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St Petersburg Russia

Hermitage - one of the largest museums in the world - is placed in  St Petersburg. Most of its collection is stationed in the building of the Winter Palace. Over 3 million exhibits are collected in the Hermitage, representing culture and art of various epochs and peoples. Almost 300 halls of the museum are shared by the Departments of the Primitive Culture, Classical Antiquity, Oriental Art, Numismatics, Jewelry and etc. Among the art treasures of the museum, there is the collection of the West-European art numbering that counts about 600 thousand objects of art exhibits and is considered , one of the best in the world. T, stands out: there are also 120 halls accommodating that accommodate the works by Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Velazquez, Rubens, Rembrandt, Renoir, Matisse, Van Gogh, Picasso and other well-known masters.

Winter Palace (in St Petersburg) was the main residence of Russian Emperors. This majestic edifice was built in 17541762 to the design of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, in the style of Baroque. The principal cornice of the building is almost two kilometers long, there are over 1,000 halls in the palace, about 2,000 windows. The splendid interiors of the palace decorated with stucco molding, gilding and carving were repeatedly reconstructed, especially after the fire of 1837. The inner decoration of the palace was seriously damaged by the vandalism of revolutionaries and bluejackets in October 1917. In 1922, the edifice was handed over to the Hermitage museum.

Admiralty was the first Russian shipyard on the Baltic Sea. It was founded in St Petersburg in 1704. In the first quarter of the XIX century it was rebuilt in the style of Empire to the design of the Russian architect Andreyan Zakharov. The edifice, with the three streets radiating from it, became the architectural center of the city development on the left bank of the Neva. The gilded spire of the Admiralty is crowned by the ship-weathercock that has become one of the symbols of Petersburg Russia.

Bronze Horseman is a monument to Peter I in Saint Petersburg (sculptor Etienne-Maurice Falconet). The monument was unveiled on August 7, 1782, to the centenary of Tsar Peter's accession to the throne. The bronze statue impersonates a bronze horseman on the rearing stallion having soared upon the top of a cliff.

Mariinsky Theater of Opera and Ballet in St. Petersburg is one of the oldest musical theaters in Russia. It descends from the Kamenny (Stony), or Bolshoy (Grand) Theater opened in 1783, and was named Mariinsky in 1860 in honor of the Empress Maria Aleksandrovna. In 1935-1992, the theater was called after one of the Bolshevik leaders Sergey Kirov (that is why the theater is often called Kirovsky rather than Mariinsky in the West). The stage of Mariinka has hosted premieres of many shows that later became worlds classics. The most famous among them are Tchaikovskys ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and Nutcracker, and Musorgskys operas Boris Godunov and Khovanschina.

St. Petersburg St. Isaac's Cathedral is one of the best cathedrals in Europe. It was built in 1818-1858 in the style of Late Classicism to the design of the architect Auguste Montferrand St Petersburg Russia. In terms of size, this grandiose edifice only yields to the St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome and St. Paul's cathedral in London. Its heavy, magnificent and gorgeous beauty has always impressed travelers. Malachite, blue spar, marble of various colors and 400 kilos of gold were used for its decoration.

Tsarskoye Selo (Royal Village) is a town in the environs of Saint Petersburg that used to be the main summer residence of Russian Emperors in the XVIII-XIX centuries. It is famous for its palace-and-park ensemble, as well as for its Lyceum where in the 1810s the greatest Russian poet Alexander Pushkin studied. In Tsarskoye Selo, St. Petersburg, one of the best architectural samples of the Russian Baroque style is situated the Great (Catherine) Palace (1756, architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli). Interesting is the destiny of the Amber room of the Catherine Palace. The walls of this room are decorated with panels of genuine amber. During the World War II, the occupants took away these decorations and they vanished without any trace. Now the Amber room has been restored to its original condition. Russian Museum has the largest collection of the Russian fine art. It was opened in St. Petersburg in 1898. The Russian Museum is located in 4 magnificent palaces. Most of the exposition is displayed in Mikhailovsky Castle (1825, architect Carlo Rossi). There are about 400 thousand exhibits in the Russian Museums collections. All schools and genres of the Russian fine art from the X till the XX century are exhibited. In the late 80s of the XX century, the Department of the Newest Trends was established in Russia, representing new, non-conventional kinds of art and new technologies: installation and assemblage, video-art, photo and photo-based art, and many other things.

Peterhof is a small town in the vicinity of St. Petersburg. The palace-and-park ensemble of Peterhof was being built since 1714 to the second half of XVIII century. The architects Leblon, Braunsteit, Miketti, Rastrelli and others took part in its development. Peterhof is frequently called " Russian Versailles " not only in Russia, though Peterhof considerably surpasses Versailles in the quantity, variety and beauty of its fountains. The Great Cascade a unique architectural ensemble of 64 fountains and about 250 sculptures is creation of outstanding practically unreal beauty.

Peter-and-Paul Fortress is a symbol of St. Petersburg and the first construction in the city. The date of the fortress foundation May 16, 1703 is considered St. Petersburg's birthday. The first walls and bastions were made of earth and wood. In 1706, the construction of a brick fortress was started to the design of the architect Domenico Tresini, and was finished only by 1740 St Petersburg Russia. In the center of its inner court, the Peter-and-Paul Cathedral rises, with its bell-tower topped by a gilded steeple with a weathervane in the shape of a flying angel. The total height of the bell-tower is 122.5 m, it is the highest architectural construction in the city Petersburg. The Cathedrals magnificent iconostasis, made of gilded carved wood as a triumphal arch, was executed in 1722-1726 in traditions of the Moscow baroque. In this cathedral, almost all Russian Tsars of the Romanovs dynasty since Peter I are buried. Now at the territory of the fortress the Museum of St Petersburg History is located.

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