Sankt Petersburg invites you

The so called northern capital of Russia, built up by Peter the Great, had to become the most powerful and significant city in Europe. What the emperor really managed to do – he constructed the gorgeous city that exhibits proudly fretwork of broad avenues, magnificent palaces and grotesque cathedrals. St Petersburg has its distinctive character, seen through every corner, felt through every cold waft from the Neva river side. And it seems that every building here is well known by its famous inhabitant.

Curious places to see in St Petersburg

The Hermitage Museum

The architecture and grandeur of state museum is very impressive with its colonnaded façade, but immense collection of unique pieces of art is more affecting. People come here again and again to see all the masterpieces, displayed in more than 1000 rooms. Before it was a winter palace for Russian tsars, but after Revolution in 1917 it was transformed into storages of artworks and jewelry, confiscated by Bolsheviks from gentry and merchants.

The Fabergé Museum

On the esplanade of the Fontanka river there’s a Shuvalov palace, that houses the largest collection of Russian jeweler Peter-Carl Fabergé. The museum itself admires with its highlights, but the most valuable objects are nine Imperial Fabergé eggs, made by fancy goldsmith for Russia’s royal family.

Each of the Egg is a masterpiece of art, encrusted with precious stones, pearls and diamonds. Every exhibit has its own history and its own features. So it will be interesting to learn the Easter traditions of emperor family and to see unique jewelries.

The Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood

Another name of the temple is Church of the Resurrection, and exteriorly it recalls St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. It has the dramatic history, as Emperor Alexander III mounted it after his fathers’ fatal injury. The long period of construction finished in 1907, while during Soviet Union times the church was used as vegetable store. In the end of the last century the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood was reconstructed as the relish of authentically Russian architectural style, also called Romantic Nationalism. Colorful orthodox façade catches the imagination, as well as the interior, encrusted with mosaics and ancient icons.

St Isaac’s Cathedral

It is one of the biggest orthodox basilicas of the city, with an imposing dome made from 90kg of gold. Enormous carvings in stone decorate it outside, while the interior part is finished with granite, mosaics and gold. Gigantic granite columns were shipped over from Finland. Qualified as museum, Cathedral is closed for tourists during public holidays.

Tsars’ Village

Tsarskoye Selo in Russian or Pushkin Village, named after Russian great poet, Alexander Pushkin, is the former tsars’ residence. The most sumptuous palaces, situated about 18.6 miles (30km) from central Sankt Petersburg, include Catherine Palace, Pavlovsk and Peterhof.

Blue and white façade of stupendous Catherine Palace, its endless rooms enfilade and huge ceilings bear testimony to extent and extravagance of Russian Emperors. The Palace has a colossal ballroom, decorated with gold and mirrors, and Amber Room.

Pavlovsk Palace, built in a crescent, has the name of Grand Duke Paul, son of Catherine the Great. Catherine did not love him, but wanted to keep him close to prevent the reshuffle.

As for the Peterhof, Peter the Great mounted his summer residence, conceiving to reach resemblance with France’s Versailles. That is why architecture of Peterhof, its terraced fountains and picturesque landscaping echo the image French kings’ palace. The best way to visit Peterhof in summer is to travel by hydrofoil over the Gulf of Finland.

Yusupov Palace

The bright yellow building on the Moika embankment has the far famed destiny. The owner of the palace, aristocrat Felix Yusupov distinguished himself by eccentric style. He settled the Turkish Study and the Byzantine Moorish Drawing Room in his home and organized the private theatre, hosting 135 visitors.

Yusupov married the tsar’s niece, but acquired notoriety by involvement in murder of another historical figure, Grigory Rasputin. Rasputin was a Siberian priest, thought to have supernatural powers and to influence Tsarina Alexandra. In 1916 Yusupov and his confederates murdered Rasputin in his palace and threw off the corpse into the Moika.

Russian ballet

The Mariinsky Ballet is well known all over the world from the 18th century. Famous Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev – these ballet stars shined on the scene of the Mariinsky Theatre, set in the heart of St Petersburg. The theatre’s building reminds the beautiful wedding cake, while its auditorium has the most beautiful ornate balconies.

But the city has not only Mariinsky Theatre with its dependent on season repertoire. Small Hermitage Theatre and Mikhaelovsky Theatre worth attention as representatives of St Petersburg ballet.

Dinner at the rooftop restaurant

It is possible to enjoy the panorama of Sank Petersburg by climbing to the Moika Kempinski Hotel’s restaurant, The Bellevue Brasserie. You feast on delicacies of Russian food, like caviar or pelmeni and outlook the major landmarks of the city and Baltic seaboard.

Best time to visit St Petersburg

More comfortable period begins in the end of May, when raw and blowy weather dissipates. In June and July people can walk on the streets during the White nights.

But there a lot of things to do in cold and dark winter as well. The city of Dostoevsky shows its true character, when the sky, covered with gloomy clouds, is suddenly pierced by the timid rays of the sun.

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