--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
The beige house on the Palace Embankment was built in the end of the C18th for Ivan Ivanovich Betsky, a Catherine the Great’s official.
During his youth, Betskoi travelled a lot, lived in France and Germany, where he got acquainted with Princess Johanna Angalt-Zerbskaya – future mother of Catherine the Great. Ill tongues even say that Betskoi is the real father of Catherine. This opinion is not confirmed anyway, but the Empress had always greatly sympathized Betskoi. During the reign of Catherine, he was in charge of all educational institutions of the Russian Empire, was an author of one of the most progressive reforms in the Russian education, and wrote charters, guidelines and curriculums himself. In his hospitable house on the Palace Embankment, he, sometimes, made parties for students of schools he was in charge of.
Being at a very old age, the main teacher of Russia made a mistake, which was made by a lot of teachers before and after him: he fell in love with his student, a graduate of Smolny Institute, Glafira Alymova. After the graduation of the Smolny Institute, a merry giggler Alymova took a position of maid of honor for the Great Princess Natalia Alekseyevna and became the pet of the Imperial court. When the Great Princess unexpectedly passed away, Alymova, at the suit of Betskoi, moved to his house at the Palace Embankment.
The 75-year old official could not determine his position regarding his relationships with the 18-year old girl. Betskoi did not adopt and married on Glafira. However, he was talking a lot about his crazy love and was terribly jealous. He did not decide to make her proposal, although Alymova confessed later in her memoirs that she waited for a sincere conversation and was ready to say yes.
Finally, Alymova married Ivan Rzhevsky. Betskoi could not frustrate the marriage approved by Catherine the Great, and even proposed the young couple to settle in his house. Initially they agreed to that, but Betskoi intervened in their family life so actively that Alymova with her husband finally had to move to Moscow, leaving the old man with broken heart.
In 1830, Prince Peter Georgievich Oldenburgsky, a cousin of the Emperor Alexander the Second, became the owner of the Betskoi House. His son, Alexander Petrovich Oldenburgsky, was the last private owner of this mansion.
During the revolutionary 1917 he managed to sell the house to the Provisional Government for one and a half million Rubles. Immigrating at right time to France, the Prince lived the rest of his life in Biarritz, living up to his family motto: “The right man in the right place”.
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.