Wandering Camera

Album 171
(Translated by
Nina Mamayeva)


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.
And this is pretty much it.




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