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The fence of the Summer Garden from the side of Neva River is one of the most beautiful in Petersburg. The base of the fencing and the columns are cut of ashy pink color, and it’s a jour links are forged in Tula at a plant of Marchant Denisov.
In 1784 when the architect Yuri Felten finished the fencing, it was immediately called “the city treasure”. One of the Petersburg’s legends say that during hard times for the Soviet Union in the 1930s, the Americans wanted to buy the fencing of the Summer Garden, offering a loco for each span. At that time, a lot of art items left Soviet Russia overseas. But, fortunately, the fencing was not given away.
Initially it used to have three gates. Now, only two of them left. The disappearance of the Central gates is related to the attempt on the Emperor Alexander the Second’s life, which happened on April 4, 1866. The Tsar came out of the gates after his promenade in the Garden, when he was approached by a revolutionary terrorist Dmitry Karakozov, who almost potshoot at him. Alexander the Second was saved by the fortune, but to be more correct, by a Janitor Osip Komissarov. He pushed Karakozov by his hand and the bullet passed by the Tsar.
The terrorist was executed. Osip Komissarov was given the hereditary nobility and awarded a gold medal. He also was given a good monetary compensation. One year later, in acknowledgement of miraculous salvation, a chapel was mounted in place of the attempt. That’s why the Central gates had to be removed.
During the Soviet times, the chapel was dismantled. However, since the removed Central gates were not found, instead, an additional link of the fencing was mounted.
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.