St. Petersburg is a city of intrigue and grandeur, as well as culture, with the city boasting 2000 libraries, 221 museums, 80 theatres and 62 cinemas, among many other cultural establishments. The city centre is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for this reason as well as due to the ‘around 4000 outstanding individual monuments of architecture, history and culture’. St. Petersburg has seen revolution, conspiracy and war; will you experience this city for yourself?
Arguably the best place to start a trip to St Petersburg is at the State Hermitage museum, a site that is not only home to over 3 million artefacts, but has the largest collection of paintings and is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world, having been founded in 1764 by Catherine the Great, and was opened to the public in 1852. The six buildings along the Palace Embankment that house the collections themselves are historic and include the Winter Palace, the former official residence of the Russian monarchs until militant Bolsheviks stormed the palace in 1917. Included in the collection of 651,931 works of art at the Hermitage museum are pieces by masters such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrant, Goya and Reubens, among many others, placed within the opulence of state rooms in the Winter Palace.
A cruise from the canals is the perfect way to get to know St Petersburg like the back of your hand. The city is often called the ‘Northern Venice’ because of its system of over 100 canals with a collective distance of 300km. There are many different routes to take depending on your points of interest, including a trip dedicated to some of the 350 bridges in the city and another that concentrates on the most popular tourist attractions of St Petersburg. You may even see the Bolshoy Petrovsky Bridge, which the infamous mystic Rasputin’s body was thrown off following his murder.
Take a break from the world around you like Russian royalty in the Rococco Catherine Palace, one of the northern-most palaces designed in this style. The palace is 30km south of the city, but is well worth the travel to see it for yourself in all its Grand Budapest Hotel-esque glory. The palace was completed in 1756 and is nearly 1km in circumference, with a striking and elaborate blue and white exterior and gilded features and figures.
Even more extravagant than Catherine Palace, however, is Peterhof Palace, a series of palaces and gardens just outside of St Petersburg, considered the greatest of the city’s suburban estates and often called ‘the Russian Versailles’. The palace was the pleasure ground of Peter the Great, and is probably most famous for its picturesque fountains, among many other spectacular features.
Are you amazed by the architecture of St Petersburg, or caught up in the culture?
What sunglasses would you be taking with you to St Petersburg? We think some round sunglasses or some cateye sunglasses would be great, particularly if they’re super glamorous. Like these Versace Greca Strass Cateye Sunglasses.