Places of interest near St. Petersburg: Stalingrad, war and cinema

Places of interest near St. Petersburg, where you can see places beyond the city. Things to see in Leningrad, a great region where you will immerse yourself in its history. What to see about the battle of Stalingrad alone here you will know.

The film portrays in a very faithful way what the inhabitants and Soviet troops experienced during the considered bloodiest and strongest battle in modern history.

To give such realism to such important events at a historical level, a very strict job of selecting actors and locations had to be carried out, among these this small town that emulates in an almost incredible way the Russian landscapes of the time of the great Patriotic war.

Traveling about 30 kilometers south of St. Petersburg we will reach the Leningrad region; if we continue traveling looking for the northernmost part we will finally arrive at a town called Saperny; a quiet place with friendly people and picturesque streets like many other villages in Russia.

The Stalingrad movie

In October 2013, the film directed by Fyodor Bondarchuk “Stalingrad” was released, most of which was filmed in the town of Saperny, near St. Petersburg. The film set “Stalingrad” has become a popular attraction for residents and guests of the northern capital.

Filming of the movie “Stalingrad”

Most of the material was filmed in the territory of the former Lenspirtstroy factory in the village of Saperny, Kolpinsky district of St. Petersburg. The Lenspirtstroy plant was built in the spring of 1941 and during the Great Patriotic War it was on the front line. In the basement of its facilities was the headquarters of the 55th Army. In 1941-1942, all the factory buildings were severely destroyed and have not been restored since then. This territory is the site of Lenfilm, in which many films about the Great Patriotic War were shot.

Some scenes from the movie were filmed in St. Petersburg at the Red Triangle factory.
All the events that take place in the plot of the Volga were filmed on the shores of the Gulf of Finland in the Third North Fort of Kronstadt

Part of the shooting was carried out near the town of Vystav in the Kirovsky district of the Leningrad region, where a stage was built especially for the shooting.
Shooting in the pavilion took place at Lenfilm and World Russian Studios (RWS – Russian World Studios).

Stages of the movie

The creation of the film began with a large amount of preparatory work, which lasted almost two and a half years. At this time, we were working with the archive, actors were selected and meetings were held with the participants in the events of 1942-1943. As the film’s director, Fyodor Bondarchuk, pointed out, the selection of actors for the main roles, as well as the participants in massive scenes, was carried out with care and with special attention.

The first episodes were filmed on August 25, 2011 at two sites in Kronstadt, these were scenes of the crossing of the Volga and the German airstrikes in our coastal fortifications. In 17 days, two key episodes of the battle were filmed, in which 900 actors participated.
Most of the filming took place from the end of May 2012 until July 31, 2012 in the ruins of the Lenspirtstroy plant in the town of Saperny, near St. Petersburg.

Description of the set

The film was filmed in three formats: IMAX 3D, 3D and in the usual 2D format. It took about $ 5 million to create the decorations, they were built with cellular concrete and metal structures, and they were lined with plywood and decorated plaster. 400 people dedicated themselves to such a responsible job, and it was necessary to prepare the set of the movie “Stalingrad” in 6-7 months.

According to the task established by Fedor Bondarchuk, it was necessary to create impeccable objects so that the viewer could not even imagine that they were shown the landscape. Therefore, the artists recreated all the little things, remnants of newspapers and cupboards with posters, books and even cigarette butts, everything had to correspond to that time so that the director could shoot scenes in the foreground.


Gromov’s house, the prototype of Pavlov’s house, was built with blocks of cellular concrete and other buildings were made of metal structures, clad in plywood and plaster.
Many buildings were easily recognizable, but their location changed. Then, in the real Stalingrad, a department store and a theater, Pavlov’s house and Borod Square are located in different parts of the city, and according to the stage, they are next to each other.


Among the most familiar sculptures created, the legendary fountain “Children’s Round Dance”, also known as “Children and a Crocodile”, which represents children in a round dance, was also included in the composition of the city square. When molding and sculpting, artist Alexei Ivanov used polystyrene and plaster.
Military equipment

In the movie you will see the T-34 tanks, the German Marder self-propelled gun and the PZ-IV (T-4) Nazi heavy tank: this whole technique is a copy:

  • PZ-IV created on the basis of the Soviet tank T-44
    Self-propelled installation based on an all-terrain vehicle.
  • T-34 (76) is a plastic and plywood model.
    Vitebsk’s teachers dedicated themselves to the creation of military equipment models; They also completed the model of a damaged plane.


The weapon also corresponded exactly to what was used during the war years, was intended to transport and combat scenes. To prevent the actors from hitting each other, the weapon for the fighting scenes was made of wood and rubber.

Furniture and glass

In all the acrobatics scenes, for safety reasons, raft furniture, soft and light wood were used, and the glass that was broken was made of sugar or liquid glass was used, whose fragments could not harm the actors.


All the actors in the crowd were approved by the director himself, a suit for each person was also drawn individually. All crew members were dressed in military uniforms so as not to spoil the images if someone accidentally enters the picture.
The famous specialists Sergey Golovkin and Victor Ivanov participated in action scenes, many of their comrades, talented masters, not only interpreted the most complex elements, but also acted as actors.

The authors of the film went out of their way to ensure that the scenario created by Stalingrad corresponded to archive photographs, films and was well recognized by the public. Such large-scale work was done for the first time in Russian cinema.

What to see about the battle of Stalingrad

What makes Saperny different from any other people, not only in Russia but in many other countries is the secret that hides in its gut: an abandoned and forgotten people. Although in reality it is not a town nor is it hidden; It is an abandoned city that was built for that purpose on a military base.

The real question is who and why would build an abandoned city. It is nothing less than the scenario that was used for the filming of the Stalingrad film; directed by Fiódor Bondarchuk. This strange and chilling place was built in about 6 months under a budget of no less than 5 million dollars.

Things to see in Leningrad and much more only in GuiaRus !!!

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