Day 1 in St. Petersburg
As mentioned above, we will not succeed to see all St. Petersburg’s wealth, but we should try to see the most important and emblematic places of the northern capital.
Nevsky Prospect – the main street of the city, without which it is impossible to imagine St. Petersburg. Walking along it, you will be involuntarily transported in time, diving into not only the 300-year-old history of the city, but also that of the great Russian Empire. We recommend you not to walk along the entire length of the street, as it could be tiresome, but select the part which lies through the heart of the city – from the Vosstaniya Square till the Admiralty. The last building can be seen from any point of the Prospekt, so this fact could serve you as a tip. Looking at this landmark, you will not get lost on your way.
Anichkov Bridge – the first bridge that you will cross on your way, one of the most beautiful bridges of the city. Looking to the left side of the bridge, you will see a pink building – the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace, which hosts today a museum of wax figures. Usually, the bridge is very busy, but try to stop aside and enjoy for a moment the views over the Fontanka street and those four statues standing on the bridge. At the other end of the Anichkov Bridge, you can observe the grand Anichkov Palace.
Direct to the Alexandrinsky Theater – the largest theater in St. Petersburg. More than two and a half centuries ago, Elizabeth ordered the construction of a national theater. When the building was ready, a group of artists, led by Fyodor Volkov, was transported from Yaroslavl to entertain the public. In the books on cultural history, Volkov is known as “the father of Russian theater”. In the past, huge crews and coaches were standing at the entrance of the Alexandrinsky Theater, as there was circulating a “secular” opinion that it is indecent to walk on foot to such a majestic and luxurious place. There is a marvelous park in front of the building, which is particularly charming in summer.
Next, discover the Kazan Cathedral. This monumental building charms with its power and beauty. A small public garden in front of it will allow you to rest and fully enjoy the view under the melodious murmur of the fountain. The renowned Russian poet Mendelstam was noting about the Cathedral that it inspires ease and freedom. The “trump” of the Kazan Cathedral is its majestic colonnade of 96 columns, opened wide in the direction of the Nevsky Prospekt. To the opposite, the Bookhouse is found. The building features unbelievable architecture, so it is difficult to take your eyes off it.
Before crossing the Green Bridge, you will observe the Stroganov Palace, that is built in baroque style, after the project of the architect Francesco Rastrelli. A little bit further, a breathtaking view will open in front of you – the Palace Square, the square where the fate of the Empire was once decided, where parades were held, where kings were crowned, and massacres took place.
The Winter Palace is on one side of the Palace Square. This is the main substantial attraction of the northern capital! This architectural work of art was created in the 18th century, in Elizabethan Baroque style. However, the plan of the Palace is characterized by a unique strict and clear structure – it is rectangular and has no baroque rounding at its corners. Its construction was assigned to the architect from abroad Bartolomeo Rastrelli, later the Winter Palace becoming the architect’s “visit card”. The Palace is the dominating landmark of the capital, which was conceived as a symbol of the greatness of the Empire.
It is worth to note that the Winter Palace is housing the Hermitage – one of the largest art museums in the world. Within the walls of the vast museum complex, you can see thousands of masterpieces, you will find interesting cultural exhibitions, paintings of Impressionists, Egyptian and ancient artifacts, ceramic objects, sculptures, as well as works of contemporary authors. Next to the Palace, an edifice with a 580-meter bow-shaped facade is situated – the General Staff Building.