WHITE NIGHTS - BRIDGES and EMBANKMENTS of St. PETERSBURG
St. Petersburg is one of the world's
most northerly cities. It lies on the same latitude as southern points of
Alaska and Greenland, and yet its climate - which to a large extent depends
on the proximity to the sea and the many waterways that crisscross the city
- is frequently described as fairly mild. Winters are much warmer than Moscow's,
and the January average temperature is about -8°C (17°F), with a
July average of 18°C (64°F). The annual average is 4°C (39,2°F)
but, on the whole, the atmosphere is a humid, fogs are frequent, and the
rainfall heavy. The weather is very changable.
From late May to early July the nights are bright enough that the city never
needs to turn the streetlights on.
But the time to experience the brightest White Nights is from June 11th to July
2nd. During their brief twilights, lasting no more than 30 to 40 minutes, the
streets and squares acquire an unusual charm. This was the inspiration for Dostoyevsky's White
Nights, and they are now the occasion for St. Petersburg's annual festival
of music and the arts.
Waters plays an enormous part in the life of the city.
Much of St. Petersburg lies practically at sea level. The River Neva (a very
short one of only 74 km., half of which is within the city's boundary), as it
reaches the Gulf of Finland divides into four arms: the Great and Little Neva,
and the Great and Little Nevka, which, with numerous affluents, combine to form
an intricate delta made up of more than 40 islands.
The magic of St. Petersburg White Nights is, of course, the panorama of "opened
bridges". The bridge-wings, connecting the islands in the daytime lift up
and open the road for ships. Their majestic lights create an unforgettable view
together with Peter-and-Paul Fortress, illuminated Hermitage, and other beautiful
palaces and houses standing on the banks of the Neva. The beginning of excursion
is usually at 23:30.
The route of the excursion includes the best vantage points of St. Petersburg.