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St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg, is a relatively new city according to European and Russian standards, founded in 1703,it became the capital of Russia when it was only nine years old - and retained this status untill 1918.
Even now it is referred to as the "Northern capital" of Russia. Over almost 300 years of its history St. Petersburg accumulated all the grandeur of the Russian Imperial Court and became one of the largest centers of culture, science and industry. Created by Peter the Great as a sea port on the Baltic it was essentially "a window to the West" for Russia, combining the best of the West and the East.
Though the city is rather young, it has a rather rich and fascinating history.
The whole sophisticated development of St. Petersburg is reflected in its palaces and temples, park ensembles, street labyrinths and multistoried houses.
The citys main sites are Nevsky Prospekt, Kazan Cathedral, the Admiralty. Palace Square, Peter and Paul Fortress (burial site of the Romanovs), and St. Isaacs Cathedral. The highlight of any stay in St. Petersburg is a visit to the Hermitage Museum. Located in the former Winter Palace of the czars, the Hermitage possesses the richest collection of art treasures in the world.
Like any other large city St. Petersburg will tell it's stories to every attentive and interested observer. Outstanding personalities of culture and history - military leaders, courtiers, tsars and princes, artists and poets, writers and travelers lived and walked here. Come here to adore this "North Venice" of Peter the Great and his magnificent daughter Elizabeth.This is the city that made the Russian Empire a great power; where Lomonosov, Derzhavin, Pushkin, Gogol and Dostoevsky wrote their masterpieces.
Come to get to know the history of St. Petersburg,see the brilliant White Nights and see the spires of the Admiralty and the Peter and Paul Fortress.
The most Western and certainly the most beautiful city of Russia is waiting to unveil its treasures just for you...
Summer Palace at Peterhof
The world-famous palace, fountain and park ensemble of Peterhof is an outstanding landmark of Russian artistic culture of the 18-19th centuries. Founded in the very beginning of the eighteenth century by Emperor Peter the Great not far from his new northern capital St Petersburg, Peterhof was intended to become the most splendid official royal summer residence. Credit for its creation should go to a great number of eminent architects, artists, and anonymous folk craftsmen. Its wonderful parks, 176 fountains of various forms and styles and four cascades, majestic palaces, numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes, remarkable collections of sculpture, painting and works of the minor arts make Peterhof a veritable gem of art, often called "Capital of Fountains", unique in the world. After 1917 the Peterhof ensemble was taken into state custody and turned into architecture and art museum. Nowadays, due to the unforgettable beauty of its fountains, parks and palaces, Peterhof has become the most attractive for numerous Russian and foreign visitors suburban royal park and palace ensemble of the northern Russia's capital. To feel happy, to make their spirits high, people often come to Peterhof and enjoy its magic charms. Midday we will have lunch and in the afternoon we will visit The State Hermitage, which occupies six magnificent buildings situated along the embankment of the River Neva, right in the heart of St. Petersburg. The leading role in this unique architectural ensemble is played by the Winter Palace, the residence of the Russian tsars that was built to the design of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754-62. This ensemble, formed in the 18th. and 19th. centuries, is extended by the eastern wing of the General Staff building, the Menshikov Palace and the recently constructed Repository. Put together throughout two centuries and a half, the Hermitage collections of works of art (over 3,000,000 items) present the development of the world culture and art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. Today the Museum is creating its digital self-portrait to be displayed around the world. Computer technologies enable the State Hermitage Museum to provide people from all over the world with wider access to information about the Museum and its treasures.
Peter & Paul Fortress
Located on small Hare's Island (Zayachy ostrov) the Peter & Paul Fortress is the historical core of St. Petersburg. It was founded 27.05.1703 by order of Peter the Great and the history of St. Petersburg began.
During the tour you can see Fortress walls, bastions, buildings, visit the Cathedral of St.Peter & St. Paul (architect D. Trezzini). The spire of the cathedral bell tower covered by gilding is the highest architectonic construction of the city ( the height is 122,5 m). The cathedral with its impressive interior was not only the church, it was the burial place of the Russian Emperors. Almost all of them including Peter I & Nicholas II were buried in the cathedral.
Besides you can visit the old prison where a lot of political prisoners of tsar Russia were incarcerated. In the end of the tour don't forget to take a picture near the most original monument to Peter I sculptured by Mikhail Shemyakin.
St. Isaac's Cathedral
The cathedral is 101,5 meters high and can contain about 12 thousand people. This masterpiece of the French architect A.Montferrand dominates in the city sky. Its dome covered by gilding is the 4th in the world.
During the tour you can see the cathedral interior amazing by its magnificence. Different sorts of marble, Russian half - precious stones (lazurit, malachite), mosaics & paintings decorate walls & vaults of the cathedral. By visiting museum you can go up along a circular staircase to an altitude of 43 m from where a grandiose panorama of the city center can be seen.
It is the largest museum in Russia and one of the most famous museum all over the world. During the tour you can see Ancient Greek & Roman sculptures, masterpieces of European painters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Veronese, Rembrandt (Danae and Return of the Prodigal Son), Velazques, Rubens, Cranach, Poussin, Caravadggio, Van Dyke, Canaletto and others.
The Hermitage is also proud of its collection of the impressionists, post - impressionists: Renoir, Manet, Monet, Degas, Cezzanne, Seural, Matisse, Van Gogh, and representatives of avant-garde: Picasso & Kandiinsky.
The museum has rich collections of porcelain, armor, furniture; the interiors of the most rooms & grand halls of Winter palace & Small Hermitage are like museum exhibits.
Alexander Nevsky Abbey
Visit the monastery and the 19th-century Necropolis, which contains the graves of many famous Russian writers, composers and sculptors.
Catherine Palace in Pushkin
Visit the city of Pushkin, formerly Tsarskoe Selo, Czars Village, and the baroque-style palace built by the Empress Elizabeth and named for mother, Catherine the First.
One of Czar Pavels summer palaces. Like many other royal residences, this palace sustained heavy damage during the war, but most of it has been restored to its former glory.
Visit the palace where Rasputin was murdered. Enjoy a Vodka Rasputin .
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