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St. Petersburg History

 

In 2003, St. Petersburg celebrated its 300th anniversary. The Russian emperor Peter the Great and the city’s first governor, Alexander Menshikov, decided to make St. Petersburg the new capital of Russia, which would not pale in comparison with any other European capital in its splendor and importance.  Due to its marvelous architecture and breathtaking views St. Petersburg is usually called Paris of the East and Northern Venice or Northern Palmyra. It is one of the world’s leading cities in terms of its number of rivers, islands and bridges. It is built on 42 islands; it has over 300 bridges and 69 rivers and canals.

 
 

 

 

Since its foundation, Petersburg has been a city of myths and mystery. You will struggle to find a city that is so young, yet clothed in so many fascinating stories and legends.The city’s unique history is not only reflected in numerous rumors and kept alive by the destiny of people gazing though time from old portraits. The whole intricate development of St. Petersburg is embodied in its palaces and cathedrals, park ensembles, streets and houses.

The Hermitage is one of the most famous and significant museums in Russia. It has the third biggest collection of fine arts after The Louvre in Paris and El Prado in Madrid. The museum consists of 5 buildings situated along the river Neva, one of them is the Winter Palace – a former residence of the Russian Tsars.

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Peter and Paul Fortress is the first construction in St Petersburg. It is an architecture dominant of the panoramic view of the historical center. The ensemble of the fortress includes Sts. Peter and Paul’s Cathedral which is the Imperial burial-vault with the remains of almost all Russian Emperors and Empresses since the reign of Peter the Great.

St. Petersburg has 10 cathedrals, 39 Orthodox churches, Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches, an Armenian – Gregorian church, a Buddhist temple, a mosque and two synagogues. St. Isaac’s Cathedral is one of the world’s largest and most spectacular ones. It is visible from far out at sea. Over 100kg of gold leaf was used to cover the 21.8 –meter tall dome alone, while the interior is decorated with fourteen different kinds of marble, jasper, malachite and frescoes.

 
 

The city is famous for its theatres – not only for the companies, but for the beauty of the theatres themselves. The Mariinsky Theatre of Opera and Ballet is the main theatre of Russia. The guests can enjoy the masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Glinka and Rimsky – Korsakov in the luxurious exteriors of the theatre.

 
 
 

Over the course of two centuries from St. Petersburg’s foundation in 1703, magnificent palace and park complexes were constructed close to the Russian capital. Peterhof is called “Russian Versailles” due to its brilliant palaces and splendid gardens adorned with hundreds of fountains. Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin)is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the  Russian baroque style. The palace is world-known for its splendid Amber Room - the 8th Wonder of the World. Pavlovsk, Gatchina, Strelna, Oranienbaum (Lomonosov), and a number of other country residences for Emperors, Grand Princes and grandees strike guests with their majestic facades and great interiors decorated with gilded carvings, mirrors inlaid with semiprecious stones. They reflect all the stages in the development of Russian architecture and landscaping from the 18th to 20th centuries.