--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
When Catherine set her goal to put monument for Peter, worthy of a great reformer, she announced the competition not only in Russia only, but also in Europe. The best was recognized a sketch of the French Sculptor Attien Falconet. In 1765, he received the order provided that the work would be finished for 8 years. In three years, the statue was close to completion, but Falconet had difficulties to finish Peter’s head. The Sculptor was nervous about it, and then, his apprentice Marie Collot asked his permission to mould the head. The sketch she made fascinated Falconet.
A required base – a block with smooth lift and abrupt steep downward - was searched for a long time. And finally, they found it in an off-road bog close to Lakhta village. Even not a mass, but a rock weighting 1600 tons. Piles were hammered in a frozen bog; the road was laid down on them. Four hundred people, to clear drumming, were hauling the rock on a special platform rolling on cast copper balls upon copper ditches of the road. On shore of the Gulf of Finland, the block was reloaded on a raft fixed between two vessels. Catherine the Great herself visited few times to inspect the rock and facilities for its transportation. By her decree, a special medal dedicated to this engineering endeavor was stricken.
Casting the statue in bronze turned out to be very difficult. Under the direction of Falcone, it was performed by an artillery caster Emelyan Khailov. When they started pouring molten metal into a plaster mould, a flaw formed, through which the molten mass gushed out. At the risk of his life, Khailov closed it up and finished the casting. Then, four more years the Senate Square was evened up, the base and statue mounted. The opening of the Memorial to the founder of Petersburg was arranged as a holiday – with military parade, prayer service and firing of ships standing in the roadstead.
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.