St. PetersburgOur favorite places of interest
The Peter and Paul Fortress The first stone of the fortress was laid on the 16-th of May (the 27-th of May by the new style) in 1703, so this day is the day of Saint Petersburg’s foundation.Peter 1 decided to build a new fortress on a small island which is called Zayachy.Zayachy island is situated at the point where the river branches out into two arms. The fortress had to protect the lands of the Neva river from attacks of Sweden. But soon another CronshlodtFortress was built and the Peter and Paul fortress lost its military role and turned into a politicalprison for almost 200 years.Alexis, the son of Peter 1, was one of the first prisoners. Alexander Radishev was imprisonedbecause of his book “Voyage from Saint Petersburg to Moscow”. Five Decembrists Pestel,Ryleev, Muravjev –Apostol, Bestuzhev-Rhumin and Kakhovsky) were hung there. Fyodor Dostoevsky and Maxim Gorky were imprisoned there too. And in the end the fortress became a museum of the history of Saint Petersburg. It happened in1923. We can see there Historical Museum, bastions, cells and the Mint. The Mint is a placewhere coins, badges, orders and medals are minted.The Peter and Paul Fortress is a historical monument of the 18-th century.
The Summer Garden The Summer Garden is the oldest park in Saint Petersburg. It occupies an area of 11.7 hectares. The work of laying out the Summer Garden began in 1704.Peter 1 himself planted trees and flowers. He created a garden, which is more beautiful than Versailles.There were several fountains, which were feeding by river Fontanka, but they were damaged by floods in 1777 and were never restored.The railing of the Summer Garden was designed by the architect Yuri Felten in 1770-1784. This railing is one of the most beautiful in the world.There are many marble sculptures in the Summer Garden.The Summer Palace was designed by the architect Domenico Tresini in 1710-1714.It is a small two- storied palace where the tsar and his family lived for the most part of the year. All in all there twenty rooms: ten on each floor. They are: living rooms, a kitchen, a corridor and rooms for servants. During the construction Peter 1 personally participated in all details.Now the museum “ The Summer Garden of Peter 1 “ is located in this building.
Point on Vasilevsky Island Near the east point of Vasilevsky Island Neva is divided in to two branches: Bolshaja and Malaja Neva.The point on Vasilevsky Island is a favorite place for walking and romantic meetings.A trading port was placed on the point in 1730. A hundred and fifty years later the port was removed nearer to the Gulf of Finland. The architectural ensemble of Point on Vasilevsky Island was designed at the beginning of the 19-century. There is the Stock exchange in the middle of the ensemble. It was built in 1805-1810 by the great architect Thoma de Thomon. Rostral Columns were created according to Thoma de Thomon’s project too.By the year 1832 an architect I.F. Lukini built two warehouses to the both sides of the Stock exchange. A warehouse is a place where different goods are stored. Now there is Central Military and Navy Museum there.There is a well known all over the world Zoo Museum nowadays in a south warehouse.There is a Department of Russian Science Academy in the North warehouse.There is a Literary Institute on the bank of Malaja Neva. Pushkin’s manuscripts are kept there.
The Hermitage The Hermitage is one of greatest museums in the world. It is the largest museum in Russia.There are 2,6 million objects of art and culture belonging to different epochs and countries.The Hermitage consists of five buildings:The Winter Palace.It was the official residence of Russian emperors. The Winter Palace was built in1754-1762 by Bartolomeo Rastrelli.The Small Hermitage.It was erected in 1767-1769 after the design of architect Vallin de la Mothe.The Old Hermitage.The building of the Old Hermitage was built in 1775-1784 by Y. Felten.The Hermitage Theatre.The Hermitage Theatre was designed by Giacomo Quarenghi and completed in 1787.The Hermitage Theatre was the private theatre of Catherine the Great. Today it is theLecture hall of the Hermitage.The New Hermitage.The New Hermitage was erected in 1839-1852 after the design of Leo Von Klenze byVasily Stasov and Nikolai Yefimov.The word “Hermitage” means the dwelling of a hermit.The story of its collection began with Catherine 11. 225 Dutch and Flemish paintings were bought in Berlin for Winter Palace in 1764.There was a fire in the palace on the 17-th of December in 1873. The fire burnt for 3 days. It destroyed everything but the brick walls.At present the Hermitage collections include not only pictures, drawings and sculptures. They are divided into: West European Art, Oriental Culture, Antique Culture, Russian Culture, Prehistoric Culture and Numismatics.
The Kazan Cathedral The Kazan Cathedral was erected between 1801 and 1811 by the Russian architect Andrei Voronikhin in honor of the icon of the Kazan Virgin.The Kazan Cathedral is a monument to Russia’s victory over Napoleon in the Patriotic War of 1812. There is the tomb of the great general M. Kutuzov in it.There are two monuments to the military leaders: M. Kutuzov and M. Barklay-de-Tolli in front of the cathedral. They were installed in 1837. These statues are the work of the sculptor Boris Orlovsky and architect Vasliy Stasov.The height of the building is 71,6 meters and the length is 72,5 meters.The central entrance door is an exact copy of ‘The Paradise Doors’. The cathedral interior is the work of Vladimir Borovikovsky,Orest Kiprensky and other Russian artists of the beginning of the 19-th century. The Museum of the History and Atheism was founded in the cathedral in 1932. Now services are held in the cathedral.
Saint Isaac’s Cathedral According to a legend Saint Isaac lived in the 4 century and protected Christians from the Roman Emperor heretic Valens. The 30-th of May was market as the Day of Saint Isaac. It should be known that this date is Peter the Grate’s birthday too.The first wooden church dedicated to Saint Isaac was built in 1710 on the place where the Bronze Horseman stands nowadays. That building was destroyed by fire and new church far from river Neva was erected.In 1818 August Montferrand began the construction of the new building. It took 40 years to build this magnificent cathedral.About 100 kg of gold were used to gild the grand dome which diameter is 21 meter. The cathedral is 101 meter high and it is well seen from Peterhoff.The building is 111 meters long and 97 meters wide. The building weights 300000 tons. Its doors can be opened by several people only. It has 562 steps up to its top. The grand opening of the cathedral was on the 29-th of May in 1858. Alexander 11 took part in that ceremony.
Palace Square.Alexander Column Palace Square is the main square in Saint Petersburg. It is the center of city. The ensemble ofPalace Square was formed in the middle of the 19-th century. The main structures of the squareare the Winter Palace, the former General Headquarter building, Alexander Column and theGuard Headquarters.The Winter Palace was built as the residence of the Russian monarchs. It was designed and constructed by the architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754-1762. Today the rooms of the Winter Palace house the collections of Hermitage.There is the former General Headquarters building opposite the Winter Palace. It was built by Carlo Rossi in 1812-1829 in the classical style. There is the Arch of Triumph in the middle ofthe building. It is a monument to Russia’s victory over Napoleon in the war of 1812.The former Guards Headquarters were built by the architect Bryullov in 1837-1843 in the style of late classicism.In the center of Palace Square Alexander Column rises. It was installed to commemorate the victory over Napoleon in 1812 in the Patriotic War. Alexander Column was erected after the design of August Montferrand. The weight of the column is 704 tons, height is 47,5 meters. On the top of the column is the bronze figure of angel (by sculptor Boris Orlovsky).Alexander Column was inaugurated on the 30-th of August in 1834.
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