The return to Antique Saint Petersburg

About route:

  • the longest canal route
  • Neva, Fontanka, Моyka river, Kryukov’s canal, Winter canal, Griboedov canal
  • lowest bridges
  • unique route

Unique features of the route: you are going to have a unique journey through Griboedov’s canal passing beneath the low arcs of its 12 famous bridges. There’s no passing for ordinary naval vehicles but our company has special cruise ships that will smoothly take you beneath even the lowest bridge of Saint Petersburg – Kazan’s bridge.

Fascinating naval journey through Griboedov’s canal

A leisurely journey through Griboedov’s canal can’t be compared to taking a walk by foot. The charm of the old 18-19 century city will accompany you, telling its secrets, taking you into the centuries passed.

This journey is similar to an animated book. You will see the buildings that Dostoevskiy inhabited with Sonya Marmeladova and an elderly pawnbroker. Windows overlooking the canal that were loved by Pushkin, Griboedov, Gogol, Tchaikovsky, Zoshenko and Akhmatova…

You will sail beneath the first stone bridge of Saint Petersburg that has remained unchanged since the 18th century. You will take pleasure in looking at the golden wings of Bank bridge lions… But let’s not rush ahead because you will hear a fascinating talk from our guide about all the sights of the route.

“The return to Antique Saint Petersburg” route

The route begins from Neva river. You’ll sail through the main naval arteries of the city: Neva river – Fontanka river – Kryukov’s canal – Griboyedov’s canal – Moyka river – Winter canal.

Along the Neva river banks you will the grand imperial Petersburg: Peter and Paul fortress, Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange and Rostral Columns, Senate square and Bronze Horseman, Admiralty building, Winter palace, Marble palace and the marvelous railing of Summer Garden.

Then the cruise ship will sail to Fontanka river with the buildings from Peter the Great’s era – Summer and Sheremetiev palaces, St. Michael’s Castle, Anichkov palace,  Beloselsky-Belozersky palace, famous equestrian sculptures of Peter Clodt on Anichkov bridge.

Further on the route – Kryukov’s canal and Griboedov’s canal where, as you remember, the entrance for numerous touristic ships is forbidden. You will see the famous seven bridges from a crossing between two canals. You will sail past St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral and Kazan Cathedral, The Church on the Spilled blood, famous Book house.

The cruise ship will sail through Moyka river past the memorial flat of Alexander Pushkin, and further – through Winter canal under the Hermitage bridges into the aquatorium of Neva river, where you will once again see the grandeur of Saint Petersburg.

 

  

  • temples and cathedrals 1 ,
  • circuses 1 ,
  • theaters 1 ,
  • palaces 3 ,
  • museums 5 ,
  • parks 1 ,
  • bridges 2
THE BOLSHOI SAINT-PETERSBURG STATE CIRCUS

THE BOLSHOI SAINT-PETERSBURG STATE CIRCUS

The big St. Petersburg State circus - the first stone stationary circus of Russia - opened on December 26, 1877. One of the most beautiful circuses of Europe the actors seeing on the European tour way of many circuses called this building. Gaetano Ciniselli (1815-1881) Initiator of his construction was the Italian citizen, the head of a big circus family, the circus performer (the equestrian and the trainer of horses), made to himself a big name in Europe, - Gaetano Ciniselli. The building of circus is the unique technical construction executed on the basis of a front line the then to engineering thought. For the first time in the world at construction of a dome record for those times flight (49,7м) supporting internal columns that created unusual spatial effect weren't applied. Essentially new mesh and ridge design of a dome as the huge overturned bowl covers a hall. This new technical solution became wide to be applied subsequently in construction of similar constructions. Registration of the auditorium was executed with luxury. In its furniture the crimson velvet, gold, mirrors were combined. Boxes and places in orchestra seats were designed for 1500 people, and the general filling of a hall, at the expense of a capacious gallery, reached 5000 viewers. The building of circus of Chinizelli, was among soon the main sights of the city and reached position of the paramount spectacular enterprise of the capital.

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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.

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Egyptian Bridge

Egyptian Bridge

St. Petersburg, Egipetsky most

Chain single-span Egyptian bridge was constructed in 1825-1826 under the project of V. von Tretter and V.A.Christianovitz

All elements of construction were decorated in popular that days Egyptian style and that fact gave the bridge it’s name. Academic P.Sokolov created four figures of sphinxes. Today sphinxes are the only original parts of the decoration remain.  The bridge stayed for more than 80 years, but on 20 January  1904 it collapsed during the passage of equestrian grenadier regiment. Three horses were killed in this accident.

There are different points of view on this collapse, but real causes are uncertain. Maybe the crash was determined by resonance effect or maybe engineers had made considerable mistakes. 

After that the wooden bridge was built instead of collapsed one, in 1950 the bridge was reconstructed in stone. The new bridge has nothing in common with the previous  ornate Egyptian Bridge, it was created as more useful, modest and light. Although the remained Egyptian motives and sculptures of sphinxes allow us to call it the descendent of Egyptian  bridge.

 

The popular city legend tells about Maria Ratner, living near the bridge. It was her, calling to the regiment, passing the bridge “May you fall!”. Her wish had fulfilled immediately. The reasons of her behavior are unknown – maybe she was sick hearing all the drums and pipes of soldiers every day, maybe she was seduced by grenadier in the youth.  Anyway she became the part of city’s folklore as “Maria of Egypt”

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FABERGÉ MUSEUM

FABERGÉ MUSEUM

21, Fontanka River Embankment, St. Petersburg

The world’s largest collection of Carl  Fabergé masterpieces in the Shuvalov Palace of St. Petersburg

The museum holds the world’s largest collection of Carl Fabergé masterpieces and an exceptional of Russian decorative arts, which today contain more than 4000 works and are considered to be one of the best collections in the word.

The most famous items in Fabergé Museum are the nine Easter Eggs created for Alexander III and Nicholas II, the last of the Russian Emperors. These exquisite pieces are not only examples of the highest artistic skill in jewellery, but they are also historic testimonials that give insight into the lives of Russia’s Imperial Family.

The collection includes all the directions in which the House of  Fabergé worked: Objets de Fantaisie, jewellery, silverware, interior and religion objects.

Henrik Wickström (1862-1923) Finnish workmaster at Faberge.

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 Winter Palace of Peter the Great, The State Hermitage Museum

Winter Palace of Peter the Great, The State Hermitage Museum

Saint Petersburg, Dvortsovaya naberezhnaya, 32

The Winter Palace of Peter the Great is a unique architectural monument of the first quarter of the 18th century

The Winter Palace of Peter the Great is a unique architectural monument of the first quarter of the 18th century. The official residence of Peter I was located on the territory now occupied by the Hermitage Theatre. In the part of the palace which has been preserved, there is a memorial exhibition dedicated to Peter the Great and his time. In his rooms - the study, the dining room and the turnery - decoration has been recreated using genuine items that belonged to the Emperor. So-called 'Wax effigy,' a posthumous sculptural portrait of Peter I, has been also put on display.

Ticket cost — 300 roubles (Winter Palace of Peter the Great only)

The Main Museum Complex, Winter Palace of Peter the Great and other branches — 600 roubles

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Kazan Cathedral

Kazan Cathedral

St. Petersburg, Kazanskaya square, 2

Cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of Kazan, probably the most venerated icon in Russia

Kazan Cathedral is one of the largest cathedrals in Saint-Petersburg. It was built in 1801-1811 by the architect Andrey Voronikhin by order of Emperor Paul I who wanted the cathedral to resemble St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. The cathedral is the monument to glory of Russian arms. The famous Russian Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov, who won the most important campaign of 1812, was buried inside the Kazan Cathedral. In 1932-1991 it housed the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism. The sacred thing of the cathedral is a copy of an icon of Our Lady of Kazan.

Kazan Cathedral is remarkable for its plan. Half-round colonnade decorates the side façade of the cathedral, not the main one. According to church canons the altar was to face eastwards, the main entrance - westwards.

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Lions Bridge

Lions Bridge

St. Petersburg, Lviny most

One of sign bridges of Petersburg

Lions Bridge is considered one of the most famous bridges in St. Petersburg. Suspended pedestrian bridge decorated with sculptures of lions, attracts many tourists.
 
The bridge was built over the Griboyedov Canal near Podiacheskaia Street. The bridge was designed by prominent engineers V. Tretter and V.Christianovitz who participated in the creation of another famous pedestrian Bank bridge. P.P.Sokolov, is person who was made sculptures of griffins for Bank bridge, created sculptural decoration of the Lion bridge. 
 
Inside of statues of lions are situated supporting mechanisms which hold the chain of a suspension bridge. V. Trettera developed an original pattern of the iron railings of the bridge, which subsequently used in the design of Ioannovsky bridge leading to the Peter and Paul fortress. Despite of the technical complexity of the project, the bridge was built in a short time. The festive opening ceremony took place in July 1826. For the first time citizens called the bridge "The Bridge on the Four Lions” and only later the bridge got its present name. Bridge width is 2.5 meters, and its length is about 27 meters.
 

In 1838, a small copy of the bridge (length 17.3 m, width 2 m) was built by Borsig company on the territory of the Berlin Tiergarten. It was built by German architect L. F. Hesse. Bridge "Levenbryukke" (Loewenbruecke Hesse) became the first suspension bridge in Berlin. Unlike the original bridge in St. Petersburg, superstructure and bridge railings of Lion bridge in Berlin are still wooden.

If standing between two lions you will reach them with your fingertips, your wish will come true. 

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Marble Palace

Marble Palace

St. Petersburg, Millionnaya ul., 5/1

The palace is a prime example of early classicism architecture

The palace was designed by architect Antonio Rinaldi, whose portrait can be found on a marble bas-relief installed on a sidewall of the main staircase at the palace’s entrance. The portrait’s existence resulted from the request by the original owner of the palace, Count Orlov, who wanted to express his admiration for the talent of the architect. In the middle of the XIX century, the palace was rebuilt according to the project of architect Alexander Bryullov.

The three-storey stone building stands out in the panoramic view of the Palace Embankment with its massiveness and magnificence. The strict beauty of its architectural style is emphasised by the diverse texture and colourfulness of natural stone used in the decoration of its façades and interiors. Pilasters and columns evenly alternate with windows, and thanks to the selection of different types of stone, the whole composition is filled with calm grace.

Different varieties of marble were used during the construction of the palace, mainly from domestic deposits discovered in the 1760s along the shores of Ladoga and Onega lakes. Pink Tivdian marble is used to decorate the clock tower, attic and pilasters, uniting the two upper floors of the building. The window frames are made of grey Ruskeala marble, and the decorative wreaths between the windows of the second and third floors are made of white Ural marble. The plinth part of the building, made of Vyborg pink rapakivi granite, has a beautiful rough texture thanks to special surface treatment.

In front of the eastern façade, there’s a monument to Alexander III by P. P. Trubetskoy, which was mounted on Vosstaniya Square in 1909-1937. To the east of the building there is a monument to A.V. Suvorov by M. I. Kozlovsky on Suvorovskaya Ploshchad'.

A new stage in the life of Marble Palace began in 1992, when it was transferred to the State Russian Museum. Since then, systematic examination and scientific restoration of the unique monument have been carried out.

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The Mikhailovsky Palace

The Mikhailovsky Palace

St. Petersburg, ul. Inzhenernaya, 4

Mikhailovsky Palace is a largest part of Russian Museum, it contains the major part of its exposition.

The history of the Palace begins when Grand Duke Mikhail was born. In 1798 Emperor Paul I ordered to save several hundreds thousands of roubles to built later a palace for his younger son. The palace should suit the grandeur and tastes of the Emperor's Family.

The palace was designed and built by Carlo Rossi (1775-1849) — a brilliant architect who created the largest Empire architectural ensembles which completed the building-up of the central part of St Petersburg in the 1810s-20s.

The city complex with the Mikhailovsky Palace in the centre is a pearl among creations of the great architect. The architect managed to reach the harmony between the palace building and the landscape and architecture surrounding. The fundamental reshaping of the vast territory, that was only partly built up by wooden greenhouses of the Third Summer Garden near the St Michael's Castle, allowed Rossi to lay the Mikhailovskaya street and to connect the square in front of the Mikhailovsky Palace with the central artery of the city — the Nevsky Prospect. Thus a spectacular view of the main palace façade with a well-shaped elegant eight-columned Corinthian portico was opened.

The sculptural, figurative, plastic, carved and other kind of décor were created by prominent sculptors Vasily Demut-Malinovsky and Stepan Pimenov, painters Pietro and Giovanni Batista Scotti, Antonio Vigi, Barnaba Medici, Fyodor Brullo, masters of plastic Nikita and Sergei Sayegin, carvers Vasily Zakharov and Vasily Bobkov, famous craftsmen Tarasovs (carvers, parquet masters, woodmen) and many others.

The facade of the main building and the western wing remained almost unchanged. Among the interiors only two may give a complete idea of the architect's gift and his original plan — the main vestibule of the palace and the White Room. These are masterpieces of the classic interior art.

The main vestibule includes a broad front staircase with two flights. It leads to the gallery on the next floor that is decorated by 18 great Corinthian columns.

The architect developed every detail of the interior in strict accordance with the general principle of the White Room — symmetry and harmony. The wooden walls have two doors (one of which is fake) flanking a mantelpiece. The magnificent gilt fretwork forms a striking element in the interior decor. The recesses above the doors are adorned with figures of muses on gilded theatrical masks.

Tsar Nicholas II later decided to acquire the palace for the state and use it to house the Emperor Alexander III Russian Museum. The price was 4 million silver roubles.

Between 1895 and 1898, Vasily Svinin transformed the Mikhailovsky Palace into a museum. A. Polovtsov, the author of one of the first guidebooks in the Russian Museum appreciated domesticity and assiduity of Vasily Svinin who helped to save money and to restore the palace and to preserve the integrity of its architectural decor.

The Benois Wing

The project of the Benois Wing was created in 1910 – 1912 by the architects Leontiy Benois and Sergey Ovsyannikov. The original building was designed for exhibitions of different artistic communities and unions. The foundation of the Benois Wing took place on June 27, 1914. The First World War interrupted  the process of building and Benois Wing was completed only in 1919. 

The Benois Wing was handed over to the State Russian Museum in the early 1930’s. Since that time the halls for the permanent and temporary exhibitions of Russian art of the late 19th – early 21st centuries are have been placed there.

In the post-war time Rossi’s buildings were connected with Benois Wing by a special link building.

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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.

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Stroganov palace

Stroganov palace

Saint Petersburg, Nevsky pr., 17

Late Baroque palace at the intersection of the Moika River and Nevsky Prospect

One of the best samples of the Russian baroque, the only residential building of the XVIII century on Nevsky Prospect, Stroganov Palace up to 1917 belonged to the most ancient family of industrialists Stroganovs. Constructed in the shortest terms upon the project of one of the most demanded architects of the period, F. B. Rastrelli, it stroked contemporaries with its luxury of decor, magnificence of balls of high society and lunches. In the first half of 19 century Stroganovs started to collect large scientific and art collections.

Later the palace became a place of representation of the large collections of books, the West European and Russian painting, numismatics and minerals, and for this purpose there were built Mineral and Physical studies, and also Library and Art gallery, where the count A.Stroganov, during the time he was the president of Academy of Arts were placed, gave students an opportunity (future illustrious Russian painters) to copy works from his collection.

Today the visit to Stroganov Palace may become a fascinating trip through the pages of its architectural history – from the baroque Rastrelli’s Big hall to the magnificent samples of classicism in Sadovnikov and Voronikhin's interiors. After the renovation and restoration of its architectural decor Stroganov Palace is again filled with works of painting, sculpture and applied arts from the storage of the Russian Museum.

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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.

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Yusupov palace

Yusupov palace

Saint-Petersburg, ul. Dekabristov, 21, lit. A

​Princely family residence, Museum of the Nobility Lifestyle, historical and cultural Palace Ensemble of federal significance and European fame

Today, this grandeur building (one of the most prominent architectural gems of the Russian "Northern capital") hosts government and diplomatic meetings, international conferences and symposia. The names of many Russian public officials, leaders of St. Petersburg and heads of foreign states are recorded in the Yusupov Palace Guest Book.

On multiple occasions, the president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has visited the palace. Here, the city’s governors received Russian and foreign delegations of the highest rank and held talks on issues related to the development of St. Petersburg and strengthening of its international ties.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain with her husband, Duke of Edinburgh and Crown Prince Charles, Queen Sophia of Norway, King of Greece Constantine II with his wife Queen Anne-Marie, Queen Silvia of Sweden, King Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin of Malaysia and Queen Sirikit of Thailand, all visited Yusupov Palace. Various illustrious representatives of domestic and foreign science, culture, art, banking, education, and journalism, including as participants of significant international conferences, visited Yusupov Palace.

Among them were the President of the Club of Rome Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, Director of the Institute of General History of the Russian Academy of Sciences Academician A.O. Chubaryan, Nobel Prize winner Academician J.I. Alferov, Honorary Vice-President of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences Academician S.P. Kapitsa, President of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank (Italy) Professor Giovanni Badzoli, President of the General Conference of UNESCO Musa Bin Jaafar Bin Hassan, writer C.T. Aitmatov, artistic director of the Taganka Theater Yu.P. Lyubimov, film director A.S. Konchalovsky, poet B.A. Akhmadulina, artist B.A. Messerer, chief editor of the Moscow News newspaper V.T. Tretyakov.

Over the years, the palace has had such world-famous celebrity guests as a movie star Lisa Minelli, a super-model Naomi Campbell, singers Sting and Cliff Richards, The Rolling Stones rock band and its lead vocalist Mick Jagger.

The reputation as one of the most interesting, alluring and popular tourist attractions of St. Petersburg draws in tens of thousands of visitors from different parts of Russia and the world to Yusupov Palace every year.

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National Pushkin Museum

National Pushkin Museum

St. Petersburg, Moika river Embankment, 12

Memorial apartment is the last lodging of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin

The Pushkin Apartment Museum, located in one of the oldest stone mansions in St. Petersburg at River Moika, 12, which in XIX century belonged to several generations of the Dukes Volkonky. It is the Memorial Museum of the poet, telling about the last period of his life and creativity. That was Alexander Pushkin’s last apartment. There he died on January 29 (old style), 1837 after he had been mortally wounded at the duel.

The central part of exposition represents Pushkin's study. The Captain's Daughter novel and many other things were written here. A clock in Gothic style is placed on the wall. According to contemporaries, it stopped on February, 10 at 2 P.M., when Pushkin’s heart ceased beating.

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