This is a spectacular panoramic view, from the website, of the 18th century Russian frigate Shtandart taking a cruise in the Gulf of Finland. Well, actually the ship is a reconstruction built in the 1990s, but it’s an exact replica of the original ship, excepting the various safety features that modern laws require in order for it to carry passengers.

The Shtandart was the pride of Tsar Peter the Great’s navy. The frigate was built in 1703 on Peter’s orders, and in fact he sailed on its maiden voyage to St. Petersburg. At this time Peter was attempting to modernize Russia and make it a power on par with the other European countries, and for that he felt he needed a modern navy. (Germany would attempt something similar 200 years later). Although the flagship of the new Russian navy, the Shtandart itself never saw naval combat. It was laid up in 1710, its masts and guns removed, and evidently never sailed again.

Later in the century, Catherine the Great ordered a new Shtandart to be built according to the original specifications. It was not done at that time, but her order actually was carried out, nearly 200 years after her death. The result is the modern replica you see in the panorama.

Link to 360cities spherical panorama for this image. Click it on and take a look!