--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
Saint-Petersburg was born on water and lives by water. This was the idea of Tsar Peter, its founder. The Neva River makes Petersburg unlike any other city in the world. The river is very beautiful and naughty. It is called the most unstable river in the world. When strong wind starts blowing from Gulf of Finland, Neva rises, boils up and sometimes overflows its banks. Over three hundred years of its existence, Petersburg has survived 310 floods. More than half of them happened during the Fall months: September, October and November. Moreover, 70 percent of the floods happen at night or early morning.
The biggest one happened in November 1824. It was described by Pushkin in his novel “The Bronze Horseman”. At that time, the whole city, except for Liteinyi area, was flooded at the level of a human height, and in some areas of Petersburg, the water had reached the record 4 meters 20 centimeters. The boiling river was rushing on the Nevsky Avenue. People were saving themselves as they could – on floating gates, logs and uprooted trees. On streets of the Admiralty area there were crosses and coffins floating from washed out cemeteries. The raging calamity had made a great damage to the city. About six hundred people died. About four hundred houses were destroyed and nearly three and a half thousand houses were damaged.
The second largest flood happened in the fall of 1924, when water covered 65 square kilometers. In the morning, the strong abrupt wind began blowing from the side of the Gulf of Finland. A storm was raised on the Neva. And, by 4 p.m., a hurricane began. The Neva rushed to the city, and flooded the Summer Garden, the Field of Mars and the Palace Square, removed 19 bridges and damaged over five thousand houses.
In 1979, the construction of the Flood Prevention Facility Complex, more well-known as the Dam was started in the Gulf of Finland. Its construction took a large amount of budget spending. The Dam’s construction was started in Leningrad and completed in Petersburg on August 12, 2011. In a few months, on December 27, the Dam was “baptized of fire” for the first time. Thanks to this facility, the 310th flood was prevented at that time. The flood threatened to cover the fifth part of the city.
The Dam, which lengthens 24 and a half of kilometers, joins the northern and the southern shores of the Gulf of Finland. For vessels passage, it is provided with two gates. The first gates are 200 meters wide, for sea and ocean liners. The others are 110 meters wide, for smaller vessels. In case of flooding, all the gates and discharge openings are locked with metal gates. An assumption is made that the facility is able to prevent even the largest possible floods.
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.