Come for protections

Saint Isaac’s Cathedral in Saint Petersburg has a relatively short, but very rich history. Built over the course of 40 years, from 1818 to 1858, using revolutionary techniques and barring no expense, it served as a church for little more than a half-a-centuty, before the Soviet Government stripped it of religious trappings and in 1931 turned it into the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism (basically an anti-religion propaganda museum). Today it is Unesco world heritage site, a popular tourist destination and, if you are willing to climb 262 steps, there is a marvellous view of the city to be enjoyed from an observation deck around the base of its golden dome.

Under the colonnade a prominent sign warns you that it is, indeed, a steep ascent and you should not attempt it if you are not in good health. Makes sense. Kids without parents and drunks are not welcomed. Makes perfect sense. It also warns you that on the premises it is forbidden to smoke, to drink alcohol, to eat ice-cream (and I believe messy snacks in general) and to come with your pet. Makes sense. The center most icon warns you that you might be a tourist, but coming with the cathedral with your suitcase(s) is not a good idea, let alone trying to climb the stairs while hauling luggage. A bit of an original warning, but it still makes sense. What, for the life of me, I can not understand, is the warning I highlighted in the picture. If you have any idea, please do write it in the comments! What is so dangerous around the Cathedral that you should come to the colonnade for protection(s)? And why are you not allowed to do so?


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