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In parallel with the building of the railway station, Count Stenbock-Fermor purchased a land plot on the opposite side of the square, and on it built one of the largest hotels in the city. Originally named the Znamenskaya Hotel it was later renamed “The Northern Hotel” - then after the October 1917 Revolution it was again renamed as “October”.
For turn-of-C20th St.Petersburg it was a top-class European hotel, featuring lifts, Persian carpets, and crystal chandeliers, and rooms with bathrooms and telephones. The most expensive of its suites had three rooms with gold-framed paintings, a grand piano and a bust of Tsar Alexander II. Like many grand hotels it saw its share of incident. A fearful explosion shook the building in March 1904, when a terrorist inadvertently blew himself up in his own room through carelessness in handling dynamite. The bomb had been intended for the Home Affairs Minister, Vyacheslav Plevé. However, Plevé's lucky escape didn't last long – he was killed in a separate incident just three months later.
One of the hotel's guests in 1906 was Vladimir Lenin, who passed a few pleasant hours here. His wife Nadezhda Krupskaya recalled “After meeting at our agreed rendezvous, we took a cab and went to the hotel - where we rented a special office room and ordered supper”.
St. Petersburg is known as Russian cultural capital. It is also called “Northern Palmira” or “Northern Venice” as it was founded on islands in the delta of the Neva River and has a lot of architectural masterpieces.
Nevsky Prospect is the main avenue and one of the best-known streets in Russia. It is a real treasury of Russian culture. The street was planned by Peter the Great as beginning of the road to Novgorod and Moscow. It goes through the historical center of the city, firstly - from the Admiralty to the Moscow Railway Station and then, after making a turn at Vosstaniya Square, to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra.
Life on Nevsky Prospect has always been the object of attention of writers. For example, it was described by Nikolai Gogol in his story "Nevsky Prospect". Fyodor Dostoevsky often employed the Prospect as a setting within his works, such as Crime and Punishment and The Double: A Petersburg Poem.
It is best to start your walk from famous Palace Square where you can visit one of the most prominent world museums – the Hermitage. In the center of the square you will see the Alexander Column, a very popular among tourists place. With Your Audio Guide you will listen to the history of the square and all its attractions (The New Hermitage, The Winter Palace, the Alexander Column and The General Staff Building).
During the tour you will walk through the Alexander Gardens, past the Admiralty, see a lot of historical houses – real architectural “pearls” - Wawelberg's Mansion Apartments, The Sivers-Treiberg House, The Chaplin Brothers House, Chicherin's House, etc. The chief sights of the Prospect include palaces, churches and cathedrals, shopping centers and department stores. Among palaces are the Rastrelliesque Stroganov Palace, the Anichkov Palace, The Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace, Grand-Princess Yusopova's Residence and the Mikhailovsky, or Michael Palace.
Nevsky Prospect deserves the name "the street of religious tolerance". Religious buildings are presented by the huge neoclassical Kazan Cathedral, the picturesque Russian-style Cathedral of Our Savior on Spilt Blood – a place where terrorists exploded the Emperor Alexander II, the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, St.Catherine's Cathedral - the oldest Catholic Church in Russia, and The Armenian Church.
Nevsky Prospect is also the city’s central shopping street and the hub of the city’s entertainment and nightlife. For that You can visit the Art Nouveau Bookhouse,Elisseeff Emporium, half a dozen 18th-century churches, , an enormous 18th-century shopping mall “Gostinny Dvor”, a mid-19th-century department store “The Passage” and The Alexandrinsky Theatre, in the yard of which a monument to Catherine the Great is standing.
Your audio guide is glad to present you a wide audio tour of the Nevsky Prospeсt with map and descriptions. With this map, you will never get lost and you will always know what surprise awaits you ahead.