--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
The Summer Garden as well as Petersburg is a child of Peter the Great. The Tsar himself chose a place for it, laid out a project himself, taking as an example the parks of Versailles.
From the central alley, you can see well the pond in the southern part of the Summer Garden and five-meter vase made of dark-red porphyry on its shore. That vase is the gift of the Swedish King Charles the Fourteenth Johan for the Emperor Nicholas the First.
In 1830, a young lady shirtmaker drowned herself due to unhappy love and some people say that the vase was given by the King as a memorial for the drowned. It is hard to believe that. First, because the gift was granted three years later after the accident. And second, what was the business of the Swedish King for an unknown Petersburg modiste.
During Peter, they cultivated different species of fish in the Pond. Most often, carps were brought into the Pond that is why the Pond began to be called Karpiev. Beside the fish, a house seal used to live here for a long time. The Summer Garden also had other ponds where they cultivated geese, ducks and swans. They also used to have a wild beast show and aviary with rare singing birds.
Peter, as you know, loved water. Therefore, the Summer Garden could not be designed without fountains. They totaled more than sixty of them. Water was taken from an unnamed channel, which was called Fontanka River since then. Waterjets and pinwheels used to be here, wetting passerbies at the most inconvenient moment.
Peter used to say “I want people walking in the Garden to learn something”. Therefore, some of the fountains were decorated with gold-plated characters of Aesop fairy tales. Each character had a board with text of a fairy tale and its moral.
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.