Few cities in the world can boast of so many attractions, museum collections, opera and drama theaters, estates and palaces, parks, and monuments. The literary and musical heritage of St. Petersburg is no less outstanding – the number of writers, poets, and composers who inspired writers, poets, and composers who worked with inspiration on its misty shores amaze even the most daring imagination. Along with Paris, Rome, and Venice, St. Petersburg is included in the UNESCO List as a city in which the entire historical center is taken under patronage. Among other things, there are temples of 42 denominations, including an amazing mosque with a porcelain dome, a Buddhist monastery, and one of the most beautiful chapels of the Order of Malta.
Moreover, St. Petersburg is a “city of bridges”. 68 rivers, canals, and channels across the city in different directions, forming 42 islands on its territory. Now in St. Petersburg and its suburbs, there are 580 bridges, including 20 drawbridges.
Architectural landmarks of St. Petersburg
The Russian rulers invited the most prominent architects of their time to work in the former capital. It is not surprising that the city has such a mind-boggling number of outstanding architectural masterpieces of various styles. First of all, these are palaces – Winter, Marble, Stroganovsky, Menshikovsky, Anichkov, Sheremetyevsky, Mikhailovsky castle. Also, in the urban landscape, target architectural ensembles and complexes of buildings are distinguished – the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Admiralty, “New Holland”. Other buildings from the most famous are the Singer House on the Griboyedov Canal (the famous Dom Knigi store is located here), the Passage department store on Nevsky Prospect, and Gostiny Dvor opposite it.
Temples of St. Petersburg
The city’s cathedrals and churches are incredibly numerous and just as beautiful. The three main ones are known to everyone – this is St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the second tallest Orthodox church in the world, the Kazan Cathedral with a magnificent arc colonnade, and the bright Savior on Spilled Blood (officially – the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ), reminiscent of the Moscow Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed.
Other cathedrals of St. Petersburg are the airy white and turquoise Smolny, the symmetrically imposing Trinity-Izmailovsky, the slender Vladimirsky, the reserved Spaso-Preobrazhensky, the snow-white Prince Vladimirsky. Also worthy of attention is the Alexander Nevsky Lavra complex, the majestic Assumption Church on Vasilyevsky Island, the Ioannovsky Monastery on the Karpovka embankment.
The St. Petersburg Cathedral Mosque, built at the beginning of the 20th century, claims to be the most beautiful in the country: the dome, the upper part of the minarets, and the main portal are decorated with a stunning mosaic of blue tones.
Monuments and outstanding buildings of St. Petersburg
The most famous St. Petersburg monuments are dedicated to the tsars and emperors of Russia. The famous Bronze Horseman at the Alexander Garden was installed in honor of Peter I by Empress Catherine the Great. The monument to Catherine herself can be seen in Catherine Square, which overlooks Nevsky Prospect. Also widely known is the monument to Nicholas I near St. Isaac’s Square: its uniqueness is that the equestrian statue of the emperor stands on only two points of support.
There are several famous lions and sphinxes in St. Petersburg. The most interesting is the Egyptian granite sphinxes on the embankment opposite the building of the Academy of Arts: by the way, they are three thousand years older than the city itself.
One of the first associations that comes to mind when mentioning Peter is, of course, Rostral columns on the spit of Vasilievsky Island. 32 m high, at one time they served as beacons for ships going to the port. Previously, the resin was poured into bowls at the top of the columns and set on fire; in 1957, gas was supplied here. Once here, it is worth going down to the water to appreciate the giant granite balls that adorn the embankment: they are not fixed by anything and are held solely by their weight. Another must-see monumental structure is the Pillar of Alexandria on Palace Square, crowned with the figure of an angel.
6 things to do in St. Petersburg
- Climb the colonnade of St. Isaac’s Cathedral to see the city from above.
- Getting lost in the Hermitage – a museum so large that it is unlikely that there is a St. Petersburg citizen who has visited all its halls.
- Listen to an opera in one of the three halls of the Mariinsky Theater.
- See how the Palace Bridge is being raised.
- Throw a coin to the bronze crumb Chizhik-Pyzhik on the Fontanka or to the bronze cat Vasilisa and the cat Elisey on Malaya Sadovaya.
- On a white night, sit on the curb by the front door in the courtyard-well, leading a cultural conversation with creative people.