Tour to St Petersburg Sphinxes - Russia

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The ancient Egyptian sphinxes are well-known in St Petersburg. These mysterious creatures decorate the Embankment in front of the Academy of Arts.

The one Sphinx looks at the Hermitage museum where its motherland relics are kept in Peter and Paul Fortress. The other one looks at East, Finish gulf and its distant motherland.

History of St Petersburg Sphinxes

Those sphinxes survived 35 centuries, they were watched by Great Pharaohs, Russian Emperors and many our citizens. They have been in St Petersburg for 178 years and for that short time they have witnessed 4 revolutions and 2 empires dissolutions.

What will be next the Sphinxes will have to watch and survive although they are immortal and will live till St Petersburg exists itself?

Alexander Pushkin, Great Russian poets used to walk near sphinxes and try to guess their mystery. Probably you will have that chance to travel to St Petersburg and touch that mystery and who knows perhaps you will manage to find a clue.

Those sphinxes are about 3500 years old and in spite of their age they put together with the granite city itself. Their faces slightly smile and their mysterious look under almond eyes raise up many legends.

Mystery of St Petersburg Sphinxes

In 21st century people believe that sphinxes settled down in St Petersburg and became a part of the city.

Nowadays it is one of the favorite place among newly-weds and citizens. Sphinxes symbolize power, intelligence and dark talent. They are guards to Death Gates and there are people who believe Sphinxes can make you mad while staring at then other people on the contrary crave for its touch to obtain good luck and happiness.

There is an interesting fact: one can never see birds resting on Sphinxes sculptures though there are plenty of birds near the statues along the embankment.

Tourists can easily catch the sight of sculptures and touch them if they travel across Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge and turn right, on the opposite side there will Academy of Art and next it there is Rumyantsev Garden.

There are however other sphinxes in the city and in spite of being much younger than the Egyptian ones they are equally interesting for their story is related to the terrible days of Stalin's terror in Russia.

St Petersburg Sphinx

The youngest St Petersburg sphinxes

Two bronze sphinxes decorate Robespierre embankment. Those sphinxes are the youngest ones and the symbol of both Art and the triumph of justice of right less people during Stalin’s repression over the regime.

If you look at the face of sphinxes you will see it is divided into two parts: one alive human part and the other one is a skull. The part with a skull personifying Stalin regime looks at the opposite side of the Neva where there is a prison and the alive human part looks at people passing by. They were designed by Mikhail Shemyakin.

Some people joke that those sculptures are constructed to make children scared.

The more mysterious St Petersburg seems to me the more exciting I become to touch that puzzle and to rack my brains and spirit to get closer to the clue of that mystery. Human’s life is only a short instant among immortality of Universe.


Those sphinxes are so impartial because they have already known what we mortal creatures will never conceive but that doesn’t prevent us from making effort to touch that mystery, which is in our nature.

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