SAINT PETERSBURG

December 25 - December 31 / St. Petersburg 2018
Saint Petersburg is a cultural capital of Russia and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Founded by Peter the Great on 1703, it remained the capital of Russian Empire for more than two centuries. "The window to Europe", major Baltic seaport, city of palaces, museums, theaters, channels, bridges, fountains, and parks, with almost every second building bearing architectural significance, St. Petersburg is famous all over the world.
The Hermitage is one of the world's largest and oldest museums. It was founded during the reign of Ekaterina the Great and features masterpieces of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Titian, Rubens, Renoir,Van Gogh, Picasso and many others. The collection of the Hermitage consists of 11 million items. Even a brief examination of them all would require at least 11 years.
The Russian Museum (founded on 1898) possesses a rich collection of Russian paintings, including priceless icons, as well as famous works of Bryullov, Tropinin, Ivanov, Repin, Aivazovsky, Levitan, Serov, Vasnetsov, Surikov, Petrov-Vodkin, Kandinsky, Kustodiev, Malevich, etc. One can find there the most outstanding masterpieces such as "Last day of Pompeii" by Bryullov and Repin's "Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks".
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is famous for its colorful domes and bright mosaics. It was built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded in 1881. The construction took time from 1883 to 1907 and was funded by the imperial family. The church was restored and reopened for public in 1997 as a museum of mosaics.
Nevsky Prospect is the central street of St. Petersburg, cut through thick forest in 1718. It is decorated by the Kazan Catherdal with impressive columns, and a number of palaces that belonged to the members of the imperial family. Nevsky Prospect attracts many locals and tourists with its popular coffeeshops, restaurants, and stores.
St. Petersburg was founded on Zayachy (Hare) Island, where the Peter and Paul Fortress was laid down in 1703. The fortress with a gilded angel-topped cupola became one of the trademark symbols of the city. The Neo-Baroque cathedral is the burial place of almost all Russian tsars from Peter the Great to Alexander III.
The world-famous Mariinsky Theater was opened in 1860. This is one of the most prestigious opera and ballet theaters on the planet and hosted the premieres of many of the operas of Mikhail Glinka, Modest Mussorgsky, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Valery Gerviev serves as the general director since 1988. Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall designed by French architect Xavier Fabre opened in 2007. The second stage of the Marrinsky Theater was opened in 2013.
A couple of blocks away from the Manege, the venue of the World Championships, one can find the Saint Isaac's Cathedral, another trademark building of the city. The observation desk provides a great view on the city center. The roof is decorated by statues, and the massive doors are painted on Biblical themes. The dome inside the cathedral is painted by Bryullov.
The famous statue of Peter the Great, known as the Bronze Horseman, is also located nearby. And on the other side of the Neva river there is a Vasilyevsky Island with two Egyptian Sphinxes sitting still on the shore. The Spit of Vasilyevsky Island with its elegant rostral columns in an excellent spot for walking and making pictures.
© 2018