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St Petersburg Travel Guide

Best of St Petersburg

Peterhof The Russian Versailles

Peterhof is an immensely luxurious and beautifully preserved Imperial estate, founded in 1710 by Peter the Great. It combines several ornate palaces, a number of beautifully landscaped parks, statues and fountains, lending it the epithet "The Russian Versailles". The Grand Cascade flows spectacularly from under the palace towards the Baltic Sea and is one of the largest fountain ensembles in the world.

Peterhof The Russian Versailles in St. Petersburg

It is decorated with a magnificent gold statue of Samson battling with the lion, a channel flows through the park to the pier, where hydrofoils and boats from St. Petersburg dock. Multiple fountains and pavilions are scattered throughout the park. The fountains work from early May to early October.
Location: Take a local commuter train from the Baltic Railway Station to the Novy Petergof station, and then take buses #348, 350, 351 or marshrutka to Verkhny Park.
Tel: 812-420-0073
Open: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., closed Mondays and the last Tuesday of each month.

Summer Garden

It is home to marble statues acquired from Europe especially for Russia's new capital, and also to rare flowers and plants, as well as fountains.
Location: Next to the Field of Mars.
Metro: Gostiny Dvor station, cross Nevsky Prospekt and head up Sadovaya Ulitsa

Open: 10:00 a.m. to 21:00 p.m.

Summer Garden in St. Petersburg

The Bank Bridge

Bank Bridge is one of St. Petersburg's most recognizable landmarks, and features in numerous guidebooks. The bridge's four famous cast-iron griffins winged lions are representations of mythical creatures reputed as guardians of treasure. The bridge is only 1.85 meters wide, and was designed by the engineer V. Tretter.

The Bank   Bridge in St. Petersburg

The Botanical Garden

It is a centre for horticultural research that was the equal of any other in Europe. Expeditions to various parts of the earth regularly augmented the Botanical Garden's collection with new sorts of trees, shrubs, flowers, and other plants.
Address: 2 Ulitsa Professora Popova
Tel: 812-234-1764
Open: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except Fridays

The Botanical Garden in St. Petersburg

The Cabin of Peter the Great

The cabin is very small - only 60 sq. meters in area and is a strange combination of a traditional Russian house and a Dutch home with large and elaborate windows and high roof, covered with wooden tiles. Some guidebooks list this house as Peter's Cottage.
Location: Petrovskaia Naberezhnaia, 6.
Open: 11:00 a.m. to 21:00 p.m., closed Tuesdays.

The Cabin of Peter the Great in St. Petersburg

The Mikhailovsky (St Michael's) Castle

The Mikhailovsky Castle is both a beautiful and unusual architectural phenomenon for St. Petersburg and was a silent witness to some interesting episodes in the dramatic history of the short-lived reign of Emperor Paul I
Location: Sadovaya Street 2

The Mikhailovsky (St Michael's) Castle in St. Petersburg

The Moscow Triumphal Arch

The Moscow Triumphal Gates (1834-38) were erected in the memory of the Russian victory in the Russo-Turkish war of 1828. Each column was comprised of nine separate blocks together with the trunks and upper units of the columns. All 12 columns weighed approximately a combined 450 tons. The monumental portico made of powerful columns symbolized the greatness and glory of the Russian army.

The Moscow  Triumphal Arch in St. Petersburg

The Peter and Paul Fortress

The Peter and Paul Cathedral was the place of all the Russian Emperors and Empresses from Peter the Great to Alexander III. This is one of the most prominent symbols of St Petersburg with 404 feet tall, the cathedral is the highest building in the city.
Location: Zayachii Ostrov (Island). All buildings in the fortress are closed on Tuesdays.

The Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg

The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

Magnificently located on the bank of the Neva River, this Baroque-style palace is perhaps St. Petersburg’s most impressive attraction. The Hermitage Museum is the largest art gallery in Russia and is among the largest and most respected art museums in the world. Today, the Hermitage boasts over 2.7 million exhibits and displays a diverse range of art and artefacts from all over the world and from throughout history.

The State  Hermitage Museum  in St. Petersburg, Russia

The Hermitage’s collections include works by Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian, a unique collection of Rembrandts and Rubens, many French Impressionist works by Renoir, Cezanne, Monet and Pissarro, numerous canvasses by Van Gogh, Matisse, Gaugin and several sculptures by Rodin. 
Location: Dvortsovaia Naberezhnaia, 32-38.
Open: 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sunday till 5 p.m., closed Mondays.

The Summer Palace of Emperor Peter the Great

The palace stands into the mighty Neva River. Visitors are welcome to tour the rooms once occupied by Peter the Great and his wife Catherine, the future empress Catherine I. 
Metro: Nevsky Prospekt
Tel: 812-314-0456
Open: 10:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m., closed Tue and the first Monday of each month.

The Summer Palace of Emperor Peter  the Great in St. Petersburg

Trinity Bridge

The two impressive obelisks form the Trinity Bridge from the Field of Mars give this major entryway a festive appearance. Each obelisk is made of a granite pedestal embellished with copper decorations and intricate inscriptions made from superimposed letters. They are topped off with lamps taken from the bridge's predecessor floating bridge, and include figures of the two-headed eagle with outstretched wings.

Trinity Bridge in St. Petersburg

St Isaac's Cathedral

The cathedral's facades are decorated with sculptures and massive granite columns (made of single pieces of red granite), while the interior is adorned with incredibly detailed mosaic icons, paintings and columns made of malachite and lapis lazuli. You can climb up the 300 or so steps to the observation walkway at the base of the cathedral’s dome and enjoy the breathtaking views over the city. Closed Wednesday.

St Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg
No photography or video-filming is allowed in the Cathedral or at the Colonnade.
Address: Isaakievskaya Ploschad 1
Metro: Nevsky Prospekt/Gostiny Dvor
Tel: 812-315-9732
Open: Thu - Tue, 11:00 a.m. to 19:00 p.m., last admission is at 18:00 p.m.

St. Nicholas' Naval Cathedral

The golden Baroque spires and domes of St. Nicholas' Cathedral rises among the trees at the bottom of Ulitsa Glinki and shines above the bland residential and commercial buildings in the area. Today, it is one of the best and last remaining examples of Baroque architecture.

Vyborg Castle

St. Nicholas' Naval Cathedral in St. Petersburg

The castle was blocking a major trade route between the Russian merchant city of Novgorod and the Baltic Sea, trough the Ladoga Lake via the Vuoksa River and the Russian fortress Karela. The tower became a little shorter, but with thicker walls and more powerful defences. The most famous is definitely the Round Tower, which now stands on the Market Square. The tower was built of large stones and was strong enough to have canons on several levels.

Vyborg Castle in St. Petersburg

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