--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
Architect Domeniko Trezini designed a clear grid of local city blocks in the end of 18th century. The streets crossing each other under right angles are ideally fit for housing military units. Features of a military settlement are recognized in this area even today. Here, the barracks of different regiments and battalions are well remained, and, a lot of fired shells, horseshoes and lost buttons are buried under the asphalt.
Can you see on the odd-numbered side of Kirochnaya street a strict four-storey building made in rustication? Those are former barracks of the Petersburg Gendarme Department built in the mid of 19th century by architect Rudolph Bernhard.
The Gendarme building was a favorite child of the Count Alexander Benkendorf, as near as the first Russian special secret service. Gendarmes were dealing with surveillance over the press and perusal of mail. They watched the order at railroads. Political and criminal investigation, criminal archives – gendarmes were in charge of all these matters.
The rights of gendarmes especially expanded by the beginning of the C20th. Their priority became house-checks and arrests. All revolutionary and terrorist organizations were under their vigilant supervision, they paid special attention to criminal gangs. Secret agents of the political police appeared in the military units. Even a janitor used to report on suspects around the corner. However, the secret war with revolutionaries, as known, ended not in favor of gendarmes.
During the centuries of Empire St. Petersburg was a grand city with ceremonial buildings, rich and pompous palaces. Even today St. Petersburg can boast a huge number of palaces, including some of the grandest residences not just in Russia, but in the whole of Europe.
Our audio guide will take you to the most famous palaces and Grand residences of St. Petersburg. We can start with the Tauride Palace and Garden, one of the largest and most historic complexes in Russia. This palace was designed for Grigory Potemkin in a rigorous Palladian style. In the 19th century, the palace was transformed into a residence for minor royalty. It had been used to host balls and exhibitions until 1906, when it was given as a seat of the first Russian parliament, the Imperial State Duma.
You will also hear the history of the Winter Palace, the most prominent palace in Russia. The Winter Palace not only physically dominates Palace Square and the south embankment of the Neva River, but also plays a central political, symbolic, and cultural role in the three-century history of the city. It was declared part of the State Hermitage Museum on 17 October 1917. Now the Winter Palace, the Hermitage and all historical landmarks of St. Petersburg are enlisted by the UNESCO.
Another famous building is Anichkov Palace located next to Anichkov Bridge across the Fontanka River. It’s one of the oldest buildings on Nevsky Prospect commissioned by Empress Elizabeth in 1741. When the palace was completed she presented it to Aleksey Razumovsky, her favourite and unofficial spouse.
Mariinsky Palace, the last neoclassical imperial palace to be constructed in Saint Petersburg, was built between 1839 and 1844 by the court architect Andrei Stackensneider. The palace stands on the south side of St Isaac's Square, just across the 99-metre-wide Blue Bridge from Saint Isaac's Cathedral. The palace was conceived by Emperor Nicholas I as a wedding present to his daughter Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna.
During the tour you will also see the houses and mansions of famous court and military people: The House of Saltykov, The Marble Palace, The Vladimir Palace, The Mikhailovsky Castle, The Novo-Mikhailovsky Palace, The House of Gagarin, etc. Each building has its own history sometimes dramatic.
Take a walk in the Summer Garden. It was founded in 1704 by order of Peter the Great, who was personally involved in planning it, and is laid out according to strict geometrical principles. The Summer Garden is home to marble statues acquired from Europe especially for Russia's new capital, and also to rare flowers and plants, as well as fountains.
The Field of Mars, not far from the Summer Garden, has a long and varied history dating back to the very beginning of the city's history. You will listen to it while walking. To your attention will also be the stories and legends of The First Engineer Bridge, The Salt City, The Building of Senate and Synod, The Isakievsky Cathedral, The Petropavlovsk Fortress.
With audio visual materials you will also get a map that won’t let you lose your way.