Women on the Russian Throne

The route gives you a chance to see the most popular places associated with the rule of great Russians Empresses

  • temples and cathedrals 1 ,
  • squares 1 ,
  • exhibition halls 1 ,
  • streets 2 ,
  • palaces 3 ,
  • points of interest 1 ,
  • parks 3
16 km, 689 m
Mikhailovsky Garden

Mikhailovsky Garden

St. Petersburg, Inzhenernaya ul., 2

Mikhailovskiy Garden is a part of The Summer Garden, which was laid down in the times of Peter the Great

Mikhailovsky Garden is one of the most rare monuments of landscape architecture of XVIII — the first third of the XIX centuries, representing a unique combination of two different styles of landscape art on one territory — regular or "French" and landscape or "English" gardens.

During the time of Peter I the territory of contemporary Mikhailovsky Garden was called "Swedish garden". It was gifted by the emperor to his spouse Catherine. On the place where now is located a pavilion constructed upon K. Rossi's  project (on the Moika River Emb.) there was the palace of the empress called as a “Golden mansion". In the middle of the XVIII century, in the reign of  impress Elizabeth, the garden was reorganized upon the project of  F.-B.Rastrelli. Two big ponds which remain up to now in southeast part of a garden had a geometrical form, and behind them started the big garden labyrinth stretching up to the Nevsky Avenue.

In the XIX century the garden changes its "regular" face on the "landscape" shape and becomes part of the ensemble of the Mikhailovsky Palace – a marvellous example of architectural unity of the building and a natural landscape created upon a plan of the great architect Carlo Rossi.

Mikhailovsky Garden was in the private possession and became available to citizens’ visit from the moment of the Russian Museum’s foundation in 1895. In 1999, having almost completely lost the historical appearance, I became part of the Russian Museum. The XXI century - a reference point of the contemporary history of Mikhailovsky Garden. Having passed large-scale reconstruction, it began the life not only as a unique monument of landscape architecture, but also as modern museum space, a peculiar green hall open-air.

Rossi's Pavilion

Rossi's Pavilion

St. Petersburg, Mikhailovsky Garden
1 km, 350 m
Marsovo pole (The Field of Mars)

Marsovo pole (The Field of Mars)

Saint Petersburg, Marsovo pole

A large park named after Mars, the Roman god of war, situated in the center of Saint Petersburg

The history of Field of Mars goes back to the first years of Saint Petersburg. At that time it was called the Great Meadow. Later it was the setting for celebrations to mark Russia's victory in the Great Northern War and the field was renamed the Amusement Field (Poteshnoe Pole). In the 1740s the Amusement Field was turned for a short while into a walking park with paths, lawns, and flowers. Its next name – Tsarina’s Meadow – appeared after the royal family commissioned Rastrelli to build the Summer Palace for Empress Elizabeth. But towards the end of the 18th-century Tsarina’s Meadow became a military drill ground where they erected monuments commemorating the victories of the Russian Army and where parades and military exercises took place regularly.

After the February Revolution in 1917, the Field of Mars finally lost its significance as a military drill ground and became a memorial area, used to bury the revolution's honoured dead. In summer 1942 the Field of Mars was completely covered with vegetable gardens to supply the besieged Leningrad.

In 1918-1920, Finnish communists were buried here.

407 m
Summer Palace of Peter the Great

Summer Palace of Peter the Great

St. Petersburg, nab. Kytyzova, 2 A

The Summer Palace is a diminutive residence of Peter the Great that was built in 1710-14 in his new capital

The design was by Domenico Trezzini.This simple Dutch-style (Petrine Baroque) mansion contains just 14 main rooms.

The mansion was designed as an entertainment pavilion and was intended for warm weather use only. Peter moved into the partially completed palace in 1712 and spent summers here until his death in 1725. He occupied the lower level while his wife Catherine preferred the upper rooms.

An innovative feature of this palace is the extant central heating system which featured solid fuel burning boilers and elaborate porcelain ductwork, with extensive ornamental painting. The ornamental frieze and bas-reliefs are attributed to Andreas Schlüter.

Peter's daughter Elizaveta Petrovna had her own Summer Palace built on the Field of Mars slightly to the west. The older palace has stood untenanted since the 1840s. Its oak interiors were reconstructed in the early 1960s. The house was open to the public as a branch of the Russian Museum until it closed down for repairs in 2009.

857 m
Kutuzov Embankment

Kutuzov Embankment

St. Petersburg, Kutuzov Embankment
269 m
Tavrichesky Palace

Tavrichesky Palace

St. Petersburg, Shpalernaya ul., 47

Tavricheskiy or "Tauride" Palace is one of the largest and most impressive palaces in St. Petersburg

Located in the north-east of the historic centre, next to the Tavricheskiy Garden(formerly the grounds of the palace). Nowadays, the palace is home to the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and is not open for sightseeing. However, since February 2010, halls of Tavricheskiy Palace are being used to host Potemkin Evenings, concerts of 18th century music performed on authentic instruments by some of the best local ensembles.

The Tavricheskiy Palace was built between 1783 and 1789 by Ivan Starov, one of the leading court architects of the period, for Prince Grigory Potemkin, the close confidant and former lover of Catherine the Great. The palace was built and named in honour of his key role in the annexation of the Crimea, for which he was awarded the title "Prince of Tauris" in reference to the Ancient Greek name for the region. Starov designed the palace in strict Palladian style, and its simple facades were in sharp contrast to the richly decorated interiors and the lavish lifestyle led by Potemkin when in St. Petersburg, as he threw a series of increasingly grand and expensive parties in an effort to shore up his waning influence.

The palace was designed to face the Neva River across its extensive parkland, but in 1860 the city's first water-tower was built between the river and the palace, somewhat spoiling its majestic views.

After Potemkin's death in 1791, Tavricheskiy Palace was bought by the crown. Catherine's son, Paul I, loathed the lifestyle of his mother's court so much that he had the palace turned into stables for the horses of the Imperial Guard, and some of the original interiors were lost. The palace remained in the Imperial family until 1906, when it became the seat of the Imperial State Duma, Russia's first parliament. In 1917 it was briefly home to the Provisional Government and the Petersburg Soviet. In the Soviet Union, the palace was used the All-Union Agricultural Communist University and then the Higher Party School, a college of further education for top-level Communist bureaucrats.

The Tauride Venus in the State Hermitage is named after the palace. The first classical sculpture to arrive in Russia, it was ceded by Pope Clement XI to Peter I in 1718, and kept at Tavricheskiy Palace from the time of Catherine the Great until the mid-19th century.


2 km, 167 m
Tavrichesky Garden

Tavrichesky Garden

St. Petersburg, Shpalernaya ul., 47

Tavricheskiy Park was established around the Tavricheskiy palace constructed by Catherine the Great for duke Potyomkin - Tavricheskiy

The palace was inspired by Old Classicism style manors.

The manor includes a big garden with greenhouses, artificial ponds and park pavilions. In the middle of XIX-th century the garden was opened for visitors. In wintertime there were ice rinks and sleighing tracks on the ponds. Today one the garden's territory there is located a greenhouse with unique uncommon plants. In the park there are many sports grounds, which are the favorite place of chess players. Nowadays in the building of the palace there is functioning an Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.

Smolny Cathedral Exhibition and Concert Hall

Smolny Cathedral Exhibition and Concert Hall

St. Petersburg, Bolshoi Sampsonievskiy prospect, 41

Smolny cathedral is a part of architectural ensemble of Smolniy monastery.

St Sampson’s Cathedral State Museum is an operating orthodox cathedral. It is one of the oldest cathedrals in the city, constructed in 1709 in honor of a victory of Russia over Swedes in the Poltava fight. There was the first city cemetery and the first almshouse opened in 1713 at the temple. Some of Peter I devotees found the last shelter on the orthodox and the next Lutheran cemeteries, for example, the first architects of Petersburg D. Trezzini and G.-B. Le Blond, the leyb-physician L.Blyumentrost, "prince-father" P.I.Buturlin and others. The magnificent carved throne and the shade over the throne in the main altar and an 11-meters iconostasis are of special value.

The place for construction of the temple was chosen not incidentally: the church was constructed near Vyborgskaya Road conducting in the times of Peter towards possession of the Swedish king. Going to fields of battles of the Northern war and passing by this temple, armies improved their fighting spirit and felt pride for a victory of the Russian weapon.

1 km, 238 m
Holy Transfiguration Cathedral

Holy Transfiguration Cathedral

St. Petersburg, Preobrazhenskay pl., 1

This church has never ceased operating as a place of worship

An architectural monument construction by order of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna (architect M. G. Zemtsov) on the site of the quarters for the Preobrazhensky Life Guard Regiment to commemorate the Empress' accession to the throne, which was assisted by soldiers and officers of the regiment. The construction work, which lasted from1743 to 1754, was supervised by architect P. A. Trezzini, who built a five-dome Baroque cathedral. The five-tier iconostasis and the altar ciborium were made by Moscow engravers Kobylinsky according to the sketches of architect F. B. Rastrelli. The icons were painted by M. L. Kolokolnikov. In 1796, the church acquired the status of the Cathedral of All Guards, but in 1825 was severely burnt. In 1825-29, the Cathedral was restored by architect V. P. Stasov, who redesigned the cathedral in the Empire style. The facade of the main building is decorated with a four-columned portico of the Ionic order and stucco moulding reliefs. The building has an impressive illuminated dome drum crowned with a cupola, with four belfry domes on the corners. The four-tier iconostasis was made according to the drawings of Stasov, the icons were created by artists G. I. Ugryumov, A. I. Ivanov, V. K. Shebuev, A. E. Egorov and others; interior paintings were made by artists F. P. Brullo, F. I. Brandukov and S. A. Bessonov according to the sketches by Shebuev. In 1832-33, a fence made of captured Turkish cannons (a monument to the victory in the Russian-Turkish War of 1828-29) was constructed around the cathedral to the designs of Stasov. In 1886, a chapel was built within the precinct (architect I. B. Slupsky). In 1916 construction started on the burial vault for officers killed during World War I (architect S. O. Ovsyannikov; never completed). The Holy Transfiguration Cathedral treasured regimental relics and trophies, its walls bore bronze plaques with the names of Preobrazhensky Regiment officers, fallen in battle. From 1871, the cathedral oversaw a parish charitable society, supporting a hospice, an orphanage, a canteen, a school for soldiers' children and free apartments, and from 1912 - the Brotherhood of Sobriety and Virtue. On the holiday of Transfiguration of Our Saviour Jesus Christ a traditional fruit market was arranged by the cathedral. After October 1917, the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral remained an operational church. The Holy Transfiguration Cathedral gave its name to Preobrazhenskaya Square.

2 km, 948 m
Nevsky Prospect

Nevsky Prospect

St. Petersburg, Nevsky Prospect
2 km, 218 m
The Catherine Garden

The Catherine Garden

St. Petersburg, Ostrovskogo pl.

The Catherine garden is a part of the Ostrovskiy Square complex, on the territory of the Anichkov Palace manor

The Catherine Garden is an informal name of the park that is located in front of the Alexandrinskiy Theatre. It was established in 1820-es under the project of architect K. Rossi. The Catherine garden is a part of the Ostrovskiy Square complex, on the territory of the Anichkov Palace manor. The building of Alexandrinskiy Theatre is dominating in the square's view. The central place of the Garden is the monument to Catherine II that was erected in 1873. It gave its name to the park that is also known as "Catherine's garden" or "Montmartre": near the garden many St-Petersburg artists exhibit and sell their pictures.

2 km, 220 m
 Winter Palace

Winter Palace

St. Petersburg, Dvortsovaya pl., 2

The Winter Palace is a former imperial palace, at present is a part of the Main Museum Complex of the Hermitage

The elegant, monumental palace is a striking monument of the Baroque style in mid-18th-century Russian art. The palace is a brilliant example of the synthesis of architecture and decorative plastic art. All the facades are embellished by a two-tier colonnade. Forming a complex rhythm of verticals, the columns soar upwards, and this motion embraces the numerous statues and vases on the roof. The abundance of moulded decoration - fanciful cornices and window architraves, mascarons, cartouches, rocailles, and a variety of pediments - creates an extremely rich play of light and shade that invest the building's appearance with magnificence.

Developing upon one and the same architectural motif, Rastrelli gave each of the four facades of the palace a different structural rhythm. The southern facade, overlooking the square, has a formal grandeur. Here the architect pierced the building with three arches to create a grand entrance into the courtyard and accentuated it with the vertical elements of paired columns. The majestic northern facade, giving the impression of an endless colonnade, faces the broad expanse of the Neva. The western facade, across from the Admiralty, is reminiscent of the composition of a countryside palace with a small courtyard. The monumental eastern facade with its massive side blocks forming a large cour d'honneur is turned to Millionnaya Street, where the mansions of the nobility stood.

For 150 years the palace served as an imperial residence. In November 1917, after the October Revolution, it was declared a museum. The exhibition placed in the palace includes grand halls and chambers, collections of the antiquities of Eurasia and the East, as well as collections of European and Eastern paintings, sculptures, and decorative art works.

Ticket price — 600 roubles

1 km, 665 m