Every city has painful memories from its history. For Saint Petersburg, the years of the siege during WWII, called blokada in Russian, are the darkest moments. After it, many memorials were built to keep the memory of the fallen ones. The Piskarevskoye cemetery is one of those memorials.
The cemetery is placed far from the center of the city and is especially crowded during some specific dates of the year — the beginning and the end of the siege, or the end of the war. The first time I visited it was the eve of the Victory Day, the end of the war, so it was a mix of glorious flags and “thanks grandpa for the victory” signs and lonely old men and women wandering around the place.
At the entrance, there are two little pavilions, one of them also a little museum with objects and images from wartime. From there, a long, main boulevard dominates the view. At the end, a monumental depiction of the motherland protects an eternal fire. On the sides, there are huge green spaces where the anonymous are buried. In some of these spaces there’s only a sign with the years of the war, in others,there are tombstones labeled with some specific event, battalion or name, or portraits left by families hanging from some trees.
The place has given me another perspective of what the blokada means for the city and its inhabitants, and allows me to pay respect to the fallen.