Naum Alexandrovich Sindalovsky was born in St. Petersburg in 1935. For many years he studied the folklore of this beautiful city and became the author of more than 20 books that contain the history and legends of the Northern capital.
More than 20 years the author collects various legends, winged phrases, legends and other interesting facts, the collection of which numbers more than 5,5 thousand. Since the folklore of St. Petersburg has always been free speech and independence, Naum Sindalovsky’s works have not been published for a long time. This was the reason for the existence of the opinion that the city does not have its own folklore.
The writer-historian Sindalovsky always considered the history of his city the most interesting. And this opinion has developed not just because after studying the Petersburg legends, he was convinced of how little was known about his native city. For example, in the lines of Pushkin about the foundation of St. Petersburg was said “On the shore of desert waves…”. In fact, Sindalovsky found out that the construction of the city did not begin at a deserted place. In fact, this area was already inhabited by people – there were about 40 settlements. And the plans were not to establish a capital here. And according to the idea it was a fortress and a port, which was given the name St. Petersburg. And only a month later, when the church of Peter and Paul was laid, the fortress was renamed Petropavlovskaya, and its former name was appropriated to the city, named after its heavenly patron, and not in honor of the tsar.
Love for the native city
Naum Alexandrovich has always been very fond of his native city, not only in certain places, but entirely. Even at the very beginning of his activity, he took part in literary associations, composed poems and conducted lectures on the history of Petersburg, consisting in the society “Knowledge”. He started out of nothing. He spent a lot of time in libraries, looked for information in archival documents, having gained a certain scent for the information he needed.
At one point he was visited by the thought that along with the official history, often twisting or concealing many facts, there is a real story that can be found in myths, legends, legends. It is in them that the real mores and everyday life of the townspeople lie.
The author’s first book was “St. Petersburg: History in Legends and Legends.” it was written in the mid-80’s. When Sindalovsky brought the book to the publishing house, his employees became quite interested in its content. However, they refused to print such a book. Therefore, it was stored for more than a decade in the author’s desk.
Ghosts of St. Petersburg
Naum Alexandrovich always considered himself a pragmatist, however, he was sure that there were ghosts in Petersburg. One of his creations is called “Ghosts of the Northern Capital”. According to urban legends, in many Petersburg palaces there were ghostly inhabitants. This particularly affected the Emperor Paul, who was killed in his own castle, where his ghost wanders to the present day. With this mysterious fact, it is also customary to associate the appearance of the monument to... Peter 1. The legend says that walking along the Neva embankment, Paul met with a ghost who said: “Pavel, poor Pavel! You will soon see me in this place.” After these words, the ghost took off his hat and it turned out that it was Peter 1. Pavel told about this case to his mother, after which she ordered to put the monument to Peter 1 in place,
Also in Petersburg there was a legend from a white lady. According to Sindalovsky, she originated from a short article in the newspaper, where it was narrated about a girl who had come to Petersburg quarreling with her lover. In frustrated feelings, she ascended to the colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, from where she fell down. Some time after this incident, a legend arose that near the colonnade a girl in white walks around, horrifying the people around her.
The legends of Petersburg concern not only its central part, but also spread to the urban neighborhoods. For example, there is a legend about Kupchin, which is considered the small homeland of the Russian president, and also the residence of Sindalovsky. The name of the city comes from the Finnish word “kupsila”, which means “hare”. But the townspeople changed an unfamiliar foreign word into a more “bills” habitual for them. As if before going into the city, the cattle traders made a stop here to make a purchase for sale. Nowadays there is a saying “even from Kupchin it is possible to make it”, which means that even from such a remote area it is possible to arrive on time.
One more legend is connected with Ulyanka. It says that the name of the city went from some Ulyana. It would be like Peter 1 met a girl named Ulyana. In fact, the name of the city came from the Finnish word “ulyalyaa”, which has nothing to do with the Russian name.
In the 90’s appeared an anecdote about the oil field, which is located on the territory of St. Petersburg. And if it comes to the surface of the earth on Palace Square, which seems to have been known since the 19th century. That’s why it was believed that Montferrand, installing the Alexander Column, did not strengthen it. but simply installed on a separate foundation. Allegedly, this was done with the aim that, if necessary, the column could be slightly raised, and pumped oil from the earth’s interior.
The most recent legends and anecdotes Sindalovsky concluded in the book “Group portrait in the folklore of St. Petersburg.” This book contains biographies of more than 350 of the brightest and most famous people who have anything to do with the city. The writer constantly replenishes his collection of legends, myths, legends and anecdotes related to St. Petersburg. Thanks to such painstaking long-term work, Naum Sindalovsky himself has already become a part of urban history, her real legend. After all, he was the first to come to the idea of collecting urban folklore, which he embodied all these years. It was he who gave an opportunity to the inhabitants of St. Petersburg and just people who are interested in this beautiful city, to learn its true history.