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Description of Destination : russia
St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg

Determined to give his country a Baltic port, Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg in the Neva delta in 1703. Over 40,000 peasants and Swedish prisoners of war died during building work in the fetid bogland, but in 1712 Peter declared the new city Russia's capital. Wishing to create a Western-style city, he employed the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, whose sumptuous buildings, including the Winter Palace, set its elegance tone. Among the city's prominent landmarks are the gilded spire and dome of the cathedrals of St. Isaac and SS Peter and Paul. Dvortskaya Naberezhnaya is lined with stately palaces and Nevskiy Prospekt bustles with shops and café's. A boat trip along St, Petersburg's canals is a highlight of any visit.


The Hermitage

The hermitage has an encyclopaedic collection of works of art occupying a grand ensemble of buildings. The most impressive part is Rastrelli's Baroque Winter Palace (1754-62), built as the winter residence of Tsarina Elizabeth. Its highlights are the Jordan Staircase, the Small Throne Room and the Malachite Room. Catherine the Great soon added the more intimate Small Hermitage, but in 1771 she commissioned the Large Hermitage to house her rapidly growing art collection. The theatre was completed in 1787. The New Hermitage was built between 1839 and 1851 in the reign of Nicholas I, who opened the New and Large Hermitages in 1852 as a public museum. Between 1918 and 1939, after the establishment of Soviet power, the Winter Palace was slowly incorporated into the Hermitage museum ensemble.

Excursions Available at russia
    • The Grand Tour of St. Petersburg
    • St. Petersburg City Highlights & Hermitage
    • St. Petersburg City Highlights & Catherine Palace
    • The Palaces of Catherine & Peterhof
    • Palaces & Villas
    • Imperial Evening & Catherine Palace
    • Evening at the Russian Ballet
    • Evening Russian Folkloric Show
    • Hermitage Museum
    • The Imperial Legacy of Peter The great
    • Hidden Scenes Walking Tour
    • Romanov, Rasputin & the Revolution
    • The Legend of Yusupov & Rasputin
    • Three Centuries of Political Assassinations
    • Menshikov Palace
    • Venice of the North
    • Musical Evening at the Hermitage
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