St Petersburg City Tour - Modern Cultural Venues
It seems that everything in St Petersburg accentuates its poetic heritage when you look at the net of waterways with bridges
. No wonder that in such atmosphere the city spawned many talented people who enriched the cultural life of the place. But any interesting phenomenon is many-sided and St Petersburg is not exclusion. Picturesque sights in addition to white nights and architectural splendor of the city have experienced the powerful inflow of quite different culture: unofficial one. With right approach every person has a chance to get the full idea what is going on in cultural life of St Petersburg and choose non-standard travel routes.
Here are some spots which can be of interest to any inquisitive traveler who wants to get the complete picture of the city and its contemporary subculture.
The quintessence of underground culture found its place in St Petersburg when in the beginning of the last century creative literary personalities gathered in the caf "The Stray Dog" (or "Brodyachaya Sobaka"). They felt rejected (as stray dogs) after they tried to introduce new rules to literary traditions. This place still offers shelter for artists, writers and poets who need support and encouragement. This way it became a destination point for all those artistic personalities who feel astray in their activities. Located in the basement it fully conveys its underground spirit. Just like a century ago, when Anna Akhmatova, Nikolai Gumilev, Vladimir Mayakovsky used to come there, artistic groundbreakers can spend time in it and get rid of despair if something goes wrong. This artistic atmosphere works miracles. The readings still take place there, music is performed and acts are played.
One of the most remarkable spots of non-official cultural life in St Petersburg is the art-center "Pushkin Street 10". This is a squat, occupied by musicians and artists. The goal of independent centre they followed was accepted by many creative people and now it comprises a range of concert venues, art galleries, museums and clubs. This is a very popular place which is criticized for being crowdy, but this only proves the interest to non-official culture.
Just the same way alternative music is played in multiple clubs of St Petersburg. Russian rock is a unique phenomenon which has arisen as a protest against lack of freedom in the Soviet Union. It was rather risky at that time. But this life-threatening risk was highly evaluated by the audience and groups, which ventured to express themselves at that time, entered the history of music. Rock culture flourished especially in St Petersburg and it gave boost to its development throughout the country. Grebenschikov, Tsoi, Shevchuk learned people not to copy the compositions of Western talented musicians but create Russian original music culture.
Rock club in 13 Rubinstein street was the first place which united people who believed in future of Russian rock. The club does not exist at that place any more, but there are plenty of clubs with alternative music. Experimental Sound Gallery, Griboyedov Club and other places are the most loved places, playing alternative music now.
All this adds some charm to this city, which is not seen at first glance. When one follows traditional routes, he will never see such places. But this side will by no means disappoint the traveler. Such unofficial spots will bring additional charm to the image of the city. Such places are not found in traditional guides but some agencies that offer private tours and accommodation are ready to assist in it. They do not only offer luxurious apartments for rent in the center of the city, but organize individual tours during which it is possible to see unpolished city life. The one who prefers everything authentic and real will highly appreciate that chance.
Copyright (c) 2010 Oleg Shkaruta
by: Oleg Shkaruta
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