Do you know which is the best place to read about “The Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece”, while you are in Saint Petersburg? It’s The Summer Garden. Because in that place it is not that you only can read the stories of the gods of Olympus and the Greek heroes, but also have a chance to look some of them in the eye. The Summer Garden or Letniy Sad is famous for being decorated with plenty of white marble statues and busts of the ancient Mortals and Immortals. The finest copies. By the way, made in Italy.
It’s not only the mythical characters, whom you will meet in the alleys of this park, but also the important people and the great minds of the ancient world. Peter the Great wanted to have the busts of famous ancient philosophers in The Summer Garden. Why? He thought that they will help promote science and culture in the capital of Russia. Yes, the capital. Let’s not forget that back then Saint Petersburg was the capital of The Russian Empire.
Why else? The Founder of the City used European style for urban decoration and in those days, pieces of art related to Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman themes were in fashion in Europe. More reasons? The busts of the ancient thinkers were good to build a better reputation of Russian people among the many foreign guests that visited The Summer Garden. It was like: Hey, look….we read…we are civilized.
One way or another, the result is that one of the lawns of The Summer Garden is decorated with the busts of Democritus, who said that our sins were more easily remembered than our good deeds; Diogenes, who knew nothing except the fact of his ignorance; Aristotle, who believed that a friend was a single soul dwelling in two bodies; Seneca, who warned us that while we were postponing, life sped by and Heraclitus, who realised that there was nothing permanent except change.