people can get to the island by the ferry, but I, myself have never used it.
Next to the island we can see “The Chesmen Column”.
Designed by A.Rinaldi (1771-78), the 25m tall monument made from Olonets’s marble commemorates the Russian naval victory over Turkey (June 24-26, 1770).
Although an entrance, it is however securely closed with a steel gate.
So, we’ll choose another way…
It’s extremely slippery there. I should say the possibility of scraping my face on the ice on the steps doesn’t look inviting to me at all. Proceed with extreme caution!
On top of the column base is a small viewing platform and a staircase going down to the locked gates, seen in the previous picture.
Four giant bronze plaques at the columns’ base tell the story of the victory. Written on one of the plaques is the actual text; the others depict diagrams of the three most important battles of the Russian-Turkish war.
A plaque, just like one of the previous three, can be seen on the other bank of the pond.
I took the picture of it some months ago.
The story goes: during the war, Nazis dismantled most of valuable bronze monuments in the park, including the plaques from the column (what a logistical nightmare that would have been). But one of the plagues fell off the track and broke, so they left it there. After the installation of the new plaques (1953) the broken one was left to rest on the ground as a remainder of the occupation.
The anchor from the one of the ships.
Well, as soon as we are here, let’s have a closer look.
This is the rostra - the nose of the ship, just like on the columns at the Spit of
The tradition to build the rostral columns comes from ancient Romans where they used real ship noses for triumphal processions. However in our column the rostras are only decorations.
The eagle is symbolizing Russia,
In the eagle’s claw – the Moon, symbol of Turkey.
Now we can go back to the gate.
Unfortunately we cannot walk out through it, but at least I can take a picture from here.
Let’s go in the direction of the Turkey’s baths (architect I.Monighetti 1850-52).
It is probably the only bathhouse in the world with minarets.
The “Marble”- “Palladian” Bridge (architect V. Neyelov),
This is the exact copy of the one found in Buckinghamshire, England (architect H. Herbert).
This Bridge, just like it’s twin in England was built accordingly to the architectural teachings of Andrea Palladio(1508-1580).
Strangely enough, no footprints can be seen on the bridge. It is especially suspicious because of the fences and the warning sign (very unusual for Russians to obey such things).
However, I was not in the mood to investigate mysteries …