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Weekend in St. Petersburg

Day 1. St. Petersburg

Meeting with a guide at the hotel lobby. Departure to the excursion.

The Palace-and-Park Ensemble Tsarskoe Selo (Pushkin) - a former residence of the Russian emperors - is a spectacular monument of architecture and art of gardening of XVIII-XIX centuries. Its three parks cover 600 ha housing over a hundred of buildings from magnificent palaces and monuments to intimate pavilions and sculpture. The compositional center of the ensemble in the Catherine's Palace with collections of exquisite decorative objects, furniture, Russian and Western-European painting, china, amber, arms, bronze articles and sculpture. All together there are about 20 thousand exhibits. The Tsarskoselsky Lyceum, an elite school for children from noble families established in the beginning of the XIX century, is situated near the Palace. The great Russian poet A.S. Pushkin attended this school and nowadays it is a branch of the Museum of A.S. Pushkin. The exhibition "Recollections in the Alexander's Palace" is opened in the Alexander's Palace (architect G. Guarenghi, XVIII century) telling about the last residence of the Russian emperors. Paintings, drawings, decorative and applied art, costumes, personal belongings related to life of its owners are represented in 12 halls with authentic or partially restored interiors.

You will reach Peterhof by boat (hydrofoil).

Second part of excursion: Peterhof

Peterhof is a jewel of the Russian art, a town of parks, palaces and fountains. In the past it used to be an exquisite summer residence of the Russian tsars. The Upper and the Lower Parks are the masterpieces of art of gardening numbering over 170 fountains, 5 monumental cascades. In August 2000 after a 60-years break the second largest cascade Lviny was opened. On the territory of the reserve there are 9 working museums: the Grand Peterhof Palace, Monplaisir, Catherine's Block, Marli, Hermitage, Saint-Alexander Nevsky Church, the Benois family museum, Cottage and the Bath block with newly restored rooms and kitchen. Excursion in Peterhof is often enlarged with the excursion to Oranienbaum, which is 15 minutes, by car from Peterhof. Return to the hotel.

  Day 2. St. Petersburg

10am- meeting with a guide at the hotel lobby. Departure to the excursion.

Excursion to the Hermitage museum.

It was built in 1754-62 as the principal home of the tsars, and was later rebuilt in 1839 after the original was destroyed by fire. One of the worldís great art museums, it is housed in the tsarís former Winter Palace, overlooking the imposing Palace Square. Tsarina Catherine II began the collection, and those following added much more. One can spend many hours wandering around the museum's 500 rooms and exhibits; to see everything reportedly requires walking 14 miles. There are entire rooms devoted to each of the Grand Masters. Go back to Nevsky: youíll see the Kazan Cathedral opposite. Built 1801-1811. Stone colonnade encircles small garden and fountain. Closed for services in 1929, opened as Museum of Religion and Atheism in 1932. Premises now shared.

Also Gostiny Dvor shopping mall, constructed 1757-1785. Renovated after Siege of Leningrad.

Second part of excursion: Peter and Paul Fortress.

The Peter and Paul Fortress was founded by Peter I in 1703 as the fortification building on Zayachy Island. Apart from the ancient fortifications, on the grounds of the fortress one can visit the Peter and Paul Cathedral (the first half of the XVIII century, D. Trezzini) with the tombs of Peter the Great and other Russian Tsars, the Trubetskoy Bastion casemates and the following permanent exhibitions: "The History of Saint-Petersburg", "The History of Missilery and Cosmonautics. Gas-dynamic Laboratory", "The History of the Imperial Mint", "Petchatnaya". There is a new excursion route "Nevskaya Panorama" along the roofs of fortifications.

Walk down Nevsky. Visit the Saviour of the Spilt Blood Cathedral.

The Church on the Spilt Blood was built in 1907 on the site of assassination of Alexander II, who was one of the most progressive Russian Tsar of the XIX century. Pseudo-Russian style combined with applied art of the end of XIX - the beginning of the XX centuries and mosaic interiors create an unforgettable impression of Russian Fairy tales. The Church belonged to the Tsar family and was closed for ordinary visitors for a long time. Nowadays it works as a museum of mosaic art.

Excursion to St.Isaacís cathedral:

The Saint-Isaac's Cathedral is one of the finest monuments of architecture of the XIX century after the project of A. Montferrand. The Saint-Isaac's is the former principal cathedral of the Russian Capital, the largest cathedral in the city with capacity up to 10 thousand people. It is decorated by 112 monolith granite columns 114 tons each and by 400 relieves and bronze sculptures. You'll enjoy a splendid panorama of Saint-Petersburg and its suburbs from the colonnade. The dome is covered with the thinnest layer of gold, which was painted into green during the Blockade to prevent it from being destroyed. Return to the hotel.

Free time for shopping, picture taking.

Evening performance in the Alexandryisky theatre.

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