St Petersburg city tour comprises all key sights and places of St Petersburg Russia that are unequivocally a must see for you. For first time visitors, these things form part of your number one priority in every single St Petersburg city tour.
Below are the selected places incorporated into a typical 3-hour St Petersburg City Tour provided by Russian St Petersburg – RSPB Travel whenever you travel to St Petersburg Russia.
Nevsky Prospekt is one of the best-known streets in St Petersburg and is the main avenue of the city. It stretches for 4.5 km (2.8 miles) from the Admiralty to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra.
There are 240 historical facades of buildings on Nevsky Prospect. The right side (odd) is informally called “the shadow side“, the even side – ” the sunny side” (a popular place for walking). The area from the Uprising Square (Ploshad Vosstaniya) to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra is also informally called Staro-Nevsky or Old Nevsky Prospect. It was founded in 1710 and afterwards developed into one of the most famous thoroughfares on earth.
Going through the historical focal point of St Petersburg, it covers certain major points of the city like the Moscow Railway Station, the Admiralty and the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. In the early days of St Petersburg, it was initially known as the “Great Perspective Road” which was simply the start of the road to the ancient city of Novgorod, but it quickly became elaborated with beautiful buildings, bridges and squares. Making it the very center of the bustling and rapidly growing city of St Petersburg Russia. The city was planned during the reign of the city’s founder Peter the Great by French architect Alexandre Jean Baptiste LeBlond.
The area around the Alexander Nevsky Square and the Square of Insurrection (Ploshad Visstaniya) is conventionally known as Old Nevsky. All major casinos, nightclubs, restaurants, shops and other fun attractions are situated here which you would get to see whenever you use Travel St Petersburg Russia. Nevsky progressively widens as you move along towards the Neva River is blessed with some of St Petersburg’s notable buildings: Beloselsky-Belozersky palace, Stroganov Palace, Kazan Cathedral (called after “miracle-making” icon of our Lady of Kazan), Former building of the Dom Knigi book store which is the largest in town, (the former Singer sewing machine company headquarters), Delightful view down Kanal Griboedova and the Charismatic Russian-style Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood.
In addition to the many churches that line Nevsky, which incited French writer Alexander Dumas to call it “the street of religious tolerance”, there are other several attractions when you take a Tour of St Petersburg Russia.
Just a short walk from Nevsky Prospect, beside the Grand Hotel Europe, stand Arts Square and the Russian Museum. Furthermore, you will discover the biggest departmental store in St Petersburg – “Gostiny Dvor”, Russian National Library, an inspiring memorial of Catherine the Great and Anichkov Bridge, decked out with four beautiful Klodt’s horses.
The most magnificent among the squares of the city is the Palace Square and it shows how diverse styles can be shared in the most sumptuous way. Also, the General Stuff Headquarters Building and State Hermitage are located here. The north side of the square have the picturesque Baroque Winter Palace which was built between 1754-62. On the south side, we have the classical yellow-and-white General Staff Headquaters building built by Carlo Rossi between 1819-29. It encompasses the South side of the square and through its central arch, intended as a Triumphal Arch of the Classical World, you can get to Nevsky Prospect. A building of the former Royal Guards’ General Staff stylishly closes the panorama of Palace Square on the east side, while the square borders with the Admiralty and the Alexander Garden on the West. The Alexander Column in the center of the Square was created to remember the 1812 victory over Napoleon and to honor Emperor Alexander I.
The frontage of the Admiralty and the Alexander Garden link the Palace Square to the Senate Square. The center of the square stands an imposing monument to the founder of St Petersburg (Peter the Great) well-known as Bronze Horseman. You can see another major landmark of the city from there – the St Isaac’s Cathedral.
The Vasilievsky Island is a district of Saint Petersburg. Located just across the river from the Winter Palace and the Senate Square, the Vasilievsky Island takes a larger percentage of the city’s historic center. It is surrounded from South and Northeast by the Neva river which splits into rivers Bolshaya Neva and Malaya Neva, and in the west by the Gulf of Finland. The island is connected with the mainland by two of the most popular St Petersburg bridges, Palace Bridge and Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge,
Vasilievsky Island comprises of two key parts, the south and east. They are ancient, with structures coming from the 19th century. Some of the oldest structures in the city dating from 18th century is found in the southern part. This part is notable for its rectangular grid of streets, with three prospects – Bolshoi (Big), Sredniy (Middle) and Maly (Small) – going from east to west, and going vertically from south to north with 30 Liniya (Line) streets. The tip of the island on the east side is called Strelka (ot the Arrow) and it features a number of museums like the Bourse as well as two Rostral columns, and is also a popular tourist attraction. Other buildings dating from the 18th century
lining the Neva Embankment include the Menshikov Palace, the Imperial Academy of Arts, the Kunstkamera, and St Andrew Cathedral.
The west of the island was urbanized much later and has typical Soviet style apartment blocks. In comparison with Neva embankments in the historical center, the sea coast part of Vasilievsky island is still an unsophisticated badland that is not quite easy to walk on, despite the fact that the fully inhabited apartment blocks are about few meters away from the shore. In 2003, a monument to Vasiliy, a peasant after whom the island had been named, was erected. The principal buildings of Saint Petersburg State University are situated on the island including the Twelve Collegia by Domenico Tresini and the former palace of Peter II of Russia.
Across the river from the Peter and Paul Fortress and Peter the Great’s domik is the historic Summer Garden. The first architect of the city, Domenico Trezzini was commissioned by Peter the Great to construct a small palace in the park. It had no heating and was planned for summer time, which explains the name. Peter had a Winter Palace down the Neva River and the park became recognized as the Summer Garden. In 1710-14, a two-story yellow palace was constructed, with fourteen rooms. The palace was carefully restored after the Second World War: the older interiors were reconstructed and a collection of early 18th-century artifacts, originally owned by Peter the Great, was put on exhibition.
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