City tour of St.Petersburg will acquaint you with the main landmarks: Palace Square, the Winter Palace, the Spit of St.Basil Island, and St.Isaac’s Cathedral. You’ll get insight into the history of St.Petersburg.
Peter and Paul Fortress is the first construction, the day of foundation of which is considered the birthday of St.Petersburg. The Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul, which was the main church of Russia for 150 years, is a burial vault of almost all the Russian tsars from Peter the Great to Alexander III. You can also visit the prison and the exhibition in the Mint.
Hermitage with its 3 million exhibits is the third largest museum in the world. Works of art are displayed in several buildings, most famous of which is the Winter Palace, the former winter residence of the Russian tsars. The collection is divided into several departments: art of Western Europe, ancient art, oriental art, history of Russian culture, the antiquities and numismatics. Of special interest is the rich collection of Western European paintings: Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Monet, van Gogh, Picasso…
St.Isaac’s Cathedral is the third largest cupola cathedral in the world, which can house 14, 000 people. The edifice is the most luxurious cathedral of the city. Noteworthy in the decoration of its interior besides marble of different sorts, semiprecious stones and gilded ornaments are 200 mosaic pictures made of pieces of smalt in 28,000 hues. For extra fee, you can climb 562 steps to the dome and have a bird’s eye view of the city.
Saint Savior’s Church on “Spilled Blood” is the pseudo-Russian styled cathedral erected on the spot where Alexander II was assassinated in 1881. Mosaic pictures, iconostasis and ornaments made of marble and semiprecious stones prevail in the interior decorations.
Peterhof (Petrodvorets) lies on the southern shores of the Gulf of Finland 30 km from St. Petersburg. This world famous tsars’ residence with various palaces, parks, cascades, 150 fountains and water games was designed as the Russian Versailles. It was to demonstrate the luxury of the Russian Court. The main halls, parlors and tsars’ chambers of the Great Palace compete with each other in splendor and variety of plastic art, gilding, carving, mosaic parquetry, sparkling crystalline and mirrors, picturesque plafonds and panels. 13 museums are open for visitors in Peterhof.
Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) is the former residence of the Russian tsars, which was called “capital in capital” before the revolution of 1917. The ensemble is 25 km to the south of St.Petersburg and is famous for its beautiful palaces and wonderful parks with various pavilions and monuments. Today the museum complex has over 20 000 exhibits. The center of the architectural composition is the luxurious Great Catherine Palace with the famous amber room, which has been recently restored.