St. Petersburg's Top 20
Collected by Marc Perrotta, AFAR Contributor
Kazan Square, 2, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000
The colonnade of Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral on Nevsky Prospect may look familiar. Constructed between 1801 and 1811, it was inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, but the arms of this colonnade encircle a small garden and fountain. The...
Palace Square, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 198324
Vast Palace Square has long been the heart of both St. Petersburg and the entire Russian empire. The Winter Palace was once the home of the country’s czars and today houses the Hermitage Museum. Facing it is the crescent of the General Staff...
embankment river Moyka, 94, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000
On the banks of the Moika River, the Yusupov Palace is one of two pre–Revolutionary palaces owned by the same immensely wealthy and important family. The Yusupov Palace is perhaps most famous as the site of the murder of the "mad monk" Rasputin,...
St Petersburg, Russia, 198096
Some of St. Petersburg’s most stunning sights are deep underground. The city’s metro system dates from the 1950s, and with its ornate decoration, crystal chandeliers and extravagant use of marble, it was intended as a showpiece for the Soviets....
Razvodnaya Ulitsa, 2, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia
The Peterhof palace and gardens has been described as Russia’s Versailles. It’s a fitting nickname as the French palace inspired Peter the Great’s summer residence, an hour outside St. Petersburg. The entire complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,...
St Petersburg, Russia, 197046
This is where St. Petersburg began. After Peter the Great conquered the region from Sweden, his first priority was to build a fortress. The fortress was never used to defend the city, though it did serve as an infamous prison under the czars....
Griboyedov channel embankment, 2Б, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191186
In a city famous for its neoclassical buildings in pale yellows and whites, the Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood is a decidedly Russian church, topped with brightly painted and gilded onion domes. The church was constructed from 1883 to...
Vosstaniya Square, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia
Vosstaniya Square, one of St. Petersburg’s main squares and transport hubs, lies on Nevsky Prospect. Its name translates as “uprising,” as it was the site of many demonstrations of the Russian Revolution in 1917. Most of the buildings surrounding...
Nevsky avenue, 53, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191025
The grand boulevard Nevksy Prospekt is St. Petersburg’s main thoroughfare, intended by Peter the Great to be the beginning of a road linking the city to Moscow and Novgorod. It is still St. Petersburg’s principal shopping and entertainment...
St Isaac's Square, 4, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000
St. Petersburg’s fascinating and conflicted history is evident in St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the fourth-largest cathedral in the world. Its design in 1818 by a French architect proved controversial, with a formal neoclassical plan and no onion domes...
Fontanka river embankment, 21, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191023
Jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé’s most famous works were exquisite Easter eggs, enameled and decorated with pearls and gems. The Russian czars and St. Petersburg’s elite were fond of giving them as gifts. For decades after the Revolution, however,...
Theatre Square, 1, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000
The Mariinsky Theatre has remained the cultural heart of the city for more than two centuries, surviving fire, war and a revolution. Theatre Square has been home to St. Petersburg’s leading theaters since 1783, though the Mariinsky as it stands...
Garden St, 7, Pushkin, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 196601
Pushkin, a charming suburb of St. Petersburg, is home to the Tsarskoe Selo estate where two of the czars’ most famous and fabulous palaces can be found. The Catherine Palace is named after Peter the Great’s wife (not his more famous...
embankment river Moyka, 43, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191186
The majestic General Staff Building, completed in the 1820s, is one of St. Petersburg’s grandest architectural monuments. A triumphal arch connects two buildings that once housed various ministries. The crescent formed by the buildings faces...
Palace Embankment, 32, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000
Built in the mid-18th century by Peter the Great's daughter Empress Elizabeth, the Winter Palace was the principal residence of Russia's czars. It has also been the home of the Hermitage collection since 1764. From an initial purchase by Catherine...
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