Wandering Camera

Album 165
(Translated by
Nina Mamayeva)


The first album this spring will be devoted to the cruiser "Aurora". She is located at the corner of the Petrovskaya and Petrogradskaya embankments, where the Bol'shaya Nevka branches out of the Neva River.


Even though the cruiser was a part of the Tsushima battle (Russian-Japanese War of 1904-1905), she is most famous for her revolutionary past. In October of 1917 the crew shot blank cartridges at the Winter Palace, where the Temporary Government, declared obsolete by the Bolsheviks, held its meetings.
At the time "Aurora" was docked close to the Lieutenant Schmidt's (a.k.a.  Nikolaevsky) bridge of the Angliyskaya embankment. A memorial site can be found there now.

The ship has been harbored in the navigation-free area next to the Petrogradskaya embankment. She is open to visitors now and for a fee one can  even explore the engine room.

The cruiser was built at the stocks of the "New Admiralty" shipyard for the  Russian Navy at the Far East.

That was where she sailed originally, to return to the Baltic sea in the beginning of the Russian-Japanese War.

Soon, "Aurora" was launched to battle the Japanese in the Far East under the command of flag-officer Enkwist. The damaged warship had been sent to the  Philippines until the end of the war in 1996, when she came back to Russia.

For a while she served as a practice ship for the naval cadets.

During World War I the cruiser was called to active duty under command of  captain Butakov, and her home port was the island of Sveaborg. The island is  about 15 minutes away from the shore of Helsinki and I will probably show it  to you in one of the future albums.

In the fall of 1916 the ship underwent major repairs - new steam-boilers, upgraded cannonry and communication system were installed. The crew consisted of 723 men.

By 1917 Petrograd had become the heart of the revolutionary events. In  February the captain of "Aurora" was killed, the crew elected its committee end raised the red flag over the cruiser. By October 1917 most of the  crewmen had joined the Bolsheviks and participated in the revolt on their side. That was when the dry shot was made from the bow cannon (above and  left) of "Aurora" to force the Temporary Government to surrender.

By the time of the Civil War the cruiser had been taken off active duty to be restored as a training ship by 1921.

In the beginning of the Great Patriotic War "Aurora" was called to defend the town of Kronshtadt, and later to serve as a base for Russian submarines.  In September of 1941 the hull was damaged and sunk close to Oranienbaum. In  1947 the ship had been repaired and became a museum.

From 1984-1987 major restoration work was conducted - the masts and  subsurface parts were replaced, and compartments remodeled.

Metal tube on the photo on the right is a part of the communication system. Talk - listen, listen - talk. They say the quality is quite good, but a 
regular phone has been installed as well - a much lighter device.

The pipe running along the mast at the top right corner is the exact match 
to the previous image.
The winch and the ship bell.
The winch instructions :)
The dinghy drop off system is quite complex - the carriers have to turn one after another to keep the boats above water.
Nakhimov marine college.
"Aurora" is docked right in front of it...
... which explains in part the shine of the deck and the metallic parts...

The cruiser is a training lab for the college.

The sailing (top) and the battle (bottom) deck houses. The propeller's fin...
Now let's go downstairs.
The ship's banners from different times are displayed in the hall...
...as well as marine paintings. I suspect that the picture to the right 
depicts Aurora's first launch into the water.
This apparently is where the crewmen slept.
This is where they rested and dined. 

By the way, there is a crew for the cruiser now too, they don't eat and sleep in the museum though :)

The engine room is very interesting also, except it's darker and there is a 
special fee to take pictures inside. You'll just have to see the room for 
yourself :)

Note that one of the steam-engines has been fully restored, and one of the 
guides insists that it is operational.

In 1992 the red flag was replaced by the original Andreevsky banner, and in 1998 an onboard church was blessed.

Most emphasis in Aurora's history is now given to its participation in pre-revolutionary events. This emphasis has changed dramatically in the recent past.

You can find more information about the cruiser at this site http://www.aurora.org.ru 

The second part of the "Hatches of Saint-Petersburg and Suburbs" is now available for review.


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