Petersburg is a mecca for lovers of beauty. The imperial city
of golden spires, golden domes, pastel palaces and picturesque
canals. With its arrow-straight avenues, leafy parks and lovely
architecture, Petersburg is as staggeringly impressive as New
York or Paris.
St. Petersburg is in essence a museum under the open
air that houses some of the world' s most famous museums, including
the Hermitage museum, the architectural
ensemble of Peterhof or the Kirov
Ballet of the Mariinsky Theater. Officially proclaimed the "Cultural
Capital of Russia" St. Petersburg is a place, where you
need weeks just to see all its major landmarks.
The domes of the Church of the St.
Samson. Built in 1709.
St. Petersburg, Europe's fourth and Russia' s second
largest city. It is also the most Western and certainly the
most beautiful city of Russia.
the vibrant colours of spring, through the sunny summer days
and endless twilights of the famous White Nights, the brilliant
golden sun of autumn, and into the crisp and brittle brightness
of a St. Petersburg winter, the City casts its own unique spell
by Peter the Great in 1703 as a 'window to the West', St. Petersburg
soon became the center of Russian cultural life. Designed by
world renowned architects, St. Petersburg is a perfect combination
of classicism, baroque and romanticism styles.
When it was nine years old it became the capital of Russia
and retained this status till 1918. Even now it is referred
to as the "Northern capital" of Russia. The year 2003
marks the 300th
anniversary of the founding of St. Petersburg. With 300
years of its history St. Petersburg accumulated all the grandeur
of the Russian Imperial Court and became one of the largest
centers of culture, science and industry.
Hermitage Bridge, the sky walk from
one building of the Winter Palace to another in Saint Petersburg.
Prospect is one of best known streets in Russia and definitely
the main avenue of St Petersburg.
Cutting through the most historical part of the city,
it runs from the Admiralty to the Moscow Railway Station and
then, after a slight turn, to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
In the very first days of St Petersburg it was the beginning
of a road to Novgorod, but was soon decorated with some fine
buildings, squares and bridges. Getting wider as it goes, Nevsky
becomes most beautiful where it has Kazan Cathedral on one side
and the "Dom Knigi" book store on the other, with
a wonderful view down Kanal Griboedova to the picturesque Russian-style
Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood.
In addition to the many churches of different denominations
there are many more attractions around.
Just a stone's throw from Nevsky, right by the Grand Hotel Europe,
there are Arts Square and the Russian Museum. Further down the
road, the largest department store in the city - "Gostiny
Dvor", the National Library of Russia (second largest in
the country), the monument to Catherine the Great, Anichkov
Bridge with its beautiful statues and much more. Nevsky is a
prime place for shopping, entertainment and nightlife.
Food store in St. Petersburg.
On Nevski Prospect there's a building that immediately
attracts your attention.
Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg.
Kazan Cathedral encircles a small square with a double
row of beautiful columns - an impressive colonnade. The architect
Andre Voronikhin, who built this church in 1801-1811, was greatly
inspired by Basilica of St Peter's in Rome. Kazan Cathedral
was meant to be a Russian version of St Peter's and the main
church of Russia. After the War of 1812 (during which Napoleon
was defeated) the church became a monument to the Russian victory.
The captured enemy banners were put in the cathedral and the
famous Russian field marshal Mikhail Kutuzov, who won the most
important campaign of 1812, was buried inside the church.
the October revolution of 1917 devastation of the Kazansky cathedral
began. In September 1918 the cathedral's dean F. Ornatsky and
his two sons were arrested by the CHK (Extraordinary Committee)
and shot down.
In 1922 the VTZIK (All Russia Central Executive Committee)
issued a decree for expropriation of almost all decorative
objects and church utensils made of precious metals. The beautiful
frame was ripped off the miraculous icon of Our Lady of Kazan,
the main icon-stand destroyed.
clergyman, who worked in the cathedral, was subject to repressions.
On December 26,1931, according to a Resolution issued by the
Leningrad Regional Executive Committee the Kazansky cathedral
was shut down and transferred to the management of the Academy
of Sciences. A Museum of Atheism was created in the premises
of the former cathedral.
date of November 4, 1990 can be considered the day of revival
of the cathedral. On that day, after an interval of over sixty-years
the directorate of the Museum of the History of Religion allowed
a church service to be held inside the cathedral.
Since 1991, according to the agreement with the Museum's management,
regular church services have been held in the cathedral on Sundays
world-renowned theater, known during Soviet times as the Kirov
Opera and Ballet Theater, resumed its original name in 1992.
The present building dates back to 1859, when an earlier
theater was remodeled and got its name - the Mariinsky.
During the pre-revolutionary years the theater was constantly
under royal patronage.
Shaliapin sang on its stage and among the most prominent dancers
were Vatslav Nizhinsky, Matilda Kshesinskaya, Anna Pavlova and
many others. The famous Rudolf Nureev danced here too.
Almost all of the Mariinsky's finest dancers were trained
at St. Petersburg's Vaganova School of Choreography, still the
world's premier ballet school in the classical tradition. It
existed for over two hundred years.
The building and its marvelous 1625-seat hall were severely
damaged during the 900-day Siege of Leningrad
and restored in 1944. Since then the theater has maintained
its excellent reputation particularly for classical ballet.
The present-day repertoire of the Mariinsky Ballet Company
includes, along with Petipa's legacy - Swan Lake, Le Corsaire,
La Bayadere, The Sleeping Beauty (reconstruction of the 1890
production) - ballets staged by George Balanchine and John Neumeier.
Neva River and the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in
The dome of this cathedral dominates the skyline
of St. Petersburg. On a clear sunny day one can see the gilded
cupola of St Isaac's from miles away from its downtown site.
You can climb up the stairs to the observation point at the
dome and get a breathtaking view of the fascinating St Petersburg.
(There were no elevators in the mid-19th century, so you will
have to climb 300 stairs).
Cathedral at night.
The church itself is a real marvel. It is a remarkable
memorial of the XIX century architecture, built for 40 years
(1818-1858) to the design of French architect August Monferrand
in Russian classical style.
cathedral is decorated with 43 types of minerals, among them
14 arts of marble. St.Isaac's is often called a museum of minerals.
The interiors are decorated with 150 paintings, 62 mosaics,
and works of Russian and Italian sculptors. columns are made
of single pieces of red granite and weight 80 tons each. The
observation platform on the colonnade provides a magnificent
view of the city.
Inside the church many of the icons are the
most exquisite mosaics. The Cathedral's largest mural (its area
is more than 8,500 square feet) appears on the ceiling of the
St.Isaac's Cathedral. Main Dome painting by Karl Brullov.
The cathedral, which can accommodate 14 thousand
worshipers, now serves as a museum and services are held
only on major occasions.
of the Spilled Blood This
marvelous Russian-style church was built on the spot where Emperor
Alexander II was assassinated in March 1881. After assuming
power in 1855 in the wake of the disastrous defeat of Russia
in the Crimean war against Britain, France and Turkey, Alexander
II initiated a number of reforms. In 1861 he freed the Russian
serfs (peasants, who were almost slaves). Within the first half
of his reign military, judicial and urban reforms were undertaken
and Russia became truly a capitalist country. After a series
of attempts on his life, including an explosion in the Winter
Palace and the derailment of a train, revolutionaries, who
threw a bomb at his royal carriage, assassinated Alexander II.
The church was built in 1883-1907 and was officially
called the Resurrection of Christ Church (a.k.a. Church of
Our Savior on the Spilled Blood). The royal family and thousands
of private donors donated most of the money for the church.
Both inside and outside, the church is decorated with unique
mosaics, designed by the most prominent Russian artists of
the time (V.M. Vasnetsov, M.V. Nesterov, M.A. Vrubel, etc.)
and created in 1895-1907. For all the "Russian look"
of the church, its main architect A. Parland was not even
a Russian by origin.
altars in the church are carved from precious gemstones. Craftspeople
knew they had produced a masterpiece when the stones appeared
The church was closed for services in the 1930s, when
Bolsheviks were destroying churches nationwide. 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. A long careful restoration began in 1970s,
which has lasted for over 25 years.The official opening took
place in August, 1997 and now you can see this jewel in the
crown of St. Petersburg in its stunning beauty.
Yusupov Palace Yusupov Palace was the home to Russia's richest
and most influential family "The Yusupovskys", also
the place where Rasputin was murdered.
palace in St. Petersburg was the staging place of the Assassination
of the Infamous Rasputin.
In 1916 a group of men of high standing, including one of Grand
Dukes Dmitri Pavlovich (a cousin of Nicholas
II), led by the prominent prince Felix Yusupov, had conspired
to kill a man who was to them a real threat to the future of
the already war-torn Russian Empire. Grigory Rasputin, a peasant
who had gained control over the tsar's family through his alleged
supernatural powers, was murdered at the Yusupov Palace on the
night of December 16-17, 1916, and his death was as mysterious
as his life.
Princess Yusupov's Study.
Grand staircase of The Yusupov Palace is a masterpiece of craftsmanship
and design. From the columns, sculptures, balusters, vases and
walls, which are carved from white Carrara marble is truly a
sight to see and experience.
The Moresque room walls are created from intricately
fine detail works of mosaics. This Room was Prince Felix Yusupov
favorite room. In his memoirs he wrote: "I
loved the tender oriental luxury of this room. Here I used to
dream about being on a magic carpet and traveling to many exotic
places. This room has a very intoxicating aura that affects
The private theater of The Yusupov Palace of is an outstanding
work of art and merits special attention.
small golden theater is deliberately imposing and a remarkable
sight to see. Words cannot describe the beauty and elegant design
of the theater. The Yusupov Theater is known to be one the world's
most impressive theaters with gilded gold ornaments throughout
Being one the richest families in Europe this theater was designed
to impress the Tsar of Russia and also all the kings and queens
update in St. Petersburg
Current weather conditions
in St. Petersburg and the forecast for the next day.