--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
The old three-storey building of light-beige color in the style of early classicism is hiding the real masterpieces behind its walls. That is the Old Hermitage.
In 1787, it was built by the architect Yuri Felten for ever growing art collections of Catherine the Great. Until the mid of the C19th the building was called the “Big Hermitage”. The title “Old” was gained after the occurrence of the New Hermitage, main façade of which is looking at the Million Street, and is not seen from the side of the Palace Embankment.
Today, the halls of the Old Hermitage are assigned for the Western Europe Art of the C13-18th. At the second floor in the Parade Enfilade, there are masterpieces of Italian Renaissance showcased: Leonardo da Vinci, Rafael, Giorgione, Titian, Botticelli, Veronese and Caravaggio.
Two entrances of the Old Hermitage are looking at the Palace Embankment. If you stand facing the façade, than on your right side there will be the entrance, which was called “Soviet”. We should say now that it does not relate to the Soviet Union at all. The entrance was used by the members of the State Council (which is “soviet” in Russian) of the Russian Empire, which hosted sessions at the building of the Old Hermitage from 1810 to 1870.
The entrance in the left wing of the building is called “Small” one. During Catherine the Great, it used to lead to the maidservants’ rooms at the first storey.
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.