- Begind the Rostral columns on Vasil'evskii Island's eastern tip stands a grand columned building which used to hold the city's stock exchange. Come the communists, this didn't survive long of course. In time the building was chosen as the venue for an exhibition dedicated to the Russian navy and its exploits in foreign waters. he central exhibit is a boat in which St Petersburg's founder Tsar Peter the Great taught himself to sail. This 'botik' ('little boat') is sometimes referred to as the original ancestor of the Russian navy. There's 2000 other ships on display (in model form of course). The approach is basically chronological, charting events such as the mutinies under both Tsarism and communism, some celebrated victories and, more quietly, some great defeats.
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