Saint-Petersburg is one of the famous historical and cultural cities of Russia. It is also well known as the tourist center, the popular place of visiting by million people from the whole world. St Petersburg travel agencies invite the guests from all countries to enjoy themselves by its old architectural monuments, splendid palaces, majestic cathedrals and rich museums. The Northern Capital of Russia was founded in 1703 by the well-known Russian emperor Peter the Great. And from this time Saint-Petersburg became the heart of our country. Saint Petersburg tours include not only sightseeing, but also the performance review in the old and beautiful Mariinsky Theater.
Geopolitical and economical position of Saint-Petersburg is unique, because it is the real window, which opens a lot of different ways to Europe. Saint-Petersburg takes the fourth place among the largest European megalopolises. It is also the intellectual center of Russia: a life, activity and creative search of many scientists and cultural workers are connected with this great town, which is the pride of Russian people.
In 2003 we celebrated the three hundred anniversary of St. Petersburg. So as for Russian and European norms it’s very young. But it does not prevent the city of St. Petersburg to be glorified by its rich historical heritage. A lot of mysterious stories and legends are connected with this place. If you decide to spend the holiday in St Petersburg you can have the opportunity to know the numerous rumors, reflecting the exciting history of this astonishing city, to see with your own eyes the sights, all of each is fraught with the secrets of the past. You will find the details, which confirm the historical roots of such Petersburg names as «Paradise» and «North Venice», to visit temples and palaces, to scroll about the street labyrinths and to feel the breath of history.
But St. Petersburg opens its mysteries only for attentive and interested tourists. Your travel to Saint Petersburg will be interesting and memorizing, because you will take a chance to concern the signs of different outstanding persons, such as Peter the Great and his daughter Elizabeth, Lomonosov and Derzhavin, Pushkin, Gogol and Dostoevsky. Different fates of famous tsars and princes, poets and writers, artists and travelers, military leaders and courtiers have strongly interlaced the history of St. Petersburg. It is important to remember, that just Petersburg gave the Russian Empire the possibility to become a great world power.
St Petersburg Russia travel will leave indelible impression from the unique white nights for ever. You can’t forget the spires of the Admiralty and Peter and Paul Fortress and will recollect the beauty of North Palmira for a long time.
The territory of St. Petersburg is about 600 square kilometers. But with the suburbs, which are situated along the Neva and the Gulf of Finland coasts it makes up about 1450 square kilometers. The distance from east to west forms 25 kilometers, and from north to south it forms 44 kilometers.
The construction and development of Petersburg was conducted according to a specific plan, taking into account a site not only of Neva, but also the numerous rivers and channels, located on a place of the future construction.
First of all with travel agents St Petersburg you can admire the ensemble in Palace Square. The Winter Palace, the General Staff Headquarters and Ministries Buildings are its integral parts. The Winter Palace was the residence of Russian tsars until the October revolution of 1917. First the famous masterpieces of the domestic and foreign art were placed in several rooms of the palace, which are known as the Hermitage. But later, with the growth of the unique works of art there were built some more constructions, such as the Small Hermitage, the Great Hermitage, the Hermitage Theatre and the New Hermitage. Now they are formed the State Hermitage, the most important artistic museum in Russia. The Hermitage houses the cultural legacy of such outstanding artists as Rubens, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian and others. Also you can find different historical and cultural objects, collected here from the entire world.
Nevsky Prospect is the main street of the city. Its construction was conducted through a wood. Prospect begins at the building of the Admiralty, conducts directly to Ploshchad Vosstaniya and then reaches the Alexander Nevsky Lavra. The prospect was named in honour of the great commander Alexander Nevsky. According to another version it has received this name after Nevsky Lavra, which is also located here. All guests can visit modern boutics and shops, theatres and museums, located at Nevsky Prospect during their travel to St Petersburg.
St. Petersburg is the city of islands and bridges. Now there are 42 islands here, but in the early 20th centuries their number reached 100. This reduction is a result of special technical works realization. As to bridges, their quantity makes 580. 20 raised bridges, 7 of which connect the coasts of Neva, make a special impression on the tourists.
General length of Neva, beginning from Lake Ladoga and finishing at Gulf of Finland, makes 74 kms, 32 of which pass within the precincts of the town. As to seacoast, it makes about 35 km within the city's boundaries.
Practically each detail of St. Petersburg's attire contains reminder about its naval glory, which is inseparably lanceted with the Russian fleet gains of Baltic Sea water space.
St. Petersburg is widely known as a cultural center of our country. Originally performances passed in Imperial palaces, but then especially for theatres there were constructed splendid beautiful buildings. It is remarkable that sister of Peter 1 Natalya had opened the first St. Petersburg's theatre. It was in 1709.
Making a tour of St Petersburg you will necessarily visit an oldest Petersburg circus, which has opened its doors for spectators for the first time in 1877. The Shostakovich Philharmonia and the Glinka State Academic Capella have exerted the large influence on musical creativity development not only the city, but also the whole country.
St. Petersburg was being the capital of the Russian state during the 18th and 19th centuries. This fact has determined the city appearance, with its numerous palaces, serving not only as a residence for very important persons, but also as place of numerous solemn ceremonies realization. They were the face of the city capable to show unique architecture and richest internally decoration. Travel agency St Petersburg offers you to visit such outstanding architectural monument as the Winter Palace, the Mikhailovsky Palace and the Engineers' Castle, which cannot leave indifferent any visitor.
The cult structures of all global religions peacefully coexist in St. Petersburg. There are 10 cathedrals, 39 Orthodox churches, Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches, a Muslim mosque and a Buddhist temple, 2 synagogues and an Armenian-Gregorian church in this city.
St Petersburg tour gives you a chance to observe such world-famous masterpieces as the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, which was created in the 18th century, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan, the symbol of Russian soldiers struggle and glory in Patriotic War of 1812, and so called «The Saviour on the Blood» - the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ.
It is necessary to admire the heroic acts or Russian patriots in their struggle for freedom and independence of the Native land. And the memory of these feats is impressed not only in numerous architectural structures devoted to Russian people heroism, but also in the names of St. Petersburg's streets and squares.
The recommendation of a travel agency Saint Petersburg is to visit the Summer Garden, which is located on the Neva left cost. Its occupied area is almost 12 hectares. This place is very popular not only among the guests of the city, but also among the city-dwellers. This garden was founded under Peter I initiative in 1704 and since that time it is being one of the most attractive places in the city.
The Russian Museum is located in the Mikhailovsky Palace, designed by the famous architect Karl Rossi. A lot of marvelous paintings of such well-known Russian artists as Kiprensky, Shchedrin, Venetsianov, Bryullov, Kramskoy, Repin, Surikov, Serov and Vrubel, many portraits of great masters Nikitin, Rokotov, Argunov, Levitsky and Borovikovsky, works of sculptors Rastrelli, Shubin, Antokolsky and even ancient icons are exhibited here. It is really a world's great museum. Together with the Ethnographic Museum, the Musical Comedy Theatre, the Mussorgsky Opera House and the Philharmonia it makes the especial atmosphere of Arts' Square or Ploshchad Iskusstv.
The first church, which had been built in St. Petersburg, was Peter and Paul Cathedral. Its construction was being conducted during only 9 months: from 29 June 1703 up to 1 April 1704. It is named after the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. Almost all the Russian Emperors and Empresses are buried under marble sarcophagi placed in Peter and Paul Fortress, so it is called the Imperial burial-vault.
But Saint Petersburg tourism means not only visiting of city’s sights, but also its environs: wonderful palace and park complexes. Citizens and guests can enjoy seeing Peterhof (Petrodvorets), Strelna, Oranienbaum (Lomonosov), Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin), Pavlovsk, Gatchina and many other beautiful country places, which over the course of two centuries served as a residence for Russian Tsars and their families and retinue. They can touch the historical past of Russian state which is expressed not only in architectural creations, but also in a landscape.
Peterhof is the place that everybody must visit at least once in his life. If you are about to take a tour of Saint Petersburg you will get the opportunity to go to this « Russian Versailles». This capital of fountains was constructed by Peter I as Russian emperor’s summer residence. After the October revolution the expositions of ten state museums of art and history were accommodated here. During the Great Patriotic War Peterhof was completely destroyed by the Nazis, but because of grandiose recovery work developed after city clearing in 1944, it could open its door again. Since 1946, when the first of the unsurpassed fountains began to work, 1952, when the Hermitage pavilion was fully reconstructed, 1964, when the Great Palace could take back its former magnificence, 1966 when the Great Cascade began to operate again? And up to our days Peterhof constantly rejoice its guests.
The first steps of Peterhof construction were made in the early 1700s. Exactly at that time such buildings as palaces and pavilions had come into the world. The works on park ensemble creation, and boat landing-stage project were conducted simultaneously. But a great attention was paid to the fountains network making.
The Great Palace is situated in the center of the Peterhof ensemble, on a natural terrace, which faces the sea landscape. It was built in 1714-1725. Such well-known masters as Johann-Friedrich Braunstein, Mikhail Zemtsov and Jean-Baptiste Le Blond took part in the design works. This palace was reconstructed in 1745-55 by Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli, who gave it the Baroque architecture appearance. Every apartment of this palace is unique in its way. The magic beauty and splendour of the Throne Hall and the Portrait Hall, the White Dining-Room and the Chinese Lobbies, Peter I's oak-panelled study and many others are the objects of admire for those, who have decided to spend their holiday to St Petersburg.
The beautiful gardens and parks are the integral part of the Peterhof. It is impossible now to imagine the Peterhof ensemble without such places as the regular Upper Gardens and the Lower Park, or the gardens of Venus and Bacchus.
But in a greater degree the Peterhof became the world-famed because of its unique fountains network. When you see the Great Cascade, including 64 fountains and 225 sculptural decorations you begin to understand that it is the best creation of human hands in the world. Sampson Tearing Open the Jaws of the Lion, made by the famous sculptor Mikhail Kozlovsky, is the largest one, which takes the central place in this composition. Fedot Shubin, Theodosius Shchedrin, Ivan Prokofiev, Ivan Martos and others are the authors of this masterpiece.
Your tour to St Petersburg will be unforgettable after your visiting Peterhof and watching such fountains as the Fountain of Marble Benches, the Pyramid, the Chessboard Hill, the Sun, the Golden Hill and the Avenue of Fountains, which are the best representatives of 144 fountains, located in Peterhof s parks.
Monplaisir Palace is placed just at the Gulf of Finland coast. It is a one-storeyed building, constructed in 1714-1723 under the protection of Peter I. The design of this palace was worked out by Le Blond, Niccolo Michetti and Braunstein. Now the appartments and galleries of this Peterhof ensemble part, connected with the central State Hall, serve as a show-room, where the items of Peter I's collection are exhibited. Especial interest of callers provoke Western European paintings of 17 and 18 centuries.
Another part of this collection is set up in the Marly Palace, which was built in 1720-1723 by Braunstein.
124 Western European paintings can be seen in the hall of the Hermitage Pavilion, disposed on the first floor. This Pavilion was erected by the famous architect Braunstein in 1721-1725. And it was so attractive and convenient, that just all pavilions in St. Petersburg and Moscow in the 18th century were built according to this project.
The rich exhibition of Russian and European painters works is displayed in the Cottage Palace. It is a summer residence of Nicholas I, designed by Adam Menelaws in medieval English style.
In the western wing of the Maid-of-Honour Houses there are the Benois family museum. This building was created by Nikolai Benois project in 1864. Here you can see the works of Alexander and Leonty Benois, Evgeny Lanceray, Zinaida Serebriakova, Peter Ustinov and other members of Benois dynasty. The most part of the displays was presented to the museum, opened in 1988, by Benois' posterity. Besides there are different temporary exhibitions of famous artists masterpieces, taken not only from the Peterhof palaces, but also from the private collection, and modern great talents works in this museum.
While your tour in St Petersburg you without fail will visit the most grandiose art museum of the world - the Hermitage. More than three million exhibits are kept at its art repository.
The Hermitage was founded in 1764, when Catherine II got the collection of art works from Berlin. From 1863 the Hermitage had the status of public museum.
Today the Hermitage consists of 5 parts. The Winter Palace, constructed in 1754 - 1762, by Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli, the Small Hermitage, built in 1764 - 1777 by Yuri Velten and Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe, the Old Hermitage, erected in 1770 – 1787 by Yuri Velten, the New Hermitage, made just later in 1842 - 1851 by architect Leo von Klenze and the Hermitage Theatre, created in 1783 – 1787 by Giacomo Quarenghi, make up the Hermitage museum complex. The Menshikov Palace with its own show room is also a subsidiary of the Hermitage.
The imperial family art collection had been constantly replenished up to 1917. In 1769 it was filled up with Count Heinrich Briihl collection from Dresden, including 600 paintings. Portrait of an Old Man in Red by Rembrandt, Perseus and Andromeda by Rubens and the Deposition by Poussin were among the received items. The famous collection of Sir Robert Walpole arrived to Russia from London, and Count Baudouin collection – from Paris just later.
But not only the famous paintings were the museum’s object of interest. Classical antiquities and coins, medals and weapons, collections of prints and drawings, such books as Voltaire's library and objects of Western European applied art, all these items were acquired to fulfill the museum exposition. Archaeological artifacts have got in a sphere of interests of this museum in the 19th century, and they became the foundation of Scythian gold collection.
The nationalization of private collections, followed by the October revolution in 1917, gave the huge opportunities to supplement the museum storerooms. Yusupov’s, Sheremetev’s, Shuvalov’s and Stroganov’s unique collections became the state property and the invaluable contribution to the museum’s possessions. One more source of museum’s displays extension was numerous scientific expeditions, organized in Soviet times.
During the Hermitage visiting while your Saint Petersburg tour, you should overcome about 22 km to run all the halls and rooms of this museum. But you need over 15 years to examine the whole collection, exposed now there on condition that sightseeing of every item will take you not more than one minute.
The rich expositions, devoted to the art of ancient times, represented by the cultural legacy of Egypt and Mesopotamia, Classical Greece and its northern Black Sea colonies, can tell a lot about the history and life of our ancestors. Here you can touch the mysterious past, which is thoroughly dissembled by the Egyptian mummies, know more about the culture of Siberia primitive tribes and the Etruscans, give a look at the unique complex of the Pazyryk burial mound of the 6th-4th centuries B.C., admire the Roman sculptural portraits and Tanagra statuary and wonder the secrets of Scythian and Sarmatian artifacts.
In the Western European Department one can find the exhibits, reflecting the art of such European countries, as Italy, dated from 8th up to 18th centuries, Holland and Flanders dated from 15th up to 17th centuries, Germany dated from 15th up to 18th centuries, Spain dated from 15th up to 19th centuries, Netherlands and France dated from 15th up to 20th centuries, and England dated from 17th up to 19th centuries. There are represented the canvases of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, Caravaggio, Tiepolo, El Greco, Jose Ribera, Francisco Zurbaran, Diego Velazquez, Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Francisco Goya, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony Van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens, Frans Snyders, Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Hans Holbein the Younger, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorraine, Antoine Watteau, Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, Eugene Delacroix, Camille Corot, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Paul Cezanne, Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Andre Derain, Maurice Vlaminck, Pierre Bonnard, Albert Marquet and Fernand Leger in this department. As for sculptures you can see the works of Michelangelo, Antonio Canova, Etienne-Maurice Falconet, Jean-Antoine Houdon and Auguste Rodin here. The exhibitions also include the examples of arms from Western Europe, made in 15th - 17th centuries, gobelins and majolicas from Italy, Sevres porcelains and Limoges enamels.
In the Department of the History of Russian Culture there are a lot of things, which can throw light on the specific features of Ancient Russia. The only way to know the national peculiarities of Russian people life and culture is to travel to Saint Petersburg Russia and to visit the exhibitions, located in this department. They cover the large historical period from the Petrine era and up to our days.
The important place in Russian monumental and applied arts take the Winter Palace interiors. The whole galaxy of the renowned masters such as Rastrelli, Vasily Stasov, Carlo Rossi, Auguste Montferrand, Alexander Briullov and Andrei Stakenschneider took part in its design. Particularly noteworthy are the Malachite Hall and the Jordan Staircase, the Gallery of 1812, embodies the military victories of Russia, and the Hall of St. George, another name of which is The Great Throne Room, the Field-Marshal's Hall and the Small Throne Room.
In 1992 there was made a new display «The Winter Palace of Peter I», related about the great Russian Tsar, who founded the northern Russian capital city and turned his country to the power and prosperity. It occupies the territory of Peter I former palace.
The Peter and Paul Fortress
The historical center of Saint Petersburg is the Peter and Paul Fortress. If you have come to the decision to make St Petersburg Russia tour, you get the opportunity to visit this military engineering and architecture monument. Just from the beginning of it’s building the history of the astonishing city, named as St. Petersburg had started. It was on the 16th of May 1703 (as for New Style, it was 27th of May). The first stone in the foundation of this fortress was put according to the Peter I decision. Zaiachy (Hare) Island had been chosen as a place of its construction. The original name of this fortress was «Sankt Pieter Burkh», that meant «the town of St. Peter», but usually it was called as «Peter and Paul Fortress».
The fortress has the six bastions, named after those, who played the important role in the leadership of this object erection. So there are Gosudarev (the Tsar's), Menshikov, Golovkin, Zotov, Trubetskoi and Naryshkin bastions here.
The group of buildings, created by the famous architect Domenico Trezzini and talented engineer Burchard Christophe von Mimnich in 1706 –1740, includes bastions and ravelins, curtain-walls and fortified walls. St.Peter's Gate, designed by architect Trezzini in 1717-18, and adorned with a beautiful bas-relief, forms the center of this architectural ensemble. Certainly, the attention of all visitors is attracted by the Boat-House, built by architect Alexander Wist in 1762-1766. There is an exact copy of «Grandfather of the Russian Navy» - Peter 1's boat in its showroom. It is necessary to note that the original boat is exhibited now in the Naval Museum. Besides the building of the Mint, raised by architect Antonio Porto in 1798-1806, the Commandant's House and the Engineers' House also represent parts of this architectural complex.
St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral was erected by architect Trezzini in 1712-1733. It is the main item of the architectural composition. The program of your travel in St Petersburg provides the opportunity to visit this outstanding monument, which is well known because of its bell-tower. Earlier it was used as a watchtower. But its real destination was to be a symbol, which must demonstrate the force and the power of the northern capital. The height of this bell-tower is 122.5 m, so just now its golden spire towers above all urban buildings and constructions. The gold iconostasis, designed in Baroque style by Trezzini and Ivan Zarudny, was made by Moscow carvers in 1722-1729. St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral was intended to be the burial-vault for Russian emperors. So just all the representatives of the Romanov Dynasty, from Peter I to Nicholas II, except Peter II and Ioann VI, and members of their families had found their last shelter under the canopy of this church. The remains of 13 imperial persons, died up to 1917, are laid under the Grand Dukes Burial Vault, built by architects David Grimm, Anthony Tomishko and Leonty Benois in 1896-1908. In 90 years Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov and his parents were also buried here.
The Commandant's cemetery situated by the east wall of the cathedral is the burial place of fortress commandants. In 1991 the famous Russian artist Mikhail Shemiakin made a great present to Saint Petersburg as Peter the Great monument, which now towers at the central cemetery alley.
There are some exhibitions organized by the Museum of the History of St.Petersburg in the Peter and Paul Fortress. It is very interesting to visit them during the St Petersburg travel. One of them, opened 1n 1924, is disposed in the premises of the Trubetskoi bastion, which from the time of Peter the Great served as a prison for those, who was suspected of a high treason. Tsarevich Alexei, who was Peter 1 son, Anna loannovna - the Empress cabinet-minister, Taddeusz Kosciuszko - Polish revolt leader, Russian liberation movement members, such as Alexander Radishchev, the Petrashevtsy, the Decembrists, the great Russian writers Fedor Dostoyevsky and Maxim Gorky, the revolutionary democrat Nikolai Chernyshevsky, the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin and the nihilist Peter Kropotkin, People's Will organization members, socialist-revolutionaries and Bolsheviks were at different time the prisoners of the Peter and Paul Fortress, called «the Russian Bastille». The ministers of the overthrown in February 1917 imperial government also have not escaped this sad lot as well as the members of the Provisional Government. The Trubetskoi bastion was the place of imprisonment for the numerous unjust victims of «the red terror», the political action, conducted by communists during the Civil War. Everybody, who had taken part in the Kronstadt revolt in 1921, was also brought to this prison. Visiting this specific display you can get the detailed information about the prisoners life conditions.
A permanent exposition, settled in the Commandant’s House, is devoted to the St. Petersburg’s history. It was organized in 1975 to show the Neva lands development process, beginning from ancient times and up to St.Petersburg creation in 1703. Its displays can tell a lot about the northern capital life during two centuries. Different exhibitions also take place in the Engineers’ House, showing the unique materials, stored in the museum’s storeroom.
Your St Petersburg holiday can’t be complete without sightseeing the Russian rocketry and the history of cosmonautics museum, which is also situated in the Peter and Paul Fortress, just in the same halls where in the 1930s our first rocket engine researches and testing were conducted. Here you can have a chance to acquaint with the documents and materials, told about the work of the Gas Dynamics laboratory and its leader Victor Glushko, who was the first to begin rocket engine production in the Soviet Union. There are also a lot of items, connected with the history of the Soviet cosmonautics and well-known representatives of the scientific world, such as Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Nikolai Zhukovsky and Sergei Korolev. You can not only see, but also touch the real space suits, in which our astronauts furrowed universe space. There are various types of spacecraft equipment and different models of rocket engines here, including the spaceship Soyuz-16 starting control apparatus. Moon, Mars, Saturn and Venus pictures, made by our cosmonauts, help to discover some nature’s mysteries.
Peter and Paul Fortress is the place where every year on 27 May the Day of the City is celebrated. Besides every noon you can hear the thunder of gun-fire from the Naryshkin bastion. It is also a tradition.
During your Saint Petersburg holiday we recommend you to visit not only the center of the city, but also to travel from St Petersburg to Tsarskoye Selo. It is situated on the place, which name, given it by the local Finnic inhabitants, was «Saari Mois», that means «elevated land». But then it was called «Tsarskoye Selo» or «Tsar's village». In 1717-1723 the famous architect Johann Friedrich Braunstein by the order of Peter 1 created a small stone ace for his wife, Empress Catherine I. Some years later in 1752-1756 the architect Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli made an incorporated ensemble from the different separate palace constructions. It was the desire of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna. The Great (Catherine) Palace is considered to be one of the best buildings, designed in Baroque style. It’s luxurious and sublime halls, 306-m facade and main staircase are decorated with gold, wood, amber and mirrors.
During the Catherine II governing Tsarskoye Selo had grown and improved. Besides the Church and Great Palace’s Zubov Wings such magic construction as the Cold Baths with the unique Agate Rooms, the Cameron Gallery and the Hanging Garden were built here. The engineering works were conducted in 1780 –1787 by the architect Charles Cameron in ancient Roman thermae’s style.
In 1792 – 1800 Giacomo Quarenghi especially for Alexander, the grandson of Catherine II, designed the gorgeous Alexander Palace.
But not only the architectural structures give originality to Tsarskoye Selo. The magnificent parks and gardens are harmoniously entered in the general style of architectural ensemble. The numerous pavilions, such as the Admiralty, the Grotto and the Hermitage, being the present masterpieces creativity of the world-known masters: Mikhail Zemtsov, Sabbas Chevakinsky, Antonio Rinaldi and Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrell, give an especial beauty to the Catherine Park. Park is also decorated with the graceful bridges and various sculptural compositions. Some romantic places, such as the White Tower, the Arsenal and the Chinese Village give to the Alexander Park particular charm. In the centre of the Great Pond there is the Chesme Column, which was created in honor of the Russian Fleet victory in 1770, when our heroic sailors defeated the Turks in the Bay of Chesme in the Aegean Sea battle.
The Great Palace was the Russian emperors’ summer residence up to 1917. After the October revolution the Soviet Government had accepted the decision to open a museum of art and history here. During the Second World War just all the palaces, sculptures, pavilions, monuments and other items were vastly destroyed. But in 1957 the jobs on restoration of this unique monument of the Russian culture and history had begun.
Only during your Saint Petersburg Russia tour you can give a look at the splendid collections of pictures and china, furniture and textile. You will also have the excellent chance to visit Rastrelli's Grand Hall of the Great Palace and admire Dutch, Flemish, Italian and French artists’ masterpieces, presented in the Portrait Hall. You can also see the process of the Amber Room restoration and recreation. It is necessary to notice, that separate details of this disappeared during the Second World War cultural treasure, after the conducted works are better than earlier existed. In the Alexander Palace there is an exhibition, dedicated to the memory of Nicholas II, the last Russian emperor who was innocently killed with all members of his family by Bolsheviks.
St Petersburg holidays are impossible without visiting Pavlovsk. It was required about 50 years to create such perfect architectural ensemble as Pavlovsk. The works on its construction began in 1777. But the construction was limited to the erection of two simple wooden houses, which had settled down on the Slavianka coasts territory. This place had been presented to the future Emperor Paul I by his mother, Catherine II. Some years later in 1782 – 1786 the beautiful palace and wonderful park were erected here with the help of the famous architect Charles Cameron.
The Great Palace is the luxurious example of such brunch of art as Russian Neoclassicism. Its low galleries lead to the wings, rebuilt by the participation of Vincenzo Brenna. The fire of 1803 had put a significant damage to the palace, but it was restored under the guidance of the architect Andrei Voronikhin. Such famous authors as painters Pietro Gonzago and Giovanni Battista Scotti, sculptors Ivan Martos, Ivan Prokofiev, Mikhail Kozlovsky, Vasily Demuth-Malinovsky and architects Voronikhin, Cameron, Brenna, Quarenghi and Carlo Rossi took part in the decoration of the state halls.
As for a landscaped park it was laid out at the end of 18th - beginning of 19th centuries. The parts of an original nature were saved in borders of the Great Circles and the Private Garden. Only some sculptures and landscape design remind that this places are the fragments of the united architectural complex. There are Cameron's Pavilion of the Three Graces, Temple to Friendship, Aviary and Apollo Colonnade in this park. Here you can see Paul I monumental mausoleum, created by Thomas de Thomon in 1808 – 1809, Peel Tower, designed by Brenna and the Rose Pavilion, constructed by Voronikhin and Rossi.
Pavlovsk served as a residence of the Russian emperors up to 1917. And after the October revolution it was turned into museum. After the Second World War the Pavlovsk palace was wholly destroyed, but in 1970 it was completely restored. Now you can visit all its rooms and halls. Don’t forget to enter the sightseeing of the Italian and Grecian Halls, that are the unique example of Neoclassical art, in your St Petersburg tours program.
The exhibition of the museum is very reach. The items of art collections, foundation of which was put by Paul 1 and Empress Maria Fedorovna are presented for general review today. You can see a rare antique sculptures collection, admire the masterpieces of Peter Paul Rubens, Hubert Robert and Jose Ribera, as well as take pleasure from decorative and applied art of Western Europe and Russia.
And of course you will be pleasantly surprised by the possibility to go to the concert of classical music in the Grecian Hall while your St Petersburg Russia holiday. It is a long-established tradition, which now is also preserved.
This place has a very rich history, connected with the famous names of Russian aristocracy. First of all it is necessary to mention, that this place was already known in 1499 under the name of «village of Khotchino». Later, at the beginning of the 18th century, it became the property of Natalia Alexeyevna, who was the favorite sister of Peter 1. Then Kurakin princes had got this place for their services. But in 1765 Gatchina had passed into the hands of Grigory Orlov, as a present from Catherine II. This really imperial gift was sensibly used as a place by the favorite for the new palace and park construction, which was conducted under the supervision of Antonio Rinaldi. In 1783 when count Orlov died, Catherine II's son Paul became the owner of Gatchina and he made here his residence.
The Gatchina palace is styled in early Russian Neoclassicism. It looks like a medieval English castle. The palace was built in 1766 – 1781, then in 1790s it was partly remade by Brenna, and in the 19th century the architect Roman Kuzmin conducted the generous reconstruction of this throne’s sovereign residence. As for the palace interior décor, it was designed by Rinaldi and Vincenzo Brenna, but carried out by Russian masters.
After the October revolution 1917 the Gatchina palace had become the property of the state and opened his doors for the visitors as a museum, where everybody can enjoy himself with the palace decoration and domestic life things. Unfortunately, during the Second World War the Nazis had occupied this unique historical and cultural place and ransacked the palace, demolished a lot of constructions and cut down just all the park trees. Moreover, they made a fire while leaved their position. A huge volume of work had been carried out from the 1970s to restore this palace and park ensemble. And now the Gatchina museum waits its guests again. Take its invitation and visit it during your Saint Petersburg Russia travel.
See the Throne Hall, White and Picture Halls, the Marble Dining-Room and the Anteroom with their magnificent parquet floor and the ceilings decorated with designs, smart furniture and delightful gobelins.
The great interest of guests is provoked by the mysterious underground pass, which connects the palace with the Echo grotto. In honour of the former Gatchina owner Emperor Paul I there is his bronze monument in front of the palace, which was created by the sculptor Ivan Vitali (1850-51).
But not only the Gatchina museum is worth to visit. Different parks and gardens consist of various trees and bushes with the different terraces, stone staircases and bridges, which are gracefully hidden between them. Travel Saint Petersburg and admire the beauty of the Eagle Pavilion, situated on the Long Island, plunge into the abyss of love in the Venus Pavilion on the Island of Love, look at the Birch and Admiralty Gates, the Forest Hothouse created by the architect Brenna, and the Aviary, designed by the architect Andrean Zakharov. Take a chance to sightseeing the Prior's Palace, constructed in 1797 – 1799 by the architect Nikolai Lvov, and the Birch House, looked like a birch logs big store, made in 1780s by the artist A.F.Viollier Just all the parks surround Gatchina ponds and lakes. The most beautiful among them are The Silver Lake, the White Lake and the Carpiev Pond.
If you want slightly to open the screen of the mysterious past, visit Gatchina palace exhibition and know the history of this interesting place.
At the beginning of the 18th century Prince Alexander Menshikov, the owner of this place began the building of Oranienbaum palace and park complex. The works were held during the whole century. But in 1727 this Oranienbaum ensemble passed into the hands of Russian Imperia and became the imperial family summer residence. After the October revolution in 1917 the palace and park turned to be the soviet people property and was reduced into museums.
If you like to travel to St Petersburg Russia and to see the environs, visit such Oranienbaum ensembles as the Great Palace, Peterstadt and the Personal Dacha.
The Great Palace was built by the architects Giovanni Mario Fontana and Gottfried Johann Schadel in 1710 – 1727. Then it was reconstructed many times by different masters, such as Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli, Antonio Rinaldi, Carlo Rossi and others. But despite of it, the palace can save its original Baroque style and décor elements. So now it is concerned to be one of the rare representatives of Peter 1 times reached our days. The palace ensemble consists also of the Picture House and the Lower Garden.
Peterstadt comprises the Gate of Honour, created in 1757 by the architect Rinaldi, the Poteshny Fortress, two-storeyed palace of Peter II, built in 1758 – 1760 also by the architect Rinaldi, and Peter's Park. Rich room attire becomes apparent in the delightful wall-paintings and refined floor design. The collection of the Western European paintings of the 17th - 18th century is exhibited here. One can also see the items, which tell about the special historical details from Oranienbaum complex history.
The Chinese Palace of Catherine II, designed in 1762 – 1768 by the architect Rinaldi, the Sliding Hill Pavilion, built in 1762 - 1774 also by the architect Rinaldi and the Upper Park compose the integral complex, named as the Personal Dacha.
The Chinese Palace is constructed in the Rococo architectural style. Magnificent decoration reflects the greatness and power of the state. As for the interior finish of the main rooms, it is made with Chinese tinges according to the name of this palace. The rich collections of pictures, painted by the representatives of the Venetian School, porcelain, made in Russia and Western Europe, the items of Oriental decorative and applied art are exposed in this museum.
Meissen porcelain statuettes are displayed in the Sliding Hill Pavilion.
Come to St Petersburg and receive unforgettable pleasure from its beauty. Once having visited this northern capital, you will necessarily want to return here again and again. And with the further development of St Petersburg tourism, you will take more opportunities to the sightseeing.