St Petersburg is Russia’s showplace. This city of the Czars abounds in palaces and contains one of the world’s greatest museums, the Hermitage. Below are my choices for the best of this beautiful and treasure-filled location. A photo album will follow shortly.
1. Hermitage – Easily one of the ten best museums in the world, this museum displays a huge collection of European Art due to the fascination with Europe of the Russian royalty. The vast collection is housed in the Winter Palace, home of the Tsars for centuries. The building itself is a work of art.
2. St Isaac’s Cathedral – One of the city’s premier churches, St Isaacs has sixteen-foot-thick walls and a golden dome (45 pounds worth).
3. Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood – This gorgeous church is modeled on St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, with its colorful onion domes. Its name derives from the assassination of Tsar Alexander II which took place on this spot in 1881.
4. Peter and Paul Fortress – This complex was originally built for the defense of the city and has an ominous past. Now it has been converted into a museum.
5. Peterhof Palace – This incredible attraction, about 20 miles west of the city, was built by Peter the Great as his Summer Palace. The many fountains and sculptures in the extensive gardens are a delight to stroll, while the opulence of the interior will dazzle.
6. Catherine Palace – Another short excursion outside the city is to this grand complex with its Golden Gallery, Amber Room and Ballroom.
7. Pavlovsk Palace – Another countryside palace that is worth visiting is the Pavlovsk Palace which, besides the grand interior sports a beautiful English-style garden.
8. Take a Stroll along Nevsky Prospekt – This is the most elegant part of the city, with many grand palaces and regal facades visible on this wide, imperial avenue.
9. Admire the Bronze Horsemen in Decembrist Square – This square on which St Isaac’s Cathedral sits, contains the equestrian memorial to Peter the Great, perhaps Russia’s most revered Tsar.
10. Palace Square – This is perhaps St Petersburg’s grandest public space. The Alexander Column can be seen in the middle while stunning and regal buildings surround it, including Peter the Great’s Winter Palace, now the Hermitage Museum.