Northern Venice

A classical boat tour along the rivers and canals of St. Petersburg

The Northern Venice tour is a classical water excursion along St. Petersburg. Guests go on a journey from the pier of the Neva River, then follow along Fontanka River, Kryukov Canal, Moika River and then return through the Winter Groove to the great spaces of the Neva.

During the tour the guide will tell a story of the sights seen from the ship's board. A comfortable vessel will pass by Winter and Marble Palaces, following Peter and Paul Fortress and Summer Garden. The next points of the trip will be at Summer Palace of Peter the Great, as well as Sheremetyevsky, Stroganov and Anichkov palaces. Also the travelers will see St. Isaac's and St. Nicholas cathedrals in their majestic beauty.

  • temples and cathedrals 2 ,
  • points of interest 1 ,
  • squares 1 ,
  • theaters 2 ,
  • palaces 3 ,
  • museums 3 ,
  • parks 1 ,
  • berths 1 ,
  • bridges 1
16 km, 853 m
Spit of Vasilievsky Island

Spit of Vasilievsky Island

Saint Petersburg, Birzhevaya ploshchad

Architectural complex “Spit of Vasilyevsky Island” is one of the most beautiful places in St. Petersburg

Rostral Columns (the height of each one reaches 32 meters) and the Exchange building constitute the center of architectural composition. 

The Spit represents a small cape in the southeastern part of Vasilievsky Island, washed by the Big and Little Neva.

A huge water space allows  to see the whole ensemble of the Spit in all it's splendor. For two decades, the Twelve Collegia (1722 - 1742), the Kunstkammer (1718 - 1734), the Novobirzhevoy Gostiny Dvor (1722 - 1735) and the palace of the Tsaritsa Praskovia Fedorovna (the wife of Peter the Great's brother Ivan) and other structures appeared on the Spit of Vasilievsky Island.
 

The seaport firmly established itself on the spit: dozens of ships and boats transported people and cargo in the water area. In 1781 at the Spit of Vasilievsky Island began the construction of the Exchange building under the leadership of J. Quarenghi. However, with its main facade, it faced the Winter Palace, and thus did not fit fully into the ensemble of the square. Therefore, four years later the building was dismantled. The project of the new Exchange building was developed by the French architect J.F. Tom de Tomon. The building, made by the type of temples of Ancient Greece, was built in 1804 -1816. The attic of the facade is decorated with the sculptural group "Neptune with two rivers", and on the opposite side of the Stock Exchange building – the sculptural group "Navigation with Mercury and two rivers". Since 1940, the Central Naval Museum is located here – one of the oldest in St. Petersburg.
 
In 1826 - 1832, according to the project of the architect I.F. Lukini on both sides of the Stock Exchange building were built southern and northern warehouses – closed storage facilities. Now the Zoological Museum is located in the southern warehouse. Behind the northern exchange warehouse, symmetricallly to the building of the Kunstkammer (in relation to the ensemble of spit) there is a building of the Customs, built also by the architect IF. Lukini in the classical style. Since 1927 the Institute of Russian Literature – Pushkin House is located here. The ensemble of spit also includes the main building of the Academy of Sciences, which is located between the Kunstkammer and the building of the Twelve Colleges.


 

590 m
2
Summer Garden

Summer Garden

Saint Petersburg, nab. Kutuzova, 2

The Summer Garden is one of the places where one can feel the atmosphere of Peter's times

The garden with a collection of sculptures and the Summer Palace that was the first Emperor's residence constitute a single museum complex. 

The Summer Garden is a pearl in the garden necklace of Petersburg. Peter I really liked this garden. It was laid out in 1704. Time has changed the garden a lot. However, its original planning still remains. 

Peter I wanted the garden of his residence to be as beautiful as the famous gardens of European monarchs. To decorate the Summer Garden he commissioned marble busts and statues from Italy. This purchase laid the foundation of the collection of sculpture of European level.

The fence on the Neva side of the Summer Garden is an architectural masterpiece of universal fame. The impressive monumentality merges miraculously with lightness, simplicity, and grace.

2 km, 83 m
3
Saint Michael's (Engineer's) Castle

Saint Michael's (Engineer's) Castle

St. Petersburg, ul. Sadovaya, 2

The largest architectural monument that closed the architectural history of the XVIII century

The Mikhailovsky Castle is the only Russian palace constructed in style of romantic classicism. It is the unique building, which involves a lot of stories and legends, often rather mystical. It amalgamates features of a medieval knight's castle and a European palace of XVIII century. Constructed for Paul I (1797 – 1801) upon the project of architects V. Bazhenov and V. Brenna, the Castle became the place of its owner’s mysterious death. That is why during the long time here, in the very heart of the imperial St. Petersburg, two windows of the emperor’s bedroom where his life came to a tragic end were thoroughly curtained during traditional festive illuminations of the city.

At the beginning of the XIX century the Castle, "a deserted monument of the tyrant, a palace consigned to oblivion", accepted in its walls  military men and cultural figures, and later it became the residence of the Engineering school, and magnificent interiors of the former imperial palace were reconstructed and adapted for its needs. During a long time the Castle was named Inzhenernyi, and this name was connected to the Engineering school.  Throughout the Soviet period the Castle was occupied by various military organizations.

And now the restored rooms of the Castle you can visit an interactive exposition "The Romanov Saga" and an open storage of XIX - the beginning of the XXI centuries sculpture, as well as the original marble sculpture of the Summer garden that is also stored here, and equally it is a place where temporary exhibitions are held.

614 m
4
Sheremetev Palace

Sheremetev Palace

St.Petersburg, Reka Fontanka emb., 34

The Sheremetev Palace was once the centre of one of the largest aristocratic estates in St. Petersburg

The Sheremetev Palace boasted not only extensive lands, but also its own hospital and theatre, where the Sheremetev's famous serf theatrical troupe and orchestra performed. The palace is also known as 'the Fountain House' for the opulent arrangement of fountains that once decorated its gardens.

The palace building dates to the 1740s, and was designed by Savva Chevakinsky and Fyodor Argunov, the latter from one of the Sheremetev's serf families. The elegant baroque facades, painted like much of central St. Petersburg in yellow and white, are set back from the Fontanka Embankment behind a magnificent wrought iron fence added by Geronimo Corsini in 1838. The Sheremetev Palace was home to several generations of the illustrious family, and each extended and adapted the buildings with the help of the leading architects of the day.

The Fountain House became one of the main cultural centres of St. Petersburg. The theatrical passion of Counts Petr Borisovich and Nikolai Petrovich Sheremetev created one of the finest theatres in 18th century Russia, and the latter went on to marry one of the stars of his opera, the leading soprano Praskovia Zhemchugova, in what became one of the most celebrated (and controversial) romances of the day. The palace was also the site of concerts and literary soirees with the participation of Vasily Zhukovsky and Alexander Turgenev among others.

This history is reflected in the current use of the palace as part of the State Museum of Theatre and Musical Art, which has restored the facades of the building and uses it to house a collection of historical musical instruments. The southern wing of the palace also houses the Anna Akhmatova Memorial Museum, in the apartment where the great 20th century poet lived from the mid-1920s until 1952. The expression 'Fountain House' was first used in one of her poems.

697 m
5
Anichkov Bridge

Anichkov Bridge

Saint Petersburg, Anichkov most

The Anichkov Bridge is the first and most famous bridge across the Fontanka River in Saint Petersburg

The current bridge, built in 1841-42 and reconstructed in 1906-08, combines a simple form with some spectacular decorations. As well as its four famous horse sculptures (1849–50), the bridge has some of the most celebrated ornate iron railings in Saint Petersburg. The structure is mentioned in the works of Pushkin, Gogol, and Dostoevsky.

During the siege of Leningrad bridge was damaged by artillery attack. Were damaged granite parapets and railing sections. Crossing became blockade monument: on granite pedestal horses  intentionally decided not to restore the trail from German artillery shell fragments.

200 m
6
Tovstonogov Bolshoy Drama Theatre

Tovstonogov Bolshoy Drama Theatre

St. Petersburg, Fontanka river embankment, 65

One of the first theatres established after the October Socialist Revolution

Theater was founded in 1919. During the first years A. Blok, M. Gorky, A. Benois and M. Dobuzhinsky, K. Petrov-Vodkin, Yu. Annenkov, V. Shchuko worked there. In early 1956 the theater was  headed by Georgy Tovstonogov.  His performances were outstanding events in theatrical life not only for Leningrad, but for all country. It was named after its director Tovstonogov in 1992.

Since 2005 the Small stage of the theatre has been located in the Kamenoostrovsky Theater - a unique monument of wooden archetictonic of the period of classicism. The wooden building of the theater was built for guest perfomances of the imperial theaters. The theater was built as a temporary structure for one season. However, having gone through numerous renovations, the building still functions.

980 m
7
The Derzhavin museum

The Derzhavin museum

St. Petersburg, Fontanka river embankment, 118

The museum is a city estate of the XVIII century recreated at River Fontanka Embankment

For the amount of information this Museum occupies a special niche in the cultural life of contemporary St. Petersburg. In 2003 theMemorial Museum of G.Derzhavin and Russian Letters of His Time was opened in the central block of the house to mark the 300 anniversary of Petersburg. Since the beginning of 1790-ies and up to Derzhavin’s death (1816) of the poet’s house remained one of the cultural centers of St. Petersburg, the locus of spiritual life of the capital.

The literary exhibition «Owners of Russian Lyre. From Derzhavin to Pushkin» in the eastern wing of the house acquaints visitors with the history of Russian literature of the eighteenth century and different literary movements of that time.  On display are paintings, engravings, iconography, medals, applied art, and portraits of the most significant figures in literature, history and culture of the late eighteenth – early nineteenth century, copies of manuscripts of that time on archival paper, books, magazines, and other relics. 

Other permanent exhibitions working in the Museum are: «In the White Gloss of Porcelain» (porcelain of the late eighteenth - twentieth centuries), «Pushkin in the Memory of Generations» (works of the artists of the twentieth century), and «The National Pushkin Museum. Pages of History». They represent more than 100 years history of the National Pushkin Museum and its richest collections, demonstrating items not included into the main memorial expositions. The Derzhavin Estate Museum also has several halls for temporary exhibitions, literary and musical evenings, scholarly meetings and concert programs. In July the Museum holds the annual holiday of Russian poetry of the eighteenth century.

1 km, 537 m
8
The Museum of the History of the State-Papers of the St.Petersburg Paper-Mill "GOZNAK"

The Museum of the History of the State-Papers of the St.Petersburg Paper-Mill "GOZNAK"

The museum tells about the history of the Paper-Mill and displays the collection of Russian State-Papers.

558 m
9
St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral

St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral

St. Petersburg, Nikolskaya Square, 1/3

Outstanding monument of Russian architecture of the middle of the XVIII century, 

St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral of the Epiphany in St. Petersburg is an outstanding monument of Russian architecture of the middle of the XVIII century, which history is inextricably linked with the history and traditions of the Russian fleet. The cathedral has preserved its historic image and interiors for over 200 years. St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral was built as a "marine regimental church" in 1753-1762 on the sea regimental yard on the site of a wooden church. It was designed by the architect S. Chevakinsky in the style of Elizabethan Baroque. The cathedral can accomodate about 5000 people at a time. A detached four-tier bell tower, completed with a high spire was built in 1755-1758.

St. Nicholas Cathedral is one of the few churches in St. Petersburg that has never been closed, and from 1941 to 1999 it was a cathedral church.

1 km, 320 m
10
Mariinsky Theatre

Mariinsky Theatre

St. Petersburg, Тeatralnaya ploschad', 1

One of the biggest and most famous opera and ballet theatres in Russia and all over the world

Mariinsky theatre of opera and ballet was opened in 1860, it became the preeminent music theatre of late 19th century Russia, where many of the stage masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov received their premieres. When, in 1859, the Circus Theatre was destroyed by fire, a new theatre was built on the same site, once again by Alberto Cavos. It was named the Mariinsky in honour of Empress Maria Alexandrovna, wife of Alexander II. The first theatre season in the new building opened on 2 October 1860 with A  Life for the Tsar by Glinka under the baton of the Russian Opera Company’s conductor Konstantin Lyadov, father of the renowned composer Anatoly Lyadov. The name of Empress Maria Alexandrovna was immortalized not only in the name of the theatre but also in its emblem - the stage curtain by A. Golovin. This main theater attribute was desined as the train of the Empress's dress.

447 m
11
Yusupov palace

Yusupov palace

The family residence of the princes, the Museum of Noble Life, the Regional Teacher's House, the Saint Petersburg Palace of Culture for Educators, a world-famous historical and cultural palace complex

The Yusupov Palace, one of the most magnificent ceremonial buildings of the "Northern Capital", is the site of administrative and diplomatic meetings, international conferences and symposia. The palace's book of honorary guests contains the names of Russian government officials, heads of foreign states, and international stars.

The palace has been visited more than once by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The governors of the city have held talks here on issues related to the development of Saint Petersburg and strengthening its international ties.
The Yusupov Palace was visited by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh and Charles, Prince of Wales, King Constantine II of Greece and his wife Queen Anne-Marie, the King of Malaysia Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin, Queen Sophia of Norway, Queen Sirikit of Thailand, and Queen Silvia of Sweden.

The palace has also hosted prominent Russian and foreign scientists, representatives of culture and art, members of the banking community, educators and journalists as participants of important international conferences. Among them – the president of the Club of Rome and Prince of Jordan El Hassan bin Talal, the director of the Institute of World History at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Alexander Oganovich Chubarian, Nobel laureate Zhores Ivanovich Alferov, Honrary Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS) Sergei Kapitsa, Chairman of the supervisory board of Italian bank "Intesa Sanpaolo" Professor Giovanni Bazoli, President of the General Conference of UNESCO Moussa bin Jaafar bin Hassan, writer Chingiz Aitmatov, artistic director of the Taganka Theater Yury Lyubimov, film director Andrei Konchalovsky, poet Bella Ahmadulina, artist Boris Messerer, editor in chief of the newspaper "Moscow News" Vitaly Tretyakov.

Palace guests over the years have included international celebrities, including the singers Sting and Cliff Richard, the rock band "The Rolling Stones" and its lead singer Mick Jagger, movie star Liza Minnelli, and supermodel Naomi Campbell.
Its reputation as one of the most interesting and popular tourist destinations in Saint Petersburg attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year from all corners of Russia and the world.

687 m
12
Saint Isaac's Cathedral

Saint Isaac's Cathedral

Saint Petersburg, Isaakiyevskaya ploshchad, 4

The largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the city

Saint Isaac's Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor in Saint Petersburg is the largest orthodox chuch and the fourth largest cathedral in the world. It is dedicated to Saint Isaac of Dalmatia, a patron saint of Peter the Great, who had been born on the feast day of that saint.

The church on St Isaac's Square was ordered by Tsar Alexander I, to replace an earlier Rinaldiesque structure, and was the fourth consecutive church standing at this place.

The neoclassical exterior expresses the traditional Russian-Byzantine formula of a Greek-cross ground plan with a large central dome and four subsidiary domes. It is similar to Andrea Palladio's Villa La Rotonda, with a full dome on a high drum substituted for the Villa's low central saucer dome. The design of the cathedral in general and the dome in particular later influenced the design of the Lutheran Cathedral in Helsinki.

The exterior is faced with gray and pink stone, and features a total of 112 red granite columns with Corinthian capitals, each hewn and erected as a single block: 48 at ground level, 24 on the rotunda of the uppermost dome, 8 on each of four side domes, and 2 framing each of four windows. The rotunda is encircled by a walkway accessible to tourists. 24 statues stand on the roof, and another 24 on top of the rotunda.

The cathedral's main dome rises 101.5 metres (333 ft) and is plated with pure gold. The dome is decorated with twelve statues of angels by Josef Hermann. These angels were likely the first large sculptures produced by the then novel process of electrotyping, which was an alternative to traditional bronze casting of sculptures. Montferrand's design of the dome is based on a supporting cast iron structure. It was the third historical instance of cast iron cupola after the Leaning Tower of Nevyansk (1732) and Mainz Cathedral (1826).

748 m
13
Dvortsovaya ploshchad (Palace Square)

Dvortsovaya ploshchad (Palace Square)

Saint Petersburg, Dvortsovaya ploshchad

One of the most beautiful and harmonious ensembles of architecture in the world, Palace Square remains the main public space of St. Petersburg throughout nearly three centuries

Palace Square was laid out in 1819-1829 by Carlo Rossi, a neoclassicist architect of Italian descent who designed a large number of streets and squares in St. Petersburg. The picturesque Baroque Winter Palace (built in 1754-62) stands on the northern side of the square. Across the square, on the southern side, there is a classical yellow-and-white General Staff building (built in 1819-29 by Carlo Rossi). This building encircles the Southern side of the square and through its central arch, designed as a Triumphal Arch of the Classical World, you can reach Nevsky Prospect. On the eastn side the building of the former Royal Guards' General Staff tastefully closes the panorama of Palace Square, while on the West the square borders with the Admiralty and the Admiralty Garden.

Many significant events took place here, including the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1905 and the October Revolution in 1917.

Today the enormous square is more peaceful. Locals often gather here and tourists gaze at the architectural delights or stand in line to get to the Hermitage. Political rallies and official ceremonies still take place here, although today you're more likely to see a concert or festival here.

2 km, 155 m
14
The State Hermitage Museum

The State Hermitage Museum

Saint Petersburg, Dvortsovaya ploshchad, 2

The collection of the State Hermitage includes more than three million works of art and artefacts of the world culture

The State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest artistic and cultural and historical museums in Russia and one of the largest in the world.The museum starts its history from collections of works of art which were gained by Russian empress Catherine II in private capacity.

The main expositions of the State Hermitage are placed in the Main Museum Complex, which is situated in the historical centre of Saint Petersburg. It is represented by  the Winter Palace, which is a former emperor's residence, Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage and New Hermitage, and also Hermitage Theatre.

In the Main Museum Complex of the State Hermitage are presented the monuments of culture and arts of the ancient world, Europe, Russia, the East, archaeological and numismatic collections. In the  Hermitage collection there are two paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and sculpture by Michelangelo, which can be found nowhere else in Russia, as well as the  largest collection of Rembrandt's paintings outside Netherlands.

The expositions of the State Hermitage Museum are also located in the General Staff, the Winter Palace of Peter I, Menshikov Palace, the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory, Staraya Derevnya Restoration and Storage Centre.

Ticket price — 600 roubles

300  roubles – entry ticket to one of the Hermitage branches (Winter Palace of Peter the Great, Menshikov Palace, the Museum of the Imperial Porcelain Factory, Staraya Derevnya Restoration and Storage Centre)

 

386 m
15

Useful information

The route is provided by the Driver shipping company. Official website: www.driver-river.ru