The Hermitage (State Hermitage) is a Russian art museum of world significance. The museum is located in five main buildings on the Palace Embankment. One of the buildings of the Hermitage is the Winter Palace, which in the past was the main imperial palace, the current building of which was built in 1754-1762.
The State Hermitage Museum started in 1764 by Empress Catherine II and included 317 valuable paintings. Originally, works of art were located in a special palace wing, which was called the Hermitage. Today it is the Small Hermitage, included in the general museum complex.
Today, the Hermitage collection includes about three million works of art and monuments of world culture. The collection includes items from the Stone Age to the present.The museum was opened for visitors in 1852. Today the collection includes such masterpieces as Madonna and Child by Leonardo da Vinci, Titian’s Saint Sebastian, Raphael’s The Holy Family, Rembrandt’s Lost Son, Apostles Peter and Paul El Greco.
Peter and Paul’s Fortress
The Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg is the oldest architectural monument in the city. The date of laying the fortress is considered to be the founding date of the Northern capital. The history of the whole city started here.
In the early 18th century, after the victory over the Swedes in the Northern War, there was a need to defend the conquered lands and build a fortress. On the day of the Holy Trinity, according to the drawing of Peter the Great, a fortress was laid on a small island in a form of an elongated hexagon called Rabbit (translated from Finnish). Originally, the buildings were wooden.
After a big flood, a part of the fortifications was destroyed. In 1706, the construction of the new stone buildings began. At the same time, the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul was built. In 1731, the cathedral became the tomb of the Romanov dynasty. Russian tsars are buried here, starting from Peter I to Nicholas II.
Peterhof is an imperial residence in the suburbs of St. Petersburg, founded by Peter I in honor of the victory of the Russian State in the Northern War. The unique appearance of the “Russian Versailles” was formed over three centuries - from laying the first stone in 1712 to the present day, when it had to be literally restored from the ruins.
The picturesque palace and park complex is called the Kingdom of Fountains. More than 150 fountains and water cascades form the park's composition. Palaces, pavilions, statues, alleys and flower beds remind of a beautiful era.
The city of Peterhof is divided into two areas - New Peterhof and Old Peterhof. All the main attractions are located within the New Peterhof.
Nevsky Prospect is the main street of St. Petersburg, its length is 4.5 km. The street was originally conceived as a road from the Admiralty to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery and was named after the convent. The construction was completed by 1720, the lands along Nevsky Prospect immediately became lively: the workers of the monastery began to settle there.
Nevsky Prospect is very polly from the citizens and guests of the city. Statisticians estimated that 2 million people pass through Nevsky every day.
St. Isaac's Cathedral
St. Isaac's Cathedral is the largest Orthodox church in St. Petersburg today and one of the highest domed structures in the world.
The construction of the cathedral lasted 40 years and required an enormous amount of effort. However, the result exceeded all expectations. The monumentality of the cathedral is underlined by its square construction. 43 different mineral rocks were used for decor. On four sides, St. Isaac's Cathedral is framed by eight-columned porticoes decorated with statues and bas-reliefs. The gilded dome on a drum surrounded by granite columns is made of metal. About 100 kg of pure gold was used for the gilding.
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
This is a memorial church, erected in memory of the tragic demise of Emperor Alexander II. The cathedral stands above the place where the Emperor was mortally wounded by the revolutionary people in 1881.
The height of the church is 81 meters. This number symbolizes the year of the death of Alexander II. The capacity of the cathedral is 1600 people. Although the temple commemorated the tragic event in the history of Russia, the nine-domed building impresses with its bright, colorful beauty. On the background of the strict architecture of the northern capital, it looks like a toy.
Palace Square is the main square of St. Petersburg, the architectural ensemble of which was formed in the second half of the XVIII - first half of the XIX century. This is one of the most beautiful architectural ensembles of the world. The best Russian architects worked on its creation.
The square got its name due to the Winter Palace, the southern façade of which overlooks the square. Concerts, mass events are held on Palace Square, this is the most popular place in St. Petersburg among tourists.
The Alexander Column from a giant polished monolith of pink granite stands in the center of the square. At its top is the figure of an angel with a cross, made by sculptor B. I. Orlovsky.
State Russian Museum
The Russian Museum in St. Petersburg is one of the largest museums in Russia, which houses a collection of 400,000 exhibits. Works of all major trends and schools of Russian fine arts from the 9th to the 20th century are collected here.
The main expositions are located in the Mikhailovsky Palace. The museum was opened in 1898. It was the first Russian state museum of Russian art.
By 1914, there was not enough space to accommodate expositions. By 1917, a new building was built by architect L.N. Benoit on the embankment of the Griboyedov Canal. Nowdays, works of Soviet art are presented on the first floor of the Benoit Corpus. On the second floor are works of art of the second half of the 19th - early 20th centuries.
The most valuable collections include more than 18 000 exhibits of ancient Russia. This includes facsimile copies of medieval frescoes, embroidery and icons.
Vasilyevsky Island is the largest of the numerous islands of the Neva Delta, it is the only one that feels like an island separated from the city. According to Peter the Great, the civilian construction of the new capital should have started from here, but the island was constantly flooded and the plan was changed.
The landscape of the island varies a lot. The embankments of the Neva River up to the Blagoveshchensky Bridge are very majestic; further to the bay - ships, a monument to Kruzenshtern and other romantic sea views; a little further is the gloomy Soviet quarter of “ship” houses and modern buildings.
The sharp eastern corner of Vasilyevsky Island is called Strelka. One of the most fascinating views of this majestic northern river.
Monument to Peter the Great (The Copper Horseman)
Monument to Peter I on Senate Square in St. Petersburg was opened in 1782. The monument is made of bronze. The name "copper" appeared thanks to the poem of A.S. Pushkin "The Copper Horseman". The explanation is that in the Russian language the word "copper" was used in relation to bronze too.
The "Copper Horseman" is also known for its grand foundation - the Thunder-stone. In its original form, the stone weighed about 2000 tons. A unique machine was developed for the transportation of the giant megalith to St. Petersburg.
According to the legend, St. Petersburg will not be destroyed while the "Bronze Horseman" stands on its place. During the Siege of Leningrad in the period of the Great Patriotic War, the monument to Peter I was sheathed with logs and boards and sand. The monument itself escaped Hitler's bombs and shells, and the city was not taken.