A train station with a great history. Finland Station is a railway station, which handles transportation to northern destinations including Helsinki and Vyborg. So, if you are arriving in Russia from Helsinki, this is where your train will stop.
It was opened in 1870, and is famously known for the arrival of Vladimir Lenin by train from Germany on April 3, 1917 to start the October Revolution. The event is commemorated by the Soviet statue of Lenin dominating the square in front of the station.
After the turmoil of the July Days, when workers and soldiers in the capital clashed with government troops, Lenin had to flee to Finland for safety to avoid arrest. Lenin secretly returned from Finland disguised as a railway worker. The steam locomotive he has used to cross the border was donated by Finland to the Soviet Union in 1957, and is now installed as a permanent exhibit at the station.
Long gone is a special pavilion for Russian royalty, but Lenin’s statue is still there, showing the way to God knows where, but opposite the direction from Finland.
During the Siege of Leningrad in 1941 to 1943, the Finland Station was the only Leningrad rail terminus that remained in use. The railway would connect Leningrad with a station near the western shore of Lake Ladoga, where supplies for the non-occupied parts of the Soviet Union would arrive from across the lake, by boat or over the lake ice, via the so-called Road of Life.
In the 1950s, the old station building was demolished and replaced with a new one, inaugurated in 1960. The turreted building is decorated with sculptures glorifying the October Revolution.
Apart from going to Helsinki, it is used by thousands of people to commute to the city on a daily basis, as well as to visit their “dachas” (out of town allotments) during the weekend. Come here for people watching!
After you’re done gawking at the Soviet grandeur, cross the bridge across the river Neva to the other side where the famous KGB building is. It’s at the corner of Liteyny Prospect and Tchaikovskogo Street. More Soviet heritage to discover!
And, the Lomo factory could be found just around the corner! There is a little museum of different cameras and lenses, which the factory has produced through the years!