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St. Petersburg Holidays & Travel Guide

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St. Petersburg Holidays Overview

St. Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia, is considered to be the cultural capital of the country. It is famous for hosting gorgeous architectural wonders such as the Kazan Cathedral and the Winter Palace and is also known to host a world famous art collection at the Hermitage. The city sprawls itself along the Neva River and offers its visitors with more than enough art, parties, festivals, restaurants, cultural attractions, natural beauty, nightlife and history to keep them coming back for more.

St Petersburg has managed to evolve from a swampy backwater city into a modern day city that can compete with the top cities in Europe. Its forward approach, network of canals and beautiful neoclassical architecture give the city a unique flavour. This is one of the main reasons why St. Petersburg is known as Russia’s Window to the West. The city has also been the one that supplies Russia with most of its greatest ideas. St. Petersburg had supplied the idea that led to the Russian Revolution and the communist rule and it was St. Petersburg again that brought back democracy when things began to change.

Despite all its growth and the various attractions that if offers, Petersburg is ultimately famous for its natural attractions such as the White Nights – a summer phenomenon where the sun hardly dips below the horizon. The spring season brings a fresh whiff in the air and the entire city gets covered with flowering trees to make it a sight worth watching. The winters might try their best to bring gloom and chilling temperatures, but the rich culture of the city manages to transform these gloomy days into grand spectacles, celebrations and festivals to ensure that the locals never have any time to brood about the harsh weather.

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St. Petersburg holidays - Top Places To Go

1. The Winter Palace and the Hermitage Museum
Dvortsovaya Square
What is it? The magnificent green, white and gold Winter Palace is superbly situated on the banks of the Neva River, a 656 ft-long (200m) Russian Baroque building that is the biggest and most lavishly decorated palace in the city. The palace was the official residence of the tsars, and Catherine the Great later added the Small and Large Hermitages onto the palace as a sanctuary for herself and her private art collection. The Hermitage Museum comprises a stately complex of buildings strung along the embankment, with the Winter Palace at its heart. The Hermitage Museum is one of the world's greatest art museums that has grown from a small collection of paintings started by Catherine the Great in 1764, to a massive display of over three million exhibits, housed within the sumptuous splendour of one of the most luxurious palaces worldwide. The three floors cover a full range of world art from ancient times, to Russian works and 20th century Europe, and a fabulous collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, set against the rich interior of white marble staircases, golden ceilings, crystal chandeliers, and elaborate mosaics. Of the highlights, the lavish State Rooms, the Golden Rooms, containing a spectacular collection of royal jewels, gold and silver, and the modern European art section are the most popular. Hours of Operation: Daily except Mondays from 10.30am to 6pm Phone:(812) 710 9625



2. Palace Square
Dvortsovaya Ploshchad (Palace Square)
What is it? The main square of St Petersburg and one of the world's most magnificent plazas, Palace Square contains the picturesque Baroque buildings of the Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum on one side and the Classical yellow and white former General Staff buildings of the Russian army on the other. The focal point of the square is the Alexander Column, a tall monolith of red granite topped by the statue of an angel and a cross, dedicated to Russian military victory in the Napoleonic wars. Palace Square has been the site of numerous political protests, most notably the demonstrations of Bloody Sunday in 1905 that started the first Russian Revolution. Today the square, with its beautiful views of the Admiralty's golden spire and the dome of St Isaac's Cathedral from across the vast stone paving, is filled with markets, outdoor cafes and the sound of horse-drawn carriages. Hours of Operation: Phone:



3. Nevsky Prospekt
What is it? Almost three miles (five km) long, Nevsky Prospekt is one of the best-known streets in Russia and is the main thoroughfare of St Petersburg, starting at the Admiralty whose gilded spire is a famous city landmark, to the Moscow Railway Station and then to the Alexandr Nevsky Monastery where some of the country's most celebrated artistic figures are buried. It has been the hub of the city for centuries, cutting through the most historical part, and home to the most important sights in the city. Intersected by rivers and canals, the most beautiful part of the avenue surrounds the Griboedova Canal. Here the impressive colonnade of the grand Kazan Cathedral catches the eye, curving around a small grassy square, and opposite the view along the canal towards the multi-coloured onion domes of the Church of Our Saviour on the Spilled Blood (officially called the Resurrection of Christ Church) is breathtaking. Modelled on St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow and adorned with exquisite mosaic panels the church is one of St Petersburg's most striking landmarks, built on the site of the assassination of Emperor Alexander II in 1881. As well as many churches the street boasts St Petersburg's finest shops and restaurants, old manors and impressive buildings, and a beautiful mixture of architectural styles from the different periods of its history. Hours of Operation: Phone:



St. Petersburg holidays - Top Events


1. Stars of the White Nights Festival

From 2007-05-01

To 2007-05-31

What is it? This festival of performing arts is the essence of the Mariinsky theatre's artistic achievements, home of the celebrated Kirov Opera and Ballet, and is a must for ballet, opera and classical music lovers. The annual White Nights Festival derives its name from the short summer season when the sun never sets, and the beauty of these white nights contributes to the festival's special atmosphere and its world-class programme of concerts, as audiences exit the historic theatre at midnight into daylight to stroll home through the theatrical setting of St Petersburg. The festival presents the company's most exceptional productions with performances by leading Russian and international artists, and combines famous historical productions along with new premieres and contemporary pieces. Where is it? Mariinsky Theatre and Philharmonic Hall




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About This Page

Information on St. Petersburg Holidays, St. Petersburg Hotels, Holiday Packages in St. Petersburg (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and St. Petersburg Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom, copyright © Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.