Saint Petersburg city tour is the best way to discover the architectural and historical highlights of the magnificent city. Being the capital of Russian Empire for over than 200 years, Saint Petersburg is known for an impressive number of royal residences, palaces and outstanding buildings that are definitely worth seeing. If you wish to get an overview of the city's past and have an idea about its life and main historical facts, the tour is something to go for.
One of the must-stop places of the tour is the Peter and Paul fortress - the first building of the future capital, founded on the 27th of May, 1703. This day is celebrated as the birthday of St.Petersburg. The fortress was meant to protect the outlet to the Baltic Sea from the Swedes in the course of the Northen war. But the fort didn't manage to fulfill its mission as the war never got this far. Later Peter and Paul fortress became one of the main political prisons in Russia, where some eminent historical figures such as Dostoyevsky or Trotsky were kept. The cathedral on the ground of the fortress houses the imperial tombs of the Romanov dynasty starting from Peter the Great to the family of the last Russian Tsar Nicolas II.
Other highlights to stop by during the tour are the Hermitage, St. Isaacs cathedral, which is one of the biggest dome cathedrals in the world, the point of St. Basils island and other remarkable architectural ensembles. Modern and busy Nevsky prospect, cities' main street, the majestic Neva river with its numerous boats - without all of these things the impression of the city won't be complete. The tour will take you through the many rivers, canals and bridges of Saint Petersburg, the beautiful city sights and monuments that will make the trip truly unforgettable.
The Hermitage museum
Tour around the famous Hermitage museum is a must for everyone who visits Saint Petersburg for the first time. The museum is well known around the world for housing an impressive collection of over 3 000 000 art pieces. That includes some masterpieces by the greatest of artists - Da Vinci, Rafael, El Greco, Rembrandt and Van Gogh are among them. One of the buildings of the Hermitage, the Winter Palace was used as the winter residence of Russian emperors for many years and is one of the most popular attractions of the city. The construction of the palace was finished in 1762 and nowadays its colors and curves represent the best elements of the baroque style. The Winter Palace witnessed a great number of important historical events including the start of the October Revolution in 1917. The interiors of the palace still remind of the old days full of luxury and splendor.
The Hermitage museum collection started from the 225 paintings Catherine the Great purchased in 1764 from a Berlin merchant - the art pieces were originally meant for the king of Prussia Frederick II. Soon one palace was not enough to keep the growing art collection, so today at least five buildings of the museum house the numerous items. Whether you are an avid art lover, applied arts fan, an antique researcher or just a regular visitor, you will find something interesting among the numerous paintings, tapestries, majolicas, pieces of furniture, interiors and other wonders of the museum. It is well-known that even a week in the Hermitage will allow you to explore only about 10% of the collection, but the tour will take you through the highlights that are worth seeing if you have only a few hours to spend at the museum.