Petersburg hosts aqua festival to mark its 300th anniversary

More than 100,000 Petersburg citizens and guests to the city have come to admire the aquacade on the Neva on the day of the city's anniversary.

A peculiar historical parade of sailing boats, The Neva Aquacade, took place between the Palace and Trinity Bridges. The audience that gathered on the Neva banks saw sailing boats of various epochs - barks of Novgorod merchants of the 12th-15th centuries, a trade sailing boat of the 17th century and exact copies of Peter the Great's boat -- the "grandfather of the Russian fleet" and the Shtandart frigate, built from the sketches of the Peter's times.

The Shtandart played the central role in the aquacade: a few minutes after the parade the frigate represented a Swedish vessel in a historical scene shown to the audience - the battle of May 3rd, 1703, in the Neva water mouth. On that day two Swedish vessels entered the Neva and Peter the Great took a brave decision to attack the well-armed military vessels from board simple boats. The bold attack of the Russian sailors made the captain of the Swedish vessels drop his intentions and leave Russia.

The next thing the audience saw after the scene of the glorious victory of Russian sailors was an original "assembly" - similar gatherings and dance parties were held in noblemen's houses on the instructions of Peter the Great from 1718 to eliminate the traditional Russian asociality and introduce European customs instead. Today, almost 300 years later, 18 yachts with the pictures of ladies and gentlemen in 18th-century dresses on the sails looked like modest girls and "the birdlings of Peter's nest" rolling in a slow dance.

The Neva Aquacade hosted a Russian premiere of dancing fountains two of which were installed on the beach of the Peter and Paul Fortress and the third - on Vasilyevsky island.

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