The 8 mysterious and spooky sites of Saint Petersburg

Since its foundation, Saint Petersburg has been considered a mysterious city with a history involving numerous mysteries, secrets, and legends. There are some places known to be sites of tragic events, inexplicable phenomena, or just so-called ‘magical’ places due to the legends. If you are fascinated by the mysterious, supernatural, and unexplained follow our guide below to discover the 8 places in Saint Petersburg that will tickle your fancy.

The reviving Bronze Horseman

The Bronze Horseman is the famous monument to Peter The Great standing tall on Ploshchad Dekabristov (Dekabristov Square). It’s one of the most recognizable symbols of the city and, at the same time, one of its most mysterious ones. Legend has it that the monument protects the city from misfortunes because it has mysteriously remained untouched during the bombings of the WWII. Another local legend says that at night Peter the Great descends from the pedestal and patrols the city on the back of his horse. This story originated all the way back in the 19th century when the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin came up with the character of the bronze horseman while describing the devastating flood of 1824. Pushkin’s main character was rushing through the city in search of victims and was a symbol of the apocalypse (a reference to the devastating flood). Another peculiar fact: if you manage to peep into the statue’s eyes, you’ll see that Peter the Great’s pupils are heart-shaped.

Address:

Dekabristov Square

 

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Публикация от Lena Lewis (@delewister)

The Sphinxes

There are two magnificent sphinxes sitting on Universitetskaya Naberezhnaya (University Embankment) in front of the Academy of Fine Arts. Considered among the finest examples of Ancient Egyptian colossal sculpture kept outside Egypt, they are roughly 3,500 years old! They once stood on the Alley of Sphinxes in front of the tomb of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Discovered during excavations in the 1820s, they were soon purchased at an auction in France on behalf of the Russian Emperor and shipped to Saint Petersburg, where they have spent more than 180 years now. What makes this place spooky? According to ancient beliefs, one must not disturb the peace of the Sphinx, much less relocate them from their homeland (there is a great variety of movie plots built around this superstition). Therefore, the mysterious power of the Sphinx in Saint Petersburg is considered to be evil and some believe that looking into their bottomless eyes for too long can cause mental distress.

Address:

University Embankment

 

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Публикация от Светлана (@_orlovskaya__)

‘Semimostje’ at the St. Nicholas Cathedral

Semimostje means ‘a place of seven bridges’ since from this place on the embankment of the Griboedov Channel one can see seven bridges: the Pikalov Bridge, Novo-Nikolsky Bridge, Krasnogvardeysky Bridge, Staro-Nikolsky Bridge, Mogilev Bridge, Smezhny Bridge, and the Kashin Bridge. Legend has it that if you make a wish here it will definitely come true, especially, if you do it on the 7th of July at 7 pm. Keep in mind though that there will be many like you eager to make a wish – usually, a lot of tourists, photographers, artists and newlyweds come here on that day.

Address:

1/3 Nikolskaya sq.

 

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Публикация от Оксана Мелихова (@melikhova_ksu)

The Tsar-bath

A masterpiece of stone craftsmanship, this giant granite bath located in the ruins of the Babolovsky Castle built in 1785 as a bathing-place for summer holidays in Tsarskoye Selo, is a lesser known yet attention worthy tourist attraction. This artifact is also known as ‘the Babololvskaya Cup’, ‘Bath of the Russian Empire’ and ‘the Eighth Wonder of the World’. A colossal monolithic pool carved from a single 160-tons piece of red granite, about two meters high and 5 meters in diameter, it weighs 48 tons and holds about 12 tons or over 8000 buckets of water. Despite the obvious colossal efforts to bring the original huge stone from the Finnish islands and the exceptional craftsmanship involved in making the bath, the purpose of this object still remains unknown. Some say it was supposed to be a summer swimming pool, others consider it a ritual Masonic artefact placed in the secret temple of Babolovsky Castle….you decide what to believe.

Address:

Tsarskoye Selo

 

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Публикация от @sierelle_

The Rotunda, or the Devil’s stairs

The Rotunda is a mysterious staircase located in a dwelling house built by merchant Ustinov on Gorokhovaya Street in 1827. They say that the house was used by Masonic lodge members for secret meetings since the Masonic organizations were officially banned in Russia in 1822. At the foot of the stairs there is a small door leading to the basement where, allegedly, newly converted members passed their initiation. Rumor has it that those who try to get into the basement today age very quickly or even go insane. In post-perestroika time, the Rotunda was considered a cult place among the youth, hippies and rock-n-rollers.

Address:

Gorokhovaya Street

 

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Публикация от Viacheslav (@v_alkopona)

The Ghost of the Engineering Castle

The Engineering (Mikhailovsky) Castle on Sadovaya Street is notorious for the tragic story of the Russian Emperor Pavel I who built the fort to protect himself and his family from the conspirators and then was brutally murdered here in 1801. The official version announced to the public was that he died of an apoplexy stroke, yet the brutal marks on his face seen under the thick layer of makeup gave away to those who were present at the burial that he was a victim of a violent death. The legend goes on to say that the shadow of the deserted emperor can still be seen today standing by the window on the second floor of the castle.

Address:

Sadovaya Street

 

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Публикация от GG (@giorgino_9)

The Stone Head

This is a bizarre landmark located in the estate of Sergievka near Peterhof. The estate itself was built in 1842 for Princess Maria, the daughter of Emperor Nickolay I, and her husband Maximilian, Duke of Leuchtenberg, and is worth a visit for its beautiful antique architecture and surrounding park with picturesque views, ancient ruins, mysterious artefacts and overall mystic atmosphere. The park holds many secrets, including the story behind the stone head sticking out of the ground. Some believe that it used to have a large helmet attached to it, for which there is an opening on the nose. Others say that there is a statue of a huge stone giant hidden underneath. The history of this head remains a mystery, for it is unknown who carved it and why. The legend says it was made by the master of the Peterhof facade factory to honor Peter I. The artifact once impressed the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin so much when he visited the place in 1818 that he included it as one of the central characters in his renowned ‘Ruslan and Lyudmila’ poem.

Adress:

Sergievka

 

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Публикация от Юлия (@iuliia_aristova)

The cursed Obvodnoy Channel

Located closer to the outskirts of St. Petersburg, the embankment of the Obvodny Channel is notorious for numerous suicides and fatal accidents. It ill fame started spreading back in 1923, when in the middle of construction works and trench digging men came across an unusual structure consisting of a series of plates laid out on a circle, with ancient inscriptions and signs. The workers raised one of the plates and found human remains underneath it and have stopped the works immediately. The archeologists established that the burial was of Scandinavian origin and was likely to be an ancient place of sacrifice, or a pagan temple of the 11th-13th centuries. Despite the protests, the construction went on and the burial site was destroyed. Later over the years, 89 people committed suicide or accidently died at the embankment. From then on, every ten years the mystic story repeats and the number of tragic deaths around this location keeps growing.

Address:

Obvodny Channel

 

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Публикация от Annette (@abogdanchik)

The Ghost of Grigory Rasputin

Grigory Rasputin is a scandalous and mysterious figure in the Russian history. Believed to be a wise man and a gifted healer, he was a close friend to the family of the last Russian Emperor Nickolay II and is believed to have been able to heal the wounds of Emperor’s only son Prince Alexey, who suffered from haemophilia. The courtyard at 64 Gorokhovaya Street, where Rasputin lived with his two daughters, was always filled with both ordinary and noble people praying for help or wanting to have their future told by this famous fortune teller. Loved by many, he was hated by even more for his close relationship with the royal family, alleged affair with the Empress, and assumed influence on the political decisions of the Tsar. It was from this apartment that on December 17, 1916, he went to the Yusupov Palace, where he was killed by the owner of the house Felix Yusupov and his accomplices. However, some believe that Grigory Rasputin’s spirit still lives in the house. The residents claim they often hear mysterious steps and a man’s voice at night, and still receive letters with pleas for help from strangers addressed to Grigory Rasputin.

Address:

64 Gorokhovaya Street

 

 

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Публикация от Ткачева Елена (@vorona_lt)

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