River Neva

Foreign visitors to St Petersburg were always struck by the beauty of the River Neva, particularly at full tide. A busy transport artery, the river often burst its banks, causing havoc in the city. In 1812, Madame de Staël visited St Petersburg and was enchanted by the Neva embankment: “The buildings are blindingly white. At night, illuminated in the moonlight, they are like enormous white ghosts, silently observing the flow of the River Neva ... I have never seen such transparent water before. The granite embankment enclosing the river runs for thirty versts. The crystal-clear waters are worthy of this majestic creation of human hands.”

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