Whether you visit St Petersburg as a port of call on a Baltic cruise, or take a little longer to stay and explore, there is so much to see and do for the traveller. Continuing from last week’s article, read on for more amazing and unique attractions not to be missed in this exotically Russian city.
More sights highly recommended for a visit include:
The State Hermitage
This outstanding museum is top of the list of sights for the tourist in St Petersburg. Founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, it covers several buildings across the city and is home to three million pieces of art. Housed in the Winter Palace, the Small Hermitage, the Old Hermitage and the New hermitage, see Dutch, Italian, Spanish masterpieces; Imperial State Rooms; Raphael Loggias; the Treasury gallery; and the War Gallery of 1812.
The Catherine Palace
Also known as the Summer Palace, this is a stunningly beautiful complex of the luxurious blue and gold palace and its accompanying guest houses and parks.
This unique open air museum showcases wooden architecture from Russia’s Karelia Region. Made without the use of nails, the structures are joined by grooves and joints. Most notable is the seventeenth century Church of the Transfiguration – it has twenty two domes.
St Isaac’s Cathedral
This is one of the world’s tallest Orthodox churches, having a gold plated dome rising over one hundred metres. Through the bronze entrance doors lie colonnades of malachite and lazulite, gold, and rich, elaborate frescoes.
Here was the residence of one of Russia’s richest men; it is dazzlingly beautiful but somewhat more practical than the imperial palaces. Rich in history, and the site of the murder of Rasputin in 1916, it is a must on the itinerary for anyone interested in Russian and Romanov history. There is even a “Murder of Rasputin Tour” to enjoy.
Another site for history buffs, this cemetery lies adjacent to the Aleksander Nevsky Monastery. Established in 1823, it is the last resting place of many of Russia’s most famous historical personages: Dostoyevsky, Tchaikovsky, Lomonsov, and many more. It is a peaceful spot in the city and graves and mausoleums offer a glimpse into the Russian nobility of the past.
The most famous boulevard in Russia, it stretches for four kilometres in the heart of the city. Buzzing with the energy of St Petersburg, it takes one by many of the city’s best attractions.
So take the time to visit St Petersburg; whether you have a day or a week, there is much to thrill and entice tourists of all ages and interests.