St. Petersburg 1
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The Hanse


St. Petersburg, Russia

A requirement for traveling in Russia is that you have either a visa or evidence that you are part of a recognized organized tour. We pre-booked from Canada with SPB tours who provided an excellent overview of the highlights of St. Petersburg and the Peterhof. St. Petersburg was founded by Czar Peter the Great in 1703.

St. Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia with a population of 5 million, is located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea.

St. Petersburg is interlaced with approximately 100 tributaries and canals, with 800 bridges crossing over them.

Our sightseeing tour included a boat trip through the canals' granite embankments and under scenic bridges, past many remarkable administrative, commercial and arts buildings.

Peter and Paul Fortress, the original citadel built by Peter the Great, has served as a fort, a garrison and  a jail for political prisoners. Its walls overlook popular sandy beaches.

St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, situated within the Fortress,  was built between 1712 and 1733  as the main cathedral of the new capital of the Russian Empire. 

The ornately decorated cathedral has been the burial place of almost all of the Russian emperors and empresses.


St. Isaac's Cathedral is the largest Orthodox cathedral in the world. Its dome dominates the skyline.

The interior features columns, pilasters and iconostases made of marble and semi-precious stones.

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood on the bank of the Griboedov Canal, was designed with a richly decorated facade and onion domes resembling Moscow's St. Basil's Cathedral.

The church is no longer a place of worship but is a museum with its walls and ceiling completely covered with intricate mosaics of Biblical scenes.


The State Hermitage Museum occupies a complex of six buildings  located along the Palace Embankment of the Neva River. The buildings are divided into display areas for specific collections such as Egyptian antiquities, prehistoric art, Dutch and Flemish art, and Impressionism. (A. Savin, Wikimedia Commons)

Catherine the Great acquired the original Hermitage art collection to add to the relics and displays of wealth that embellished rooms and chambers of the Winter Palace.


The ornate ceilings of the Hermitage display astonishing detail.


An early unfinished sculpture by Michelangelo is part of the collection.


Among the collection is this sculpture of a dog which looks remarkably like Vladimir Putin.

Rooms like the Italian Skylight Room display a fraction of the estimated three million pieces in the Hermitage collection.

The last two tsarinas of Russia created private gardens for the passage between the Palace Embankment and the vast Palace Square. 

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This site was last updated 03/27/22