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State Hermitage Museum
The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg ranks among the most famous museums in the world. The whole complex of Winter Palace, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage and the Hermitage Theatre is known as the “State Hermitage.” The setting is magnificent and lavish; malachite, jasper, agate and marble provide a fine backdrop to the treasures.
The Hermitage collection shows the development of art and material culture in the West and the East from prehistoric times to the present day. There are remarkable collections of paintings, prints, sculptures as well as tapestries, carpets, objects d`art, archeological finds, furniture and unique articles of jewellery.
The State Hermitage Museum is only 10 min walking distance from Taleon Imperial Hotel
State Russian Museum
The Russian Museum is a treasure-house of national culture. The museum`s collection of Russian art is next in importance to that of the Tretyakov Gallery. Outstanding is its collection of icons, including the 12th century Angel with Golden Hair and works of Rublyov and Ushakov. The Russian museum is housed in the palace of Grand Duke Michael, the youngest son of Emperor Paul. It was designed by the architect Rossi in 1825, in the style of a nobleman`s town estate.
The St Isaac Cathedral
St. Isaac`s Cathedral, built in St Petersburg in 1858 by the architect Montferrand, is the fourth highest among the world`s cathedrals under the single cupolas. It follows St Peter`s in Rome, St. Paul`s in London and Santa Maria del Fiorre in Florence. The richly-adorned interior, lined with marble, and with malachite and lazurite columns, was intended for up to 10 000 worshippers. Standing on the broad Isaac`s Square, its golden dome can be seen all over the city. On a clear day, the observation platform at the foot of the dome commands a fine view over St Petersburg and its surroundings.
The Spill Blood Cathedral
One of the loveliest beauty spots located in the heart of St Petersburg is the Church of the Resurrection of Christ, built in the old Russian style with, unusual for the city, onion-shaped domes. It was constructed in 1907 at the place where Russian Emperor Alexander II was mortally wounded by a terrorist`s bomb in 1881. The church is unique, interior and exterior being richly decorated with fabulous mosaics.
Peter and Paul Fortress
The first construction of the new Russian capital, the Peter and Paul Fortress, occupies the central position in the architectural ensemble of the city center, and the Peter and Paul Cathedral with its high bell tower is one of the main landmarks of St Petersburg. The silhouette of the Peter and Paul fortress became a remarkable landmark of the city on the Neva River.
Under Peter the Great the Summer Garden was a gala royal residence. In the summer time royal receptions and celebrations were held right in the Summer Garden’s alleys, as the Summer Palace that was designed by architect Tresini for Peter I, was too small for grand-scale entertainments the Emperor was fond of.
The Kunstkammer was founded in 1718. It was intended for the library and collections of “monsters and rarities” gathered by Peter I. Nowadays the Kunstkammer contains the collections of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography based on the gatherings of the founder of St Petersburg, Peter the Great.
The exposition of the Zoological Museum numbers over 30,000 exhibits. And this is just a small part of the museum’s funds that number over 15 million items representing all the groups of animal world – invertebrate, fish, amphibious, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
Cabin of Peter I
The log cabin of Peter I is the unique monument, one of the first constructions in St. Petersburg, the only wooden structure of the city foundation period that survived until nowadays. The first residence of Peter I in St Petersburg was constructed by solders within a very short time – from 24 till 26 May, 1703.
The cruiser Aurora moored at Petrovskaya Embankment, in front of the Naval School named after Admiral Pavel Nakhimov, is not only a monument to Russian shipbuilding, but also a symbol of the Soviet epoch. The cruiser was named in honor of the frigate that heroically defended Petropavlovsk-Kamchatski in 1853-1856.
The Menshikov Palace built for the associate of Peter the Great is a very immense construction. It combines elements of both Russian and Western European architecture. Some parts of the palace remind of Italian Renaissance palazzo, and the vaults decoration of the Menshikov Palace is typical for Russian architectonics.
One of the best Baroque architectural ensembles of St Petersburg the Smolny Cathedral is situated on the bank of the River Neva on that very place where under Peter the Great there was built a tar yard (“Smolny” is Russian for tar) that supplied the Admiralty with resin for the shipbuilding. After few years the tar yard was abolished but the name remained.
Pushkin Memorial Museum
The flat on Moika Embankment is the last place where the outstanding Russian poet Alexander Pushkin lived. He accommodated there with his family from October, 1836 till January 29, 1837. It was the flat that Pushkin left for his fatal duel with Dantes. In the study of the very flat Pushkin died. Read more about Pushkin Memorial Museum.
Russian Ethnograhic Museum
The collection of the Russian Ethnographic Museum is displayed in 24 halls. Ceramics, textiles, jewelry, metal and wooden works, typical buildings, national costumes – the works of applied art of each nation have unique distinctive features and convey the spiritual culture of the people living in a certain region.
Catherines’s Palace in Tsarskoye Selo
Tsarskoye Selo was the home of the Imperial family from the days of Peter the Great until the time of the last tsar, Nicolas II. It is a fascinating monument of world architectural and gardening art during the 18th and 19th centuries. Here there is a beautiful English-style park. The centre of the ensemble is the Catherine Palace, containing exquisite objects d`art, furniture, paintings and unique collections of porcelain, amber and bronze. The Tsarskoselsky Lyceum, an elite school established in Russia in the early 19th century for noble offsprings which the Great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin attended, is next to the palace.
Paul’s Palace in Pavlovsk
Pavlovsk is a superb palace-and-park ensemble of the late 18th – early 19th century, situated 30 kilometres from St Petersburg. It was used as a summer residence for the Russian emperor Paul I and his family. Charles Cameron was commissioned by Catherine the Great to build the heir-apparent`s residence, but when Paul came to the throne, he brought in Vinchenzo Brenna who added romantic touches to Cameron`s classical design. The Great Palace stands on a high bluff overlooking the river and dominates the surrounding parkland. The landscape park, one of the largest in Europe, covers an area of 600 hectares.
The Grand Palace and Parks in Petergof
Peterhof is located at the seaside. It is known throughout the world as a jewel of Russian art, a place of parks, palaces and fountains. In the past, it was an exquisite summer residence for Russian tsars. Peter the Great was the first to realize that he would need not only a new capital and a naval base on the Gulf of Finland, but also a new country palace. Nowadays, the whole complex comprises the Grand Palace, the Lower and the Upper Parks with several park pavilions, 150 fountains and five monumental cascades. The Grand Palace was redesigned by Bartolomeo Rastrelly in the mid 18th century. Its fabulous Baroque decoration surpasses any expectations. The palace houses collections of Russian and European paintings, sculpture, furniture, porcelain and crystal ware. From the marble terrace of the Grand Palace, there is a magnificent view over the Grand Cascade, made up of waterfalls, 64 fountains and 37 statues.