Tours \ St. Petersburg Highlights
St. Petersburg Highlights
The Palace Square...is the heart of St. Petersburg. Just like the Red Square in Moscow and Louvre Park in Paris, the square is always full of people. Among main attractions are the Winter Palace (Hermitage museum) built between 1754-1762, and the grandiose granite Pillar (47.5 meters) crowned with the angel symbolizing the victory over Napoleon's Army in 1812.
Peter & Paul Fortress...it was the very first building of St. Petersburg founded by Peter the Great in 1703. A center of state and military power of Peter's Russia, glorious, yet modest, since 1924, the fortress has been a museum and home to remains of many prominent members of the Royal family.
The Vasilievsky Island...space, water and beautiful architecture – the symphony of these three elements gives Vasilievsky Island its unforgettable atmosphere. The two almost a hundred feet high redbrick Rostral Columns were erected on the Island in 1810 to greet the naval supremacy of the Russian Empire. The Island embankment opens to you the magnificent panorama of the city’s historical center with its Light houses, mercantile exchange, The Admiralty and St. Isaac’s cathedral.
The Nevsky Prospect...is the St. Petersburg's "Broadway". Stretched from Moskovsky Train station to the Palace Square, for centuries, it has been the centre of business, cultural life, shopping, entertainment and nightlife. But, perhaps the mixture of the architectural composition of Nevsky with the city life is what really makes this Avenue the highlight of any tour in St. Petersburg. Magnificent Kazansky Cathedral, monument to Catherine the Great, Church on "Spilled Blood" crossed by many channels and bridges are spectacular.
St. Isaac's Cathedral...is the the third largest domed structure in the world (101,5 meters high). Built between 1768-1802, the cathedral is adorned with 112 solid granite columns 114 tons each. When opened, the observation platform on the colonnade provides a magnificent view of the city.
Church of "Spilled Blood"...it was built between 1883-1907 as a memorial on the site, where the Czar Alexander II was fatally wounded from a terrorist bomb. The church was modeled after the St. Basil's cathedral in Moscow's Red Square. It has boggling 7000 square meters of mosaics and stunning appearance.
Smolny District...is an architectural ensemble composed of several buildings of early 1800s with a gorgeous Convent and Tauride Garden at the core. In 1806, a special school was built next to the Convent for young women to teach them manners and values of noble society. In 1917, after the Revolution, the school building was a headquarter of Lenin's committee, and today it is a city Mayor's office.
The "Aurora" Cruiser...it signaled the beginning of the 1917 Revolution by a cannon shot, which resulted in creation of a new state - the USSR. For many years it was a symbol of freedom and "new winds". For those who are interested in technical and military history, the "Aurora" is a great sample of the Czarist Army and glorious symbol of the modern Fleet of Russia.
The Arts Square...is a world famous landmark of St. Petersburg. It was designed by Carlo Rossi, an Italian architect, who managed to connect St. Petersburg's European image with Russian art, literature and history. It houses the statue of poet Alexander Pushkin, the Russian Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Mussorgsky Theater, the Philharmonic Hall and many other smaller theaters and museums.
The Decembrists' Square...it was a Senate square until 1925, when it was renamed to honor members of the Russian noble society, who protested Czar's policy in 1825 by a peaceful demarche. The punishment was severe. Some noblemen were hanged, others sent to Siberia. The main landmark of the square is the gracious monument of Peter the Great known as the "Bronze Horseman" and the square's architectural complex.
Theater Square...is the heart of St. Petersburg's theater glory. It houses one of the flagman's of Russian art - the Mariinsky Theater. Founded around 1783, the theater's stage has accompanied performances directed by Glinka, Stravinksy, Shaliapin, and Georgiev. The "Swan Lake" and the "Nutcracker" ballets were born here and carried to the public by Anna Pavlova and many other world class talents.
Summer Garden and the Palace of Peter the Great...it was founded for summer picnics and receptions. Flourishing with life and style, the gardens quickly earned a reputation of the best place for socializing. In 1777, a massive flood destroyed the park and only with time, it was restored to certain extend. Today, decorated with the Russia's oldest collection of statues, pounds with swans, rare collection of trees, the Gardens continue attracting many people for picturesque walks.
Alexander Nevsky Lavra...is an architectural complex consisting of several churches with the Holy Trinity and Alexander Nevsky cathedrals at the core. For many years, the area was a religious and spiritual center of the city hosting cemeteries for royal and noble people of St. Petersburg. It is here, where you will find graves of Dostoevsky, Lomonosov, Karamzin, and Tchaikovsky.
The St. Petersburg's Mosque...despite the fact that St. Petersburg is founded on European values, the fact that Russia is a part of Asia was hard to deny. After long resistance, finally, in 1910, the Mosque was founded. Massive, toll, glorious building, today, the Mosque is the symbol of both, the architectural and spiritual past, present and future of Russian multi ethnic society.
The Yusupov's Palace...represents a rare combination of an architectural monument (Russian classicism) and a temple of art. It belonged to a rich and powerful Yusupov family with roots running from the mid-18th century. The Palace is also known for the controversial murder of Gregory Rasputin, "the devil monk", who arrived in St. Petersburg from Siberia in 1911 and within a few years had become one of the most influential men in government circles. A small exhibition at the palace will introduce with more details of the Rasputin story.
Bridges and Canals...many agree that St. Petersburg's elegant appearance is owed to its 3000 bridges. They are a true architectural, historical and engineering heritage of the city. One of the remarkable features of large bridges across Neva river is the constructional design, that allows them to open for passing sea ships during navigation period (May-November). This magnificent views normally can be watched during the night time - early morning, and especially spectacular during famous "White Nights" period (2 June - 11 July).