Peter I conceived St. Petersburg as a new, European city, which would embody all the best and the most progressive. Is it because the city of Peter is so fascinating after three centuries, that the greatest people of Russia put their whole souls to make this city beautiful? On his first visit to St. Petersburg, a tourist should see the brightest diamonds of this northern crown, in order to return here for new treasures.
Walk along the Nevsky
The first walk around St. Petersburg usually starts from Nevsky Prospekt and moves towards the Neva, first crossing the Fontanka River, and then the Griboyedov Canal. Here, in the immediate vicinity, there are two of the greatest temples.
On the left is the Kazan Cathedral, which has spread two wings of stone columns along a small square. People go to the operating church to bow to the icon of the Kazan Mother of God and the tomb of Field Marshal Kutuzov.
To the right, inland from Nevsky Prospekt, going into the Griboyedov Canal, stands the Savior on Spilled Blood, the Church of the Ascension of the Lord. The ornate cathedral with multi-colored domes works as a museum. Inside the temple there is a part of the pavement on which Tsar-liberator Alexander II was mortally wounded, in whose honor this memorial temple was erected.
Ensemble of Palace Square
Through the Moika River you can go to the heart of the city - Palace Square. It is surrounded on one side by the General Staff building, on the other - by the elegant decor of the Winter Palace, in the center is the Alexander Column. The tallest column in the world was erected in honor of the victory over Napoleon in the Patriotic War of 1812.
It is worth taking at least one day to visit the Hermitage, a treasury of world history and art. The museum is located in seven buildings, passing one into another.
Spit of Vasilyevsky Island
The front facade of the Winter Palace overlooks the embankment of the Neva. The Palace Bridge leads townspeople and tourists to the Spit of Vasilievsky Island. Here, in front of the Stock Exchange, which looks like a Greek temple, there is a beautiful ensemble with rostral columns. These 32-meter towers-lighthouses are decorated according to the ancient custom with the bows of the ships.
Cradle of St. Petersburg
If you turn right in front of the Palace Bridge, you can reach the Troitsky Bridge. Immediately behind it is the renewed Summer Garden behind the lattice sung in verse. On the Trinity Bridge you can go to the Peter and Paul Fortress, the place where the city was founded, where museums work, a cannon fires from the Naryshkin Bastion, and Russian emperors rest in the Peter and Paul Cathedral.
To the left of the Palace Bridge you can see the Admiralty building. Its thin gilded spire is crowned with a sailboat, which has become the symbol of St. Petersburg. Further upstream of the Neva is the Decembrists' Square, the former Senate Square, where there is a monument to Peter I, sung in the poem by A.S. Pushkin's "The Bronze Horseman".
Behind the statue of the king is the bulk of St. Isaac's Cathedral. Built as the main cathedral, it can accommodate up to 14 thousand people, and a beautiful panorama of the historic center of St. Petersburg opens from the colonnade.