This post was edited by dostoevskydr at 2018-2-27 19:59|
Nicknamed “Venice of the North”, Russia’s St. Petersburg is a living definition of beauty, outstanding architecture, and rich cultural life. It was founded by Tsar Peter the Great alittle over 300 years ago and offers travelers endless opportunities for discovering its elaborate palaces, incredible bridges, canals, cathedrals, and,of course, culture. Here are the places we recommend seeing and visiting for anunforgettable tour to St. Petersburg.
The Hermitage Museum
The Palace Square,standing on the shores of the Neva River, is the first place to start your St.Petersburg exploration as here you can find the colossal Alexander Column and the delightful Winter Palace, which is the former residence of Russian royalty designed by Francesco Rastrelli and home to the iconic Hermitage Museum today. A visit to this museum that started out as Catherine the Great’s private collection is a highlight of any trip, and here within its adorned walls and former ballrooms you can find impressive works ofart by the world’s most famous painters, sculptors and artists. There are about 3 million exhibitions in the State Hermitage Museum that take up the halls of 5 buildings, meaning you’ll have to walk about 20 kilometers to see them all!
Church of the Savior on Blood
The colorful-domed Churchon Spilled Blood is arguably one of St. Petersburg’s most recognizable sights. This church stands on the place where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881 and was built to commemorate this great Russian emperor. It took over 24 years to erect this ornate church, decorated with mosaics, frescoes, limestone and gemstones, and afterward 27 more years to restore the building after the vandalism it has undergone during Soviet times.
Peter and Paul Fortress
The Peter and Paul Fortress is a historic defensive structure, occupying an island in St. Petersburg. It dates back to the early 1700’s and has a unique star shape. The complex houses multiple attractions, including the old watch tower, the St. Petersburg Mint, the infamous former prison called Trubetskoy Bastion, the Museum of Cosmonautics and Rocket Technology and, of course, the Peter and Paul Cathedral, which holds the tombs of Russian emperors.
St. Isaac’s Cathedral
Another unmissable sightin the northern capital of Russia is the striking St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Having been rebuilt several times throughout the years of its existence, it is among the largest domical buildings in the world. Surprisingly, about 100 kilos of gold was used for gold-plating the cathedral’s domes! It was designed by French architect Auguste de Montferrand and is a conglomerate of a cathedral and museum that can encompass a total of 12 thousand people at once. Moreover, St. Isaac’s observation deck, the highest in town, is a popular platform that opens outstanding views of the city.
The imposing “Russian Versailles”, Peterhof, is definitely worth putting on your St. Petersburg bucket list. Peter the Great laid the ground work for the building of this royal summer palace and park ensemble, set near the shores of the Gulf of Finland. The lavish palaces, including the Grand Palace, Marly and Monplaisir, are just as impressive as the surrounding parks with extravagant fountains, such as the Grand Cascade Fountain or the famous Samson, to name a few. There are about 150 fountains in the parks and some of them even have “a sense of humor”, such trick fountains squirt people passing by with water!
The marvelous Baroque Catherine’s Palace located in the outskirts of the city in Pushkin is also worth a visit when going on a St. Petersburg tour. Often referred to as TsarskoeSelo, the complex features buildings that were designed on the order of Empress Catherine II, who received it as a gift from her husband Tsar Peter the Great. The construction of the luxuriant palaces, one of which was rebuilt several times just to please the empress, along with the shaping of the parkscost the Tsars a vast deal of money but demonstrate their wealth even today. As such, the replica of the Amber Room is the centerpiece of the palace.
Those wishing to immerse themselves in simply stunning masterpieces by genius jeweler Carl Faberge should make their way to the Faberge Museum, housed at the lush Shuvalov Palace on the Fontanka River embankment. The privately-owned collection displays numerous treasures such as nine Imperial Easter Eggs that were designed for Russian Tsars. Among the highlights of the exhibition are icons, paintings,picture frames, medallions as well as the following Easter Eggs: the Imperial Coronation, the Lilies-of-the-Valley, the Bay Tree, the Hen, the Cockerel, the Renaissance jewelry box, among others.
The landmarks of St.Petersburg are uncountable and as you explore the city’s many streets and canals, you can find something historically prominent just about around any corner. A trip to St. Petersburg is an enlightening experience, so don’t forget to save some time to go for a ride in the world’s deepest metro, to try delicious local cuisine as well as to have a leisurely stroll along the Neva and watch the drawing of the bridges.