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The Central Naval Museum Museum of Arctic and Antarctic Savior on Spilled Blood
Cruiser Aurora Museum of Ethnography St.-Isaac's Cathedral
The House of Peter I Petropavlovskaya Fortress The State Hermitage
Kunstkamera The Pushkin Apartment Museum The Yusupov Palace
Menshikov Palace Russian Museum Zoological Museum
Mikhaylovsky Castle

The Admiralty Bronze Horseman Summer Garden

Gatchina Pavlovsk Pushkin
Lomonosov Peterhof Strelna
The Central Naval Museum

Address:  St.-Petersburg, 4, Birzhevaya Ploshad
Phone:  (812) 328-2701
Open:  11:00-18:00
Closed: Monday and the last Thursday of every month.

The museum started as a model-chamber built to the instructions of Peter the Great in 1709. It is one of the oldest museums in the world, with two thousand unique models of ships, many of which are notable for their artistic worth. The museum has a rich collection of different works of fine arts, as well as a large collection of paintings, photographs, uniforms, flags and banners contains, many of which are extremely rare. The pride of the Museum is an ancient monoxyl boat (about 3000 years old), Peter the Great's famous boat that he named the "Grandfather of the Russian Navy". Another rarity is the original submarine of S.Dzewiecki, built in the 1880-s.

 Menshikov Palace

Address:St.-Petersburg, 15, Universitetskaya Naberezhnaya
Phone:  (812) 323-1112
Open:  10:30-16:30
Closed:  Monday

One of Peter I's closest pals was Aleksander Menshikov. Born to non-aristocratic parents, his rise to prominence was due to his having befriended Peter in childhood. Peter bestowed the governorship of Petersburg upon Menshikov and also that of Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo) which he later took back. Before Peterhoff was built, Peter held official functions and parties at Menshikov's place.
Catherine I, Peter's second wife, was originally a serving girl working for Menshikov. Menshikov knew how much Peter liked women, particularly other people's women, and so despite their good friendship he was reluctant to show this particular serving girl to the tsar. Nonetheless, Peter was a crafty fellow and he managed to swoop her away from Menshikov. From there it was all grapes and roses for the girl who became tsarina and even ruled the country for a couple of years after Peter's death. Menshikov's fate after Peter's death was not quite as fortunate. He and his family were packed off to Siberia after he over-asserted himself in an attempt to weasel into power, culminating in a failed attempt to marry his daughter to Peter II. And people say there was no social mobility in pre-Revolutionary Russia. The palace exhibition, "Russian Culture of the First Third of the 18th Century," is interesting as an illustration of how the nobility lived back then.

The House of Peter I

Address:St.-Petersburg, 6, Petrovskaya Nabarezhnaya
Phone: (812) 571-3465
Open: 10:00-18:00

Constructed for Peter the Great in May 1703; the first building in St .Petersburg. The exhibition of the Museum contains home utensils of the beginning of the XVIII century including personal belongings of Peter the Great, and describes Russian victories in the Northern War of 1700-1721.

Zoological Museum

Address:  St.-Petersburg, 1, Universitetskaya Nabarezhnaya
Phone:  (812) 328-0112
Open:  11:00-18:00
Closed: Friday

The Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences is the largest zoological museum in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Nearly 30 000 specimens of animals from all over the world are displayed in the Museum. The collection was started over 250 years ago, but has only been open to visitors since 1901. The Museum contains the collections of well-known Russian scientists such as Gmelin, Pallas, Przewalsky, Kozlov and others. Its collection has been increased dramatically in recent years due to numerous expeditions throughout Russia, to the Arctic circle, to Antarctica and to the tropics.

St.-Isaac's Cathedral

Address: St.-Petersburg, 1, Isaakievskaya Ploshchad
Phone:  (812) 315-9732
Open: Cathedral open 11:00-18:00, colonnade open 11:00-17:00
Closed: Sunday

St. Isaac of Dalmatia was the patron saint of the Romanov family; little good he did them. The present version of St. Isaac's, the fourth, was constructed from 1818 to 1858. The original St. Isaac's, a small wooden church, was located near the Admiralty and a notorious watering hole of the time called Petrovskoye Kruzhaloye. Peter I and Catherine I were married here in 1712. Soon afterwards it was agreed that the decrepit structure did not suit the emerging grandeur of the capital and in 1717 a stone St. Isaac's was built on the spot now occupied by the Bronze Horseman. Then in the 1760s Catherine II decided she wanted a huge marble St. Isaac's, and construction began on the third version in 1768. This dragged on until it was hastily completed in 1802, but the result was different from the orginal plan and was neither pretty nor well built. When rotten ceiling plaster fell from high on an Easter service in 1816, Alexander I decided to get the St. Isaac's business finished once and for all.
Everything was done on a grand scale. The portico columns, cut from red granite, are seventeen meters high; the mosaic inside has twelve thousand shades and colors; the walls are five meters thick; the cupola is coated with one hundred kilos of gold; and the whole thing weighs three hundred thousand tons. Inside there are hordes of paintings, sculptures, and mosaics by 19th century Russian and European masters, including a huge fresco on the inside of the cupola by Karl Bryullov and a bust of Montferrand made of different colored marbles and other minerals. Also of note are the intricately sculpted bronze doors, the white marble central iconostasis with its columns of malachite and lazurite, and the huge stained-glass Jesus in Catholic colors (Orthodoxy has Christ wearing blue). A series of documents, plans, engravings, and models serves as an exhibition of the building of the cathedral.
Climb the colonnade for a panoramic view of the city, or to try to steal parts of the roof. Note that tickets to the colonnade are sold separately from tickets to the interior museum; both are sold in kiosks on the corner closest to the Hotel Astoria.
The cathedral sits on the northern side of St. Isaac's Square. Opposite the cathedral is the Mariinsky Palace, home of the St. Petersburg Duma and occasional flocking point for protestors. In the center of the square is a monument to Nicholas I, sort of a counterpart to the Bronze Horseman just a short leap over the cupola in Senate Square. Thanks to its unique construction (the horse stands on its hinds legs) the monument to Nicholas was spared during the various phases of Soviet de-tsarization despite its inherent policital-incorrectness. The four figures on the statue's base represent Faith, Justice, Power, and Wisdom.

Cruiser Aurora

Address:  St.-Petersburg, "the cruiser Aurora" museum
Phone:  (812) 230-8440
Open:  10:30-16:00
Closed: Monday and Friday

For more than 50 years near the Petrograd embankment in St. Petersburg one can see a well-known silhouette of warship. This is cruiser Aurora, which is considered to be a monument of Russian shipbuilding and which had seen much in its life. Being a witness of many historical events of the 20th century, the cruiser took part in three wars, revolutionary events in 1917, was used as Naval College for a certain period of time and forged many generations of naval officers for Russian Navy. Now it is a shipmuseum.


Address:  St.-Petersburg, 3, Universitetskaya Naberezhnaya
Phone:  (812) 328-1412
Open:  11:00-18:00
Closed: Monday

Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, known as the Kunstkamera, founded in 1714 as the first museum of Russia. Originally a center for scientific study of the known world, the museum began as Peter the Great's Cabinet of Curiosities and became part of the newly formed Academy of Sciences in 1724. For over one hundred years it functioned as an important public institution of scientific research and incorporated an art collection, library, scientific exhibitions, and archaeological displays under one roof. Still on view is Peter the Great's famous collection of unique anatomical and biological formations. Because of the donations of the Russian Imperial family and their sponsorship of several expeditions, the collection grew to great proportions. The kunstkamera was divided into several distinct museums in 1836, each devoted to its own area of science. Among these, the Ethnographic Museum served to educate visitors of the many peoples and cultures of the world. This collection has grown to be one of the premier international collections of ethnographic and anthropologic objects, among the heilights are some of the extraordinary items gathered during Capitain James Cook's final voyage around the world..
The collection consists of more than 1.8 million objects (about 250,000 ethnographic, 500,000 archaeological, 380,000 pieces of physical anthropology, 800,000 illustrative materials). The museum's permanent exhibitions include depictions of the traditional cultures of the peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania, as well as a historic display entitled "From the History of the Petersburg Kunstkamera".
The Lomonosov Museum, founded in 1947, is dedicated to the early years of the Academy of Sciences and the contributions to modern thought made by Mikhail Lomonosov (1711 - 1765), one of the great Russian figures of the Age of the Enlightenment. Lomonosov was known as an "encyclopedias," and during his lifetime his accomplishments were compared to those of his great colleagues, the Frenchman, Voltaire, and the American, Benjamin Franklin.
The M.V. Lomonosov Museum, located on the three floors of the tower, exhibits documents and objects from Lomonov's time, including scientific instruments, books, portraits, and prints as well as scientific and cultural objects from the personal collection of the first Russian Academician.
The museum's collection also includes: Reconstructions of the interiors of the Conference-Hall of the Academic Assembly and the Naturalist's Study; A history of Russian astronomy, and; the Great Gottorf Globe-Planetarium (made in Germany in 1664 and repaired in Russia in 1750 following the 1747 fire in the Kustkamera).

Mikhaylovsky Castle

Address: St.-Petersburg, 2, Sadovaya Ulitsa
Phone: (812) 313-4112, 313-4173, 347-8701, 313-4112
Open: 10:00-18:00, Monday 10:17

Among the galaxy of magnificent palaces and mansions of old St. Peterburg the Mikhailovskiy castle occupies a special place whilst still Grand Duke, Paul I was already considering building his own residence, and more then 10- years different architects like Vasiliy Bazhenov were involved in the project. But Emperor lived in it for only 40 days, he was murdered in his bedroom. After this bloody event in the castle was open the main Engeneering School.
In 1991 the M.C. became tied to that of Russian Museum. During 4 years thought restoration wark was performed the Church of Archangel Michail personal apartments of Grand Prince Konstantin Pavlovich.

Museum of Arctic and Antarctic

Address:  St.-Petersburg, 24a, Marata Ulitsa
Phone:  (812) 113-2549, 164-6818
Open:  10:00-18:00
Closed: Monday, Tuesday

Museum started with The Polar movable exhibition in 1922. In 1930 Museum was founded a department of the All-Union Arctic Institute and it opened its doors for visitors in 1937. In 1958 - after joining Antarctic display, the Museum renamed to the Arctic and Antarctic Museum. Finally, in 1998 - by the Russian Government Decree Museum became The State Russian Arctic and Antarctic Museum.
Nowadays, the Museum is the only of its kind in Russia and the largest polar Museum in the World with collection of ca. 75,000 artifacts.
Display is divided into 4 departments, and three of them are open.
"Arctic Environment" allows to get closer to the North Pole and introduces inhabitants of the sever polar regions.
"History of exploration of the Northern Sea Route" will tell you about fascinating and dramatic travels of Arctic explorers, introduce to the history of polar navigation from Pomor's kotch till powerful nuclear icebreaker, informs about contemporary researches.
"Antarctica" makes possible to meet with penguins, to learn about history of our planet through studying of ice core taken from the deep Antarctic dome.
Museum offers the different Guided tours. It has public library and lecture hall.

The Pushkin Apartment Museum

Address:  St.-Petersburg, Moika 12 embakment
Phone:  (812) 311-35-31
Open:  10:30-17:00
Closed: Tuesday

The Pushkin Apartment Museum, located on the river Moika Embankment #12, is the only memorial Pushkin museum in the city which tells about the last period of the poet's life and work. There Pushkin, mortally wounded at the duel, died on January 29, 1837, and there one can see things that belonged to Pushkin and his family. One of the most important events in the Museum life is the holding in the courtyard of the house of the annual memorial meeting on February 10 (the day of the poet's death), which is attended by the community, foreign guests, representatives of the creative intelligentsia, and members of the Russian Government and the Authorities of Saint-Petersburg. At 2.45 p.m., in commemoration of the moment when Pushkin's heart stopped beating, the moment of silence is observed. On Pushkin's birthday - May 26 (June 6, new style) - the Museum holds the festival "Pushkin-Petersburg", in which other cultural institutions of St. Petersburg also take part.
The museum was opened in this house as late as in 1925. Va rious landlords and offices had owned the house be fore. Pushkin's apartment had been considerably al tered. The apartment was fully reh abilitated in 1987 after the archaeological survey, ma jor repairs and restoration work.
Authentic Pushkin's belon gings are scarce. Most of them are displayed in the po et's study. A contemporary reminis ced: "His study was spa cious, light and clean, there was nothing extravagant, intricate or sumptuous, nothing stunning, but artless austerity everywhere". Books dominate the study. Pushkin had a library of about four thousand books in fourteen languages. He admired and treasured old and rare publications rum maging for them in book shops. He was also invariably attracted by new Rus sian and European publi cations.

Peter and Paul Fortress Museum

Address:  St.-Petersburg, 3, Peter and Paul fortress
Phone:  (812) 230-0340
Open:  10:00-18:00, Tuesdays 10:00-17:00
Closed:  Wednesday

The State Museum of History of St. Petersburg is one of the major museums of Russia. Its main subject is the historical and cultural reserve “The Peter and Paul Fortress” - and outstanding architectural monument of the 18th century. Located on the territory of the Fortress is the necropolis of the Romanov dynasty and the former tsarist political prison. The museum collection includes over 1 million exhibits. The nucleus of the collection was made by the collections of the Museum of Old St. Petersburg established in 1907 by the Society of architects and artists.
The Museum publishes the research papers: “Krayevedcheskiye zapiski” (“Local History Notes ”) and “Trudy Gosudarstvennogo muzeya istorii S.-Peterburga” (“The Transactions of the State Museum of History of St. Petersburg ”). Attached to the museum is a lecture hall, children’s art studio “Me and the City”, Sunday schools for children and their parents as well as a career guidance center for young people.

Russian Museum

Address: St.-Petersburg, 2, Inzhenernaya ul.
Phone:  (812) 570-5112
Open:  10:00-18:00, Monday 10:00-17:00
Closed: Tuesday

Like the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, the Russian Museum contains one of the finest collections of Russian art in the world. Both museums provide outstanding coverage of the entire history of Russian art. However, while the Tretyakov knows no peers for its collection of icons, the Russian Museum's international supremacy is based on its extensive collection of late 19th and early 20th century Russian works.
One of the best characteristics of the Russian Museum is that it is organized in a clear chronological progression, thus providing a very good picture of the major developments in the history of Russian art. Of particular interest are the ground floor, which covers the nineteenth century, and the Benois wing, which contains the museum's unparalleled collection of twentieth century works. Although most of the avant-garde works of the Benois wing were held in storage after the official embrace of Soviet realism in the thirties, they have slowly been emerging in recent years.


Address:  St.-Petersburg, 2à, Griboyedov Naberezhnaya
Phone:  (812) 315-1636
Open:  11:00-18:00
Closed: Monday

This marvelous Old Russian-style church was built on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated on March 1, 1881. Built in 1883-1907, the church was designed in the spirit of sixteenth- and seventeenth century Russian architecture, inspired particularly by St Basil's Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow.
The interior of the church, a memorial to the late Emperor Alexander II, was decorated with different marbles and several thousand square yards of mosaics. These mosaics were far from being ordinary; their surface was left unpolished, so that they reflect sunlight, which impressed worshipers and other visitors alike.
After the October Revolution of 1917 the church met the sad fate of most churches in the country. "The Savior" was closed for services in the late 1920s, then briefly used for an exhibition of revolutionary propaganda and soon started to fall into decay, being deprived of adequate maintenance. Several times it was suggested that the church be torn down, for it stood as an "inappropriate" symbol of Christianity amidst the largely atheistic country. It is by a true miracle that the church was saved. Since 1970 the church has been managed by the staff of the St Isaac's Cathedral. A long careful restoration began, which has lasted for over 25 years.
Now with scaffolding already removed, the bell-tower dome gilded, and the interiors carefully restored, the church opened its doors to visitors. The official opening took place in August, 1997 and you can now see this jewel in the crown of St. Petersburg in its stunning beauty.
A great site for taking pictures. Lots of souvenir stalls nearby.

The State Hermitage

Address:St.-Petersburg, 34-36, Dvortsovaya Nabarezhnaya
Phone:  (812) 571-3465
Open:  10:30-17:00,
on Sunday 10:30-16:00
Closed: Monday

With the possible exception of the Louvre, there is no museum in the world that rivals the Hermitage in size and quality. Its collection is so large that it would take years to view it in its entirety - at last count, there were nearly three million works on exhibit. The museum is especially strong in Italian Renaissance and French Impressionist paintings, as well as possessing outstanding collections of works by Rembrandt, Picasso, and Matisse. Visitors should also take advantage of its excellent Greek and Roman antiquities collection and its exhibits of Siberian and Central Asian art.
Not least among the attractions of the Hermitage is the museum itself, with its fine interior decoration and architectural detail. As the Hermitage is so enormous, its collection so strong and diverse, and its interior so attractive in its own right, many visitors find that the very best way to tour the museum is to make several briefer visits rather than one frenetic and exhausting marathon tour. While there is much to be gained by simply allowing the curiosity of one's eye to take at least occasional precedence over a list of works and collections dictated by a guidebook or even a guide.
The origins of the Hermitage can be traced back to the private art collection of Peter the Great, who purchased numerous works during his travels abroad and later hung them in his residence. Catherine the Great expanded the collection considerably, and she and her successors built the Hermitage collection in large part with purchases of the private collections of the Western European aristocracy and monarchy. By the time Nicholas II ascended the throne in 1894, he was heir to the greatest collection of art in Europe.
After the Revolution of 1917, the museum was opened to the public, and its collection was further augmented by the addition of modern works taken from private collections. Today, the Hermitage has embarked on a major renovation effort. Its collection is in the process of being reorganized, and many of its works have for the first time become available for travelling exhibits outside of the country.

Russian Museum of Ethnography

Address: St.-Petersburg, 4/1, Ulitsa Inzhenernaya
Phone:   (812) 313-4421
Open:  10:00-18:00

The Russian Museum of Ethnography is one of the largest and richest museums in Russia. Our collections include objects of ethnic culture of more than 150 peoples of Russia and its neighbours. Various cultures and religions meet in the space of the Russian Museum of Ethnography which has been created to function like a medium between people and science that comprehend their everyday life as an object to study. People give ethnology the matter of its studies - artifacts, music, folklore - and then find it in the space of ethnomuseums whose task is not to mummify their culture but to help them in identifying and understanding themselves.
The history of the Russian Museum of Ethnography began in 1902 when the Russian Emperor Nicholas II issued the special Edict No. 420, establishing the Russian Museum of the Emperor Alexander III. This outstanding project appeared as a demonstration of the might of Russian state and of the loyality of it subjects: hundreds of peoples and tribes settling on Russian land. The Russian Museum included an Ethnographic Department as well - as a part of the memorial department dedicated to the rule of Alexander III . This strange neighbourhood was to emphasize the continuity of the policy of Nicholas II toward the Russian peoples with that pursued by Alexander III. Thus science was called to help the government in providing its policy, to study Russia in order to rule it.
The contemporary life of the Russian Museum of Ethnography include exhibition activities as well as providing ethnological conferences and educational programs for students and children.

The Yusupov Palace

Address:  St.-Petersburg, Moika 94 embakment
Phone:  (812) 314-9883, 314-8893
Open:  11:00-18:00

The Yusupov Palace on the bank of the Moika River is only one of the 57 palaces in Russia, four of which are in St. Petersburg, which were owned by Felix Yusupov. It was often said that Yusupov was almost as wealthy as the Tsar himself. This palace, designed by Vallen De la Mothe and Andrei Mikhailov, was Yusupov's favourite and exemplifies his wealth and very eccentric style. Once, while in Italy, Yusupov admired a beautiful white marble staircase and wished to purchase it, but unfortunately the owner of the palace refused to sell it. This, however, did not stop the eccentric Yusupov who then bought the entire palace and had the staircase transported to St. Petersburg where it sits in the palace overlooking the Moika. The staircase leads to the private theatre of Zenaida Yusupov which has been carefully preserved in its rococo style and has been the stage for many performances of very famous artists. Among the palaces treasures are works of art by Rembrandt and Rubens, French tapestries and porcelain, and Venetian mirrors and wood carvings. It was here in 1916 where the notorious Grigory Rasputin was assassinated. He was lured to Yusupov's palace by several influential figures of the time, given poison cakes, which for some reason had no effect on him, and then shot several times and thrown into the river. The palace is a beautiful example of St. Petersburg's early 18th century architecture.
The palace was designed by Domenico Tresini in 1704 and has survived since then without major alterations. The walls of this two-story building are made of stucco-covered brick and are painted primrose yellow. The palace was not intended to be a residence but a pleasure palace for short visits. The Summer Garden surrounding the Summer Palace is perhaps the most magnificent and attractive park in St. Petersburg. It is often used by people of the city, as well as by visitors, for rest and relaxation. The construction of the garden began as early as 1704, and during that time, the garden was adorned with many fountains which were fed by the nearby river. The garden is decorated with many fine sculptures dating back to the early 18th century which are protected from the severe winter weather by wooden covers. Not far from the palace in the garden, a bronze monument to the writer Ivan Krylov can be seen. Peter Klodt constructed this monument to the "Russian La Fontaine" in 1855. There are several other attractive buildings located in the Summer Garden including the Coffee House and the Tea House.


The Admiralty shipyards were founded by Peter the Great on the left bank of the Neva River in 1704. The project was worked out by Emperor himself and included dockyard, different workshops, ship armament and equipment storehouses. The first Admiralty building presented one-story clay-walled structures arranged in the form of the Russian letter "Ï". Some years after in the center of this building the stone construction of the Admiralty colleges crowned with a tower and a gilt spire was erected. In the 1730s the building was rebuilt in stone. Architect Korobov who was entrusted to conduct construction works didn't change the original layout and general outline except for the tower with the spire that grew considerably and became 72 meters high.
At the beginning of the 19th century the Admiralty building again needed reconstruction as it clashed with the grand ensembles of the city center. The works were supervised by talented architect A. Zakharov. He designed a grandiose construction (its main facade is 407 meters long) consisting of two H-shaped buildings - the outer and the inner ones. The central part of the main building is topped with the tower having the weather-vane in the form of a ship on its top that has become the symbol of the city. The weather-vane, which we can see today, is the forth one, placed on the top of the Admiralty tower in 1886. It weights 65 kg and it's covered with 65 kg of pure gold, but still it turns around easily to indicate the wind direction.
The Admiralty building was lavishly adorned with sculptors created by outstanding Russain artists Stepan Pimenov, Ivan Terebenev, Vasiliy Demut-Malinovskiy, Feodosiy Shchedrin and others. The 22-meters high-relief the Establishment of Fleet in Russia decorates the Admiralty tower. The relief represents Neptune who is handing Peter I the trident - the symbol of power over the sea. At the corners of the tower attic stand the statues of ancient heroes and commanders: Alexander the Great, Achilles, Ajax and Pyrrhus. The sculptural decoration of the Admiralty tower also includes the composition Nymphs carrying the globe. The statues above the upper colonnade of the tower symbolize the four seasons of the year, four elements of nature, and four main winds. Among them there are Isis, the patroness of shipbuilding, and Urania, the Muse of Astronomy.
The new Admiralty building amazed the contemporaries with its elegance, irreproachable proportions and the simplicity of architecture. Since then the Admiralty hasn't been rebuilt except for trifle alterations and has preserved till nowadays.
In 1874, in front of the Admiralty building the Alexandrovsky garden was laid out. In 1883, the garden was decorated with the busts of Russian writers and poets Nikolay Gogol, Vasiliy Jukovsky, Michael Lermontov, composer Michael Glinka and the Central Asia explorer Nikolas Prjevalsky.
Originally the Admiralty was used for the shipbuilding and its premises served as workshops and different storehouses. In the 19th-beginning of the 20th century the buildings of the Admiralty were given over to administrative naval establishments. Since 1832 the Admiralty housed the Naval Architecture School that was later transformed into Saint Petersburg Naval Engineering Institute.
Nowadays the Admiralty stays the architectural and compositional center of Saint Petersburg and one of the most beautiful samples of the early Russian Classicism.

Summer Garden

Across the river from the Peter and Paul fortress and the wooden Cabin of Peter the Great one can visit the historic Summer Garden. Behind the beautiful wrought iron fence there is an old park that witnessed the most spectacular moments of St Petersburg's early history.Impressed by the royal parks that he had seen in Europe, Peter the Great was very keen to have such a park in his new and beloved "paradise" - St Petersburg. In Peter's new park everything was done according to the latest fashion: all trees and bushes were trimmed in the most elaborate way, all the alleys were decorated with marble statues and fountains. Peter the Great used to organize receptions and balls there, which were called assamblei - assemblies. The most popular entertainments of the day were illuminations and fireworks, plus dancing, drinking and more.
Peter the Great commissioned the first architect of the city - Domenico Trezzini - to build a small palace in the park. The palace had no heating and was intended for summer time. That's why it was called a Summer Palace (Peter had a Winter Palace further down the Neva River), and the park became known as the Summer Garden. A two-storey yellow palace was built in 1710-14, with 7 rooms on each floor. After the Second World War the palace was carefully restored: the older interiors were recreated and a collection of early 18th century artefacts, many originally owned by Peter the Great, was put on display.
It is always a great pleasure to take a stroll down the alleys of the Summer Garden, passing by the palace, the marvelous marble statues and the pond. A pair of white swans return every year to the Karpiev pond in the Summer Garden, though the park is located in the middle of a huge city...


To the tercentenary of Saint Petersburg's foundation the city was endowed with many monuments of its founder, Peter the Great. Nevertheless, it is the so-called Bronze Horseman created by French sculptor Falconet that stays the most famous and the earliest monument of the city on the Neva River. In the middle of the 18th century Catherine the Great decided to erase the monument to her famous predecessor Peter the Great. Philosopher Deni Didro in one of his letters to the Empress recommended her French sculptor Falconet and the Empress followed his advice and invited Falconet to visit Russia. In 1766 Falconet arrived to Saint Petersburg and started working on the model of the equestrian statue. To depict the Emperor as precisely as possible the sculptor used the plaster deathmask and the wax sculptor of the tsar. The bronze head of Peter the Great was performed by Falconet's apprentice Mari Collot. The monument depicts Peter the Great riding the horse. The laurel wreath on the head of the Emperor is the symbol of his glory. The hand of Peter the Greats points to the Neva River, the Academy of Sciences and the Peter and Paul Fortress, which symbolizes the main goals of Peter's ruling: enlightenment, trading and military power. The pedestal for the monument is a solid piece of rock shaped as a wave, as it was Peter the Great who gained the access to the sea for Russia. The appropriate granite boulder was founded in 1768 on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, in the vicinity of the Lakhta village. It weighted 1,600 tons and was called the Thunder-stone. It took nine months to deliver the enormous monolith to the construction site. Four hundred people, using special devices, were first moving it by land, and further by water on the barge built especially for this purpose. During all the time of the long trip the masters-stonecutters shaped the rock according to the sculptor's design. The Empress Catherine II herself came to inspect the stone and the transportation devices several times. The casting of the monument was started in 1775. The works were supervised by caster Yemelyan Khailov. Once the mold cracked and the molten copper began pouring out that caused the fire. Everybody panicked and run away except for caster Yemelyan Khailov who repaired the damage risking his life and completed the casting. By 1777 all the major works on monument construction was finished. The solemn opening of the monument took place on the 7th of August, 1782. There were thousands of people at the ceremony but among them there wasn't the sculptor, who had created the monument. Four years earlier the misunderstanding between Falconet and the Empress turned into a conflict and Falconet had to leave the country. Catherine the Great didn't invite Falconet to the ceremony. She absolutely forgot about the talented sculptor and praised only herself for the construction of the monument. On each side of the pedestal there is an inscription done in Russian and in Latin reading: "To Peter the First - Catherine the Second". During World War II, when German troops besieged the city, the monument was in a great danger. It was impossible to take it out from the town and the citizens were afraid that the Bronze Horseman could be ruined during one of the countless bombings. To hide and thus to protect the monument the 14 meter-high case was constructed. Fortunately, the monument didn't suffer and soon after the end of the war it was opened. The Bronze Horseman is still one of the main symbols of Saint Petersburg and the masterpiece of Russian and world culture.


The palace-and-park ensemble consists of the Gatchina Palace (architect A.Rinaldi, second half of the XVIII century) and the park - the first landscaped park in Russia. The palace throughout its history was the residence of the Russian emperors Paul I, nicknamed "the most romantic Russian Emperor", and Alexander II. On display: gala halls of XVIII century, exhibition of Western-European and Russian paintings and arms of the XVII-XIX centuries. The romantic feature of Gatchinsky palace - an underground tunnel. The pride of the park are the unique pavilions "Beriozovy Dom" ("Birch House") and "Pavilion Venery" ("Pavilion of Venus").


The palace-and-park ensemble on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland opposite the town-fortress Kronshtadt. Constructed to the design of architects D.Fontana and G.Schedel. In 1743 Oranienbaum became the summer residence of the future emperor Peter III. A fortress ensemble with a miniature palace was constructed for him to the design of architect A.Rinaldi. Later A.Rinaldi was commissioned by the empress Catherine the Great to erect the Chinese palace and the Katalnaya Gorka (Sliding Hill) with a pavilion. The architectural style of these historical monuments is distinguished by the subtle blend of elegant rococo style with traces of classicism. Oranienbaum is famous for its landscape parks dating back to the middle XIX century. The following palace-museums are open for the public at the present time: the Chinese palace, the palace of Peter III, the Katalnaya Gorka Pavilion, the Japanese pavilion of the Bolshoy (Menshikovsky) Palace, Exhibition halls in Cavaleriysky building and Chinese cuisine Pavilion, an exhibition in the central building of the Bolshoy (Menshikovsky) Palace.


This is a suberb palace-and-park ensemble, one of the finest examples of Russian architecture of the late eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth centuries, built as a summer residence for the Russian emperor Paul I and his family. The park is one of the largest landscaped parks in Europe, and inside the palace is no less impressive. The Pavlosk collections themselves are closely connected with the trip of their owners to Europe in 1781-1782. They visited the workshops of well-knows artists, where they ordered and acquired paintings, furniture, bronze articles, silk fabrics, china services, etc. They brought back to Russia a large number of antique sculptures from Italy, as well as gifts from European royal courts. The Museum also displays an excellent collection of portraits created by Russian artists and a number of Pavlovsk landscape paintings and drawings. Based on the evidence at Pavlovsk, there is a special museum within the palace that looks at the history of the Russian interior.
The palace was occupied by the Germans in the second World War and burnt down when they left. It has taken 50 years to restore Pavlosk to its former glory, and details of the restoration are on display inside the palace itself.


The brilliant palace and park ensemble of Peterhof, concieved and created at the will of Peter the Great as a counterpart of Versailles, is situated on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, 29 kilometres from St. Petersburg. In the course of 200 years, it served as a summer residence of the Russian monarchs. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was a setting for majestic receptions, grand festivities, balls, concerts and masquerades.
The Peterhof ensemble includes the Upper and Lower Parks with 150 fountains spurting upwards powerful jets if water and foir resplendent cascades. The Peterhof system of water supply is unequalled as concerns the time of its operation. At the edge of the 16-metre high natural terrace soars the Great Palace - the focal centre of the ensemble designed by Rastrelli. The rich display of the palace acquaints its visitors with magnificent state rooms and halls and the living apartments of the Russian Emperors. At the foot of the palace you can see a pageant of the Great Cascade with silvery fountain jets and numerous golden sculptures, including the famous Samson Fountain. Water failing down the cascade runs through the Sea to the Gulf of Finland.

Tsarskoye Selo

The palace and park complex of Tsarskoye Selo is located twenty-five kilometers south of St.Petersburg. In the seventeenth century there was a Finnish farm here at Dudorovsky eminence called "Saari mois" in Finnish language. In 1708 it became a possession of the Russian Tsar, and the Finnish toponymy word "Saari mois" was transformed into "Tsarskaya Mysa" that sounded more Russian.
In 1708 - 1724 Tsarskaya Mysa was the residence of Peter the Great's wife, the Empress Ca


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