The mysterious atomgrad Sosnovy Bor is ready to share its secrets with all tourists coming here. There are only 20 nuclear cities in Russia, the gates of some of them remain closed to guests. In 2013, restrictions on access to Sosnovy Bor for citizens of the Russian Federation were lifted. It is enough for them to present their passport at the entrance. Citizens from other countries who want to get acquainted with the life and living conditions of Russian scientists and nuclear scientists need to issue special passes. These issues are dealt with by travel agencies offering excursion tours in the Leningrad region.
Unlike many Russian cities, Sosnovy Bor tops the rating of the region in terms of average wages. This is not a poor city, so it is worth preparing for inflated prices for accommodation, food and services. Although here you can arrange for yourself a budget vacation, in particular, not hotels, but a hostel, not restaurants, but cafes, not taxis, but public transport. There is something to see, something to be surprised about, where to entertain children. We offer an impromptu excursion to the most significant sights of the city and its environs, which can be visited in one day
- 1 Seaside Park
- 2 City Museum of Glory
- 3 Church-chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
- 4 Cathedral of the Icon of the Mother of God Burning Bush
- 5 White Sands Park
- 6 Andersengrad
- 7 Museum-workshop of Vladimir Antoninov
- 8 Koporsky Fortress
- 9 Elevator Ranch
- 10 Shepelevsky lighthouse
- 11 Lipovsky beach
- 12 Leningrad NPP
- 13 Attractions Pine forest on map
Acquaintance with Sosnovy Bor is recommended to start with the Seaside Park. Nearby are the hotels “BSU” and “GREEN HOUSE” (hostel). This is a new officially created recreation area, registered in June [y]. Until that time, reconstruction was being done and entertainment facilities agreed with the project were installed. While the Embankment along the Glukhovka River is equipped, bicycle and pedestrian paths are laid. The main part of the park has already been created – a stage platform for performances of artists. It is planned that the territory of the multifunctional park will stretch to the Gulf of Finland. Guests of the city like this recreational area with a beach, attractions, a magnificent forest.
Citizens perceive the Seaside Park as a training zone for athletes. Here is the center of Olympic training of volleyball players. The local volleyball team successfully plays in the Higher League of Russian championships. Natives of Sosnovy Bor are biathlete Dmitry Malyshka and curler Anastasia Bryzgalova. Walking through the park, you can get lost for a long time between the hills and paths, visit the city beach and the boat pier. Next to it there is a good grill bar. From here, the local nuclear power plant is well visible.
Address: Leningradskaya St., Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad Region, Russia
City Museum of Glory
Sosnovy Bor is proud of its history and great people who lived, worked in the city, defended the Motherland during the war. Behind each of them there are heroic stories, which can be heard in the City Museum of Glory, located at the exit from the Seaside Park. In its building once lived a veteran of the Finnish and Second World War Peter Yakovlevich Yakkonen. The exposition of glory was decided to create in 1995 on the initiative of the head of the city and the training center of the Navy. The place was not chosen by chance. Nearby is the military burial of soldiers who died in the battles for this land. The first exhibits were materials on submarines and surface vessels, so initially the museum was dedicated to maritime glory. Today in the funds there are exhibits not only for maritime purposes. A permanent exposition on the history of the region, the natural world, the traditions of the surrounding villages was organized.
Address: Afanasyeva, 50, Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad region, Russia
Church-chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker
Next to the Memorial of Glory was built the chapel of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. It seems to be located between two monuments – “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier”, dedicated to the fallen in the war, and “Victims of nuclear disasters and accidents”, reminding that in peacetime human casualties are possible. The temple was built on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Great Victory. It became part of the memorial complex “Defenders of the Fatherland”. Architect Yu.T. Savchenko decided to build a chapel in Novgorod traditions. The temple stands out against the background of the rest of the elements of the stylization of the dome. The area around is well-groomed. Inside you can always put a candle.
Address: Leningradskaya St., Sosnovy Bor, Russia
Cathedral of the Icon of the Mother of God Burning Bush
Crossing the roadway of Leningradskaya Street and passing through the White Sands Park, you can see the temple with unusual architecture. Burning Bush Cathedral was built from 2001 to 2006 by architect Evgeny Borisovich Fedorov. The architectural solution is made on the principle of “the church under the ringing”, i.e. the belfry is located directly above the prayer hall. The building itself resembles a tent made in the traditions of Russian architecture. The entrance to the territory from Heroes Avenue is designed. Landscaping of the courtyard is an English lawn with trees planted around the perimeter.
The concept of the temple includes coverage of all segments of the population. Sunday schools for children and adults are open in it, there is a youth club “Ark”, a pilgrimage service. In the group “Works of Mercy” work is carried out to help socially vulnerable segments of the population, disabled children, collect clothes for those in need, anti-boarding activities, and help large families. The parish has a “Social Taxi” service. It is attended by parishioners of the cathedral who have personal transport.
Address: Soborniy pr., 1
White Sands Park
The fact is. that in the Leningrad region such a landscape does not exist anywhere else. Only here there is a unique natural park consisting of pine forest on high dunes. It is not known exactly when it appeared. Researchers lean towards the 19th century. In the center of the park, surrounded by centuries-old pine trees, there is a depression with a diameter of 100 meters, covered with snow-white sand. The most popular explanation is based on rumors of a meteorite fall. Local historian Vladislav Golenetsky claims that the crater appeared as a result of the hit of a fragment of an extraterrestrial body weighing about 400 tons, which fell to the ground in ancient times. The fragment itself was not found, but in neighboring Estonia was found a chain of craters formed by a meteor shower. Analysis of the sand showed a complete absence of signs of extraterrestrial substances.
Therefore, a second version appeared. A group of researchers believes that the White Sands were formed as a result of human activity. Quartz sand has long been mined here for the needs of Kalishchensky glass production. The third version concerns the ancient preglacial dunes, which have survived only in three places in the Leningrad region. Citizens consider the White Sands Park to be the most important attraction of Sosnovy Bor. When it was decided to build a new microdistrict on its territory, everyone, as one, stood up to protect the natural object. Then everyone went to a voluntary subbotnik, strengthened the sandy slopes and still do not give the right to entrepreneurs to use the territory to accommodate entertainment facilities. For example, one of the businessmen wanted to arrange a slide for a sleigh descent in winter. The public spoke out against the idea. It’s a quiet place to relax. Sometimes mass events are held here that do not disturb the atmosphere of general tranquility.
Address: corner of Solnechnaya and Kosmonavtov streets
Relax to the fullest with entertainment, games and delicious cafes in Andersengrad. To reach it, you need to go to the other side of Solnechnaya Street. This is a large children’s playground, stylized as an ancient European city. Entrance, as well as to the territory of the “White Sands”, is free. Andersengrad was opened in 1980. Then the news about the unusual children’s town flew around the entire Soviet Union. Andersen’s fairy tales were taken as a basis. The entrance to the Town Hall Tower is guarded by the Stoic Tin Soldier, Ole-Lukoie indicates the right way, the stone lantern “Owl” is installed on the place where the first stone of the fairy-tale town was laid. In the café “Snow White” you can have a snack.
A children’s highway is laid throughout the territory. Moving from object to object, the child may well master the rules of street traffic. The plan of events includes excursions. The houses of Ole Lukoye, the Three Brothers, the Blue Stork, the town hall tower, the theater are open to the public. The tunnel will lead to the sculpture of the Little Mermaid and the pool. Next to the monument to Andersen is a real cannon.
Address: Solnechnaya, 3
Museum-workshop of Vladimir Antoninov
After Andersengrad, you can return to the Sosnovobor City Museum along the Alley of Veterans. The path will pass through the mayor’s office and the building of the registry office. Next to the museum is another object that deserves special attention. This is the workshop of contemporary art of the artist Vladimir Antoninov. A native of Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg), after graduating from the Leningrad Art School, he traveled for a long time until he settled in Sosnovy Bor. He helped to implement many cultural projects of the city. During his lifetime, he opened a gallery of his own paintings.
After his death in 2013, the townspeople decided to dedicate to his work not just an exhibition hall, but a real research center for contemporary art. The complex combines the artist’s studio and a museum-gallery. The basis of the collection were the works of the founder, they were added to the paintings of artists from around the world, which he collected, as well as author’s photographs. The world bookplate consists of 107 works and represents the most valuable part of the exhibition. The name of Vladimir Nikodimovich is listed in the Book of Glory of Sosnovy Bor.
Address: Molodezhnaya, 41
If someone did not have enough city attractions, then it is worth returning to your hotels for the night, and the next morning go to explore the surroundings of Sosnovy Bor. For dinner, you can book a table in one of the restaurants. Travelers speak well of the restaurants “Amarone” (Solnechnaya Street, 57), “Old School” (Heroes Ave., 31A), “Bagration” (Heroes Ave., 65A). The evening is usually spent in the cinema “Contemporary”, the house of culture “Art-carousel” (concerts, entertainment events) and the nightclub “Leningrad”. Hotels provide high-speed Wi-Fi, some have relaxation areas with a swimming pool or barbecue area. In addition to breakfast, some hotels offer an all-inclusive meal system.
26 km from Sosnovy Bor is an ancient fortress founded by the Livonian knights in 1237. Its construction is mentioned in the Novgorod Chronicles. When Russian squads led by Alexander Nevsky captured the citadel, it became an important fortified point on the western border of the principality. Being a frontier village, Koporye has repeatedly become the cause of the conflict between Russia and Sweden. Battles were fought here during the Civil War, World War II. But the fortress suffered in peacetime. In 1962, there was a strong fire, as a result of which the church burned down. Restoration work was carried out slowly, until in 2011 Koporye received the status of a museum.
On the territory of the complex there are several objects: four towers, defensive walls, gates, a bridge, the Transfiguration Church, the chapel-tomb of the ancient noble family of Zinoviev. The rest of the buildings are partially or completely destroyed. Such fortresses were not uncommon in the Middle Ages. The architecture fully meets the defensive objectives of that period. The Livonians had a goal – to build a military structure on a small rocky cape, and they coped with this task, leaving descendants a beautiful monument of architecture and military architecture.
Address: Leningrad region, Lomonosov district, Koporye
Without leaving Roporye after visiting the fortress, you can visit the equestrian ranch “Elevator”. The owners are not only engaged in breeding horses, but also actively participate in the development of rural tourism. They offer quality country holidays, training and horseback riding, ponies for kids, sleighs for winter fun. Next to the farm there is a tent camp in which you can test yourself, staying for a few days. This type of ECO-tourism is becoming increasingly popular. People come here for the weekend to be in the bosom of nature, take care of horses, make a horseback riding, treat shattered nerves. The ranch is engaged in breeding Hanoverian and Trakehnen breeds of horses.
Address: Luzhki Sredniye tract, Koporye village, Lomonosov district, Leningrad region, Russia.
Not far from Koporia on the shore of the Gulf of Finland is the village of Shepelevo. Here, in 1910, a lighthouse was built, which today is a landmark in the vicinity of Sosnovy Bor. The navigation tower is built in the traditional style, painted with white and red stripes. The lantern and its communications were made in France at the beginning of the twentieth century, still serve faithfully to all passing ships. The territory is fenced, since the object is operational, but you can see it through a wire fence.
A TV tower was built next to the lighthouse. It significantly exceeds it in height. A little away is an abandoned border tower. It is strong enough to climb and explore the surroundings, at the same time take photos. To avoid accidents, the stairs to the height are blocked by iron sheets. But even from the third part of the height there are amazing views of the bay, lighthouse, beach, forest. Having visited Shepelevo, curious travelers will be interested to know why this place used to be called Karavaldai and what is the secret of Govoraldai Lake.
Address: Cape Shepelevsky, Lomonosov district
On the shore of the Gulf of Finland is also the most comfortable and popular beach Of Sosnovy Bor. This is the most famous place in the whole district, where St. Petersburg residents come in the summer. A sandy strip along the coast for 2 and a half kilometers begins from the outskirts of the city – the village of Lipovo. Tourists are attracted by the purest white sand, gentle bottom and lack of stones. Large and medium boulders are on the shore. They have long been adapted for their entertainment lovers of diving into the depths. Due to the shallow water, the water warms up well in the summer.
On the beach there are changing cabins, benches for rest, urns, volleyball and children’s playgrounds. On the football field, city competitions between local teams are sometimes held. The territory is monitored and carefully cleaned. It is forbidden to bring dogs here. After high tides, algae may appear, but they are quickly removed. Control over water quality is carried out by sanitary and epidemiological surveillance. The beach has never been closed for swimming, as the water meets the standards.
A car trip along the beaches can be continued by visiting the picturesque Kopan Lake. It is located near Lipovo and is a popular tourist attraction. There is an excellent infrastructure that allows you to relax throughout the year. In summer, they sunbathe, swim, ride boats, catamarans, kayaks, fish. In winter, rentals of equipment for snow skating and fun are open. In the vicinity of the lake you can stay for a few days in guest houses.
It will not be possible to ignore the main attraction of the city, thanks to which it appeared on the map of Russia. The Leningrad NPP began construction in 1967. The choice was not made by chance. Since 1962, a branch of the Institute of Atomic Energy. Kurchatova. Hundreds of nuclear specialists made up the population of atomgrad. They launched the first power unit of the station in 1973, expanded and modernized production, many of them were the first to go to eliminate the consequences of the Chernobyl accident. Not everyone was destined to return home.
The Leningrad NPP is a closed regime facility. You can get to its territory only as part of an excursion group. Tours start from the metro station “Avtovo” (St. Petersburg), last 5-6 hours, include not only a visit to the nuclear power plant, but also an excursion to the sights located along the way. People from 18 to 70 years old are allowed on the territory of the nuclear power plant, it is forbidden to carry cameras and video equipment with them, all gadgets will have to be left on the bus or at the entrance. You can not have a stabbing and cutting weapon, alcoholic beverages and be “under the shafe”. Subject to all safety measures, tourists are waiting for an unforgettable tour of the largest nuclear power plant in the north-west of Russia.
Address: Leningrad region, Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad NPP
A walk along the Pine Forest will pass through several monuments, near which you can stay and explore. These include: the bust of Academician Alexandrov, the stele “Nika”, the monument to Lenin, the merchant house of Petrov, the children’s play complex “Koporsky Fortress”, the memorial to veterans of hostilities in hot spots. The modern city attracted the attention of domestic filmmakers. Several films and the episode “Tales of the Star Boy” were shot here.
From St. Petersburg to Sosnovy Bor there are taxis and buses from the stations “Avtovo”, “Parnas”, “Kupchino”, the train to the station “Kapishche” goes from the Baltic station. The name of the railway station does not coincide with the name of the city, since the railway was laid in 1926, and Sosnovy Bor arose only half a century later. The station was assigned its former name, which no one thought to change. A new station building was built in the postwar years. The architectural style corresponds to the typical buildings of the 50s.