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Be Dazzled by the Opulence of St. Petersburg

By HarryFriday 02nd June 2017

The beautiful city of St. Petersburg is a jewel in Russia's crown. On our Scandinavia and Russia Cruise, you can uncover the secrets of this magnificent city.
Peter the Great, the emperor who is famed for bringing science and progress to a previously less-enlightened Russia, built the intimidating city of St. Petersburg in 1703, towards the end of the Great Northern War. Before it was replaced by Moscow, it was the capital city of Russia from 1712 until 1918, and is still one of the most famous cities of this large country. With 200 museums to choose from, and 342 bridges to walk over the 92 rivers and canals, your timetable will be packed.

Visit the Hermitage Museum

This is one of the largest museums in the world, with a collection of over three million artifacts and pieces of art. Catherine the Great started this vast collection, creating one of the most important art collections in the world. Set in the Winter Palace, the Hermitage Museum is world renowned for being incredibly beautiful outside, as well as in. The Winter Palace was commissioned in 1754 by Empress Elizabeth, but it was Catherine the Great who remodelled the interior in the classical style we see today, by 1837. Its mint green walls and gold columns will make a beautiful backdrop to your holiday snaps.

Study the Details of St. Isaac's Cathedral

Between 1818 and 1858, St. Isaac's Cathedral was built, to become what was originally Russia's largest cathedral (accommodating 14,000 worshipers), and St. Petersburg's main church. It was closed in the 1930's, to be reopened again as a museum. Although the cathedral is no longer the largest in Russia (that honour goes to Church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow), its exterior is famed for its intricate details and beauty, both exterior and interior. When you visit, take in the exterior columns each made from one piece of red granite and the perfect sculptures. The interior however, is ordained with mosaics, paintings and breath-taking malachite and lapis lazuli columns. The shining beacon though is the stained-glass window of the Resurrected Christ. Positioned right inside the golden altar, this is certainly a sight not to be missed.

Walk Over the Famous Bridges

You will definitely cross a bridge in St. Petersburg; the city is made up of 93 rivers and canals so the 342 bridges are kind of essential! The bridges aren't just practical, they're beautiful too. Each one is unique, with its own character and design. The Bank Bridge is one of the most famous, known for its griffons, standing proud with their golden wings, created by Pavel Sokolov. The Bank Bridge is also famous for being the city's narrowest bridge, only 1.85 metres. Proving that architectural gems don't need to be huge to be significant. Griffons aren't the only bridge guards in St. Petersburg, there are horses too! Visit Anchikov Bridge, first built in 1716 as a wooden structure, to see the famous sculptures of horses and their trainers, on the four corners. The Palace Bridge is one of the most famous attractions of St. Petersburg. Its structure allows the bridge to lift and separate to let passing boats through. Although not as ornate as the Bank or Anchikov, it's still a remarkable sight.

What to Remember in St. Petersburg

Here are a few things to remember when you wander around this beautiful city: Currency: Russian Ruble Weather:
Winter: St. Petersburg is famed for its long, cold winters. But it is beautiful in the snow.
Summer: Known for its 'White Nights'; endless, bright nights where the sun doesn't dip below the horizon. Expect 24hr partying! Quick Phrases:
Hello: Privet
Bye: Pa Ka
Thank you: Spaseeba
Sorry: Eezveeneete
Want to discover more of St. Petersburg while there? Find out which of our ships sail to the magical city of St. Petersburg.

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