The snow-covered Russian city of Saint Petersburg on the Neva Bay is pictured in this image from the Sentinel-2A satellite.
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While this image may appear to be in black and white, it is in true colour – although the snow cover and lack of vegetation during the winter lend very little colour to the scene.
One of the most prominent features is the large area of ice and snow covering the water. Looking closer to the lower-central part of the image, we can see where icebreakers have created a straight route to and from Saint Petersburg’s port. The boats leaving the port continue west following a channel through the Saint Petersburg Dam south of Kotlin Island, and into the Gulf of Finland.
There are five other breaks along the northern stretch of the dam without ice because the flowing water prevented freezing.
The 25 km-long dam complex protects the city from storm surges, and also acts as a bridge from the mainland to Kotlin Island.
On the right, the Neva River flows through the centre of Saint Petersburg – Russia’s second largest city. Sometimes dubbed the ‘Venice of the North’ for its numerous canals and more than 400 bridges, the city centre dates back to 1703 and was built by Tsar Peter the Great. Today, Saint Petersburg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This image, also featured on the Earth from Space video programme, was captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2A satellite on 17 February 2016.