One of the ports visited by many Baltic Cruises, St Petersburg has many unique and magnificent attractions for tourists to explore. Whether visiting for a day, or a week (or longer), these are amazing locales which are “must-sees” for any intrepid traveller.
St Petersburg was designed by Peter the Great, with the intention of it being Imperial Russia’s gateway to the west, and at one time it was one of Europe’s grandest capital cities. Though usurped as capital during the Russian Revolution, it remains a regal city.
Those sights most highly recommended for a visit include:
This imperial estate, twenty nine kilometres west of the city, is a popular day trip, and is known to have been the “playground of the Tsars”. Comprised of a Grand Palace, grounds including forests, smaller palaces, and gazebos, the highlight is the Grand Cascade: a system of canals and almost one hundred and fifty fountains which cascade down the hill behind the Grand Palace. The fountains are operational during the day in summertime.
Peter and Paul Fortress
This is the oldest building in the city; having been founded in 1703 on a Neva River island. Inside the fortress, visit the burial site of most Russian Tsars since Peter the Great in the Peter and Paul Cathedral; climb the bell tower for unparalleled views of the city; stroll the fortress ramparts; and visit the Trubetskoy Bastion Prison – holding place for political prisoners including Dostoyevsky.
Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood
This iconic place of worship is one of St Petersburg’s most recognisable sites. Modelled on Moscow’s St Basil’s Cathedral, the church is built on the site of the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. It features elaborate and colourful mosaics and onion domes.
Next week we will continue our introductory look at the must-visit sites in Russia’s imperial capital city. Later articles will take a more in depth look at some of these unique and spectacular attractions. Stay tuned.