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Saint Petersburg • Top 10 • City of Tsars

You probably can not imagine a more beautiful city than Peter the Great’s window to Europe, St. Petersburg, which offers an abundance of palaces, boulevards and museums of unique character and architecture. It is also no surprise that the whole city center is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

St. Petersburg is home to the world’s largest museum, the State Hermitage Museum, and you should include that in your plans. Here are countless works of art by the greatest masters, and the setting is none other than the Tsar’s grand residence, the Winter Palace. After the Hermitage you can continue to icons and other Russian art at the Russian Museum or to one of the two lavish summer palaces located outside the city.

You can also choose a walk along the magnificent Nevsky Prospekt where churches, palaces and arcades lie side by side, and it is not far to get to places like the Church of the Spilled Blood and St. Isaac’s Cathedral. You can also make a walk in the footsteps of the architect Rastrelli or follow the architecture from Petrine Baroque to th following opulence and Classicism. Dostoevsky’s St. Petersburg also awaits, as does the cathedral with all the tombs of the Tsars.

Here are 10 things that can make your trip to St. Petersburg even better…

 

1. Look at stunning art, art and more art
There is no place in the world like the State Hermitage when it comes to impressive art museums. One thing is the art and another is the settings. You walk around the Tsar’s winter palace, which with one sumptuous hall after another is am architectural masterpiece that matches the place’s art collection. You climb the Jordan Stairs and walk through the throne room, the palace theater and many other interiors, and everywhere there is distinguished art. Go for highlights such as works of Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Rembrandt, and remember to admire the Peacock Clock given to Catherine the Great.

 

2. Follow the long straight road
Think of a famous street. Is it Nevsky Prospekt? The wide and long boulevard, which runs across the center of St. Petersburg, and which connects the city districts. A walk here in the lovely summer evenings is absolutely unforgettable, but you should also make it when the snow has fallen and the city is in its winter dress. You can see one beautiful palace after another, and spiced with theaters, churches, canals and fine shops, yes, then this will be one of the most beautiful walks of your life.

 

3. Look at some beautiful eggs
Have you given your wife Easter presents? If not, you better get started, because Tsar Alexander III and Nicholas II did, and they did it in style. Between 1885 and 1917, the jewellery house of Fabergé produced the finest eggs for the Tsars who gave them to their wives and mothers. Some impressive gifts. And fortunately, most eggs are preserved. You can see them together with other jewels at the Fabergé Museum in the city. There are nine eggs in St Petersburg, and give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the view.

 

4. Take a walk in the footsteps of Rastrelli
If the name Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli does not ring a bell, then you can just as well raise your expectations and be ready to get acquainted with him. The Italian architect created a both sumptuous and majestic version of the late Baroque for the Russian Tsars. His buildings include The Winter Palace, the Catherine Palace, Peterhof and Smolny Monastery. Yes, and many more buildings for the friends of the Tsars, which you can also see in St. Petersburg. Follow Rastrelli and there is a great chance that you will get a new favorite architect.

 

5. Dream a little extra along Fontanka
Peter the Great chose a swamp by the Neva as Russia’s new capital. He got Dutch and Italians builders and architects to design and construct large parts of the city, and funny enough, a lot of canals came out of it. And you quickly discover that they are part of the character of the city. Fontanka is probably the most famous of the canals, and noble palaces and other beautiful buildings were built alongs its embankments. You also get the view of church domes and parks, and you can supplement the views with walks along the Neva or one of the other canals in the center. They are all very cozy.

 

6. Enjoy the city’s rich culture
Moscow is the political and economic capital of Russia, but in St. Petersburg you have come to the cultural capital. And you just have to enjoy it to the fullest. If you have come here for museums, then the State Hermitage and the Russian Museum are obvious choices, but what about everything else? The old stage at the Mariinsky Theater is the finest in Russia. You should really consider a visit here to a famous performance. The city’s circus is also a good choice. It delivers phenomenal performances in line with the proud Russian circus tradition.

 

7. Let the Church Singers enchant you
Have you noticed that there are no organs in Russian churches? Yes, you are right. And it really does not matter much when there are so many Russian singers who can sing loud and clear with their impressive voices. One of the most famous sites for it is in the Peter & Paul Cathedral in Peter the Great’s fortress from the 18th century. It is actually the church where Peter the Great and all but one of the other tsars from the St. Petersburg era are buried. They can listen together with you to the unforgettably beautiful songs that can be enjoyed in a side chapel.

 

8. Find the glass art of the underground
They could build subways in the Soviet Union. Amazing networks that were the best in the world. And with some really nice stations. To be honest, Moscow is the most beautiful, but St. Petersburg also has its stations that are worth a look and a train ride. Go there which also let you try find the entrances to the metro, which is located deep below the city. Take the train to Avtovo Station if you want to see the most beautiful station with elegant glass columns on the platform hall. If you like railway stations and architecture, you should also surface and see beautiful Art Nouveau style at Vitebsk Railway Station.

 

9. Come home to Lenin
Lenin here and there and everywhere. Yes, Lenin left a big mark on the Soviet Union, and you can see him in several places in St. Petersburg. Go to Finland Railway Station and see the train he arrived on when he started the revolution. And move on to the balcony where he gave his famous speech to the people from. Yes, and take a short walk along Moskovsky Prospekt, where Lenin looks out over the city in the Soviet center of St Petersburg. And actually, it is an impressive district that in itself is worth the trip. Want to see more famous Soviets? Sergei Kirov also stands in the district bearing his name.

 

10. Get wet in Peter the Great’s amusement park
The lavish winter palace is located in the center of St. Petersburg, but what did the Tsars do in the summer? Yes, they went to their summer palace, of which there are actually several. Peter the Great himself chose Peterhof because he could get water from nature to fill his unique fountains. And wet surprises for visitors. His witty inventions can still make you wet after more than 300 years. So go to Peterhof and try Peter’s pranks. Once you have put on dry clothes, you can enjoy the fantastic castle with its large gardens.

 

11. Yes, the bridges are open at night
Ten things turned into eleven, because of course you also have to get up at night during the city’s white nights. In the weeks around midsummer it never gets dark and it gives a special vibe in the beautiful city. There are many bridges across the river Neva, and from April to November most of them are automatically opened in shifts at night to allow cargo ships to pass all the way from the Volga to the Baltic Sea. It happens completely automatically and according to a system that keeps the traffic going across the river. Many tourists also enjoy the view, which is most beautiful on the white nights.

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Experiences in St. Petersburg

You probably can not imagine a more beautiful city than Peter the Great’s window to Europe, St. Petersburg, which offers an abundance of palaces, boulevards and museums of unique character and architecture. It is also no surprise that the whole city center is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

St. Petersburg is home to the world’s largest museum, the State Hermitage Museum, and you should include that in your plans. Here are countless works of art by the greatest masters, and the setting is none other than the Tsar’s grand residence, the Winter Palace. After the Hermitage you can continue to icons and other Russian art at the Russian Museum or to one of the two lavish summer palaces located outside the city.

You can also choose a walk along the magnificent Nevsky Prospekt where churches, palaces and arcades lie side by side, and it is not far to get to places like the Church of the Spilled Blood and St. Isaac’s Cathedral. You can also make a walk in the footsteps of the architect Rastrelli or follow the architecture from Petrine Baroque to th following opulence and Classicism. Dostoevsky’s St. Petersburg also awaits, as does the cathedral with all the tombs of the Tsars.

Here are 10 things that can make your trip to St. Petersburg even better…

Travel guide Saint Petersburg: vamados.dk/sankt-petersborg

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