In 1941-1944 the city survived the most destructive siege in the history of human warfare. More than 800,000 citizens lost their lives to starvation, cold, artillery shelling and air raids.The Siege of Leningrad tour offers you a unique opportunity to go beyond the city's tourist facades and visit the battlefields and memorial sites of the most dramatic siege of the WWII.
The tour's itinerary features the monuments built along the Road of Life - the only supply route to starving Leningrad, the Nevsky Bridgehead - one of the bloodiest battlefields of the Second World War, and two museums - the Road of Life museum and the Siege of Leningrad Breakthrough diorama. You will also see and the Broken Ring memorial on the coast of the Ladoga Lake, and the Oreshek island fortress that was heroically defended by the Soviet troops throughout the whole Siege.
The tour lasts for one full day (approx. 8 hours) and starts with driving along the Road of Life - the only supply route to the besieged city along which dozens of trains shuttled constantly from the lake shore to the city's supply depots. The bus will stop by a cemetery where the victims of war are buried and two memorials built in the 60s to commemorate the vital role the railroad played in saving the city from starvation.
The first big stop of the tour is the Road of Life museum which displays wartime relics telling us of the heroic feat of the truck drivers that braved the lake's frozen expanses under harassing fire of enemy bombers and artillery. Next to the museum building there is an exhibition of military and transport vehicles complete with a Soviet-made C-47 airplane (Li-2) that delivered food supplies to the city.
On the way to Kirovsk the bus will stop by the shore of Ladoga lake in Morozova, where you'll get a good view of the Oreshek fortress. Located on a tiny island at the very source of Neva River, it was heroically defended by the Soviet troops throughout the whole siege.
Our bus will stop in the little provincial town of Kirovsk for a meal.
Nevsky Bridgehead, nicknamed "pyatachok" - "five kopeck coin" - this tiny patch of land about 1 kilometer square became a common grave for almost 50,000 Soviet soldiers, making it one of the bloodiest battlefields in the world. A network of trenches you'll be able to walk alongside is still clearly visible to date. Several memorials and a church were built on the site.
The Diorama Museum is located inside a big bridge across the Neva River, on exactly the same place where the German fortifications and trenches along the river were successfully stormed by the Soviet infantry on January 12, 1943, opening the six-day offensive that broke the Siege. The diorama features the most crucial events that took place on that day on an impressive 40 x 8 meter canvas. Several Soviet tanks that sank during the river crossing are standing in front of the museum's entrance.
The tour lasts for one full day (approx. 8 hours).