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Parks and Gardens of Saint Petersburg - Leningrad Zoo

The Leningrad Zoo (also called St.Petersburg Zoo) is one of the oldest and one of the biggest Russian zoos. It was founded in 1865 by the animal lovers Sofia and Julius Gebgardt. By the end of 19th century the collection of the Zoo was presented with more than 1000 different animals and the garden was financed by the Zoo Theater and restaurant on the territory. After changing the owners in the beginning of 20th century the Zoo fall into decay and in 1909 it was closed. In 1910 the new owner – theater actor Novikov – developed the territory and re-opened the Zoo to the city inhabitants and guests. The Zoo inhabitants became the city symbols, as the famous elephant Betti (was killed by the bomb during in 1941), hippopotamus The Beauty (Krasavitsa) and white bears (as the symbol of Leningrad Zoo). The years of WWII were very destroying for the Zoo, but it stayed opened for the visitors even during the Siege of Leningrad . In the honor of staff’s heroism the name of remained “Leningrad Zoo”, even the city changed the name for original Saint Petersburg.

After the war the collection of animals was growing, the Zoo buildings were restored, but during the long-lasting reconstruction of 1960s the collection was ruined – the elephants went to Tashkent, the hippopotamus – to Kiev. This restoration has not been finished properly at all and even in the end of 20th century the works were still in process. The last 10 years were very effective for Leningrad Zoo – the pre-war buildings were rebuilt, the Zoo became modern and well-developed and is really worth visiting.

NB! We can organize an individual tour for you to this park. Please, contact us!

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