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You can see St Catherine's Cathedral on the even-numbered side of the street – the oldest Catholic Cathedral in Russia.
Work on St Catherine's Cathedral began during the reign of Catherine II, supervised by French architect Jean-Baptiste de la Mothe. However, the project was brought to completion by a rival architect, the Roman builder Antonio Rinaldi. Rinaldi left his trademark 'signature' on the building – the crossed branches with lilies which you see below the oval window.
In 1798 in the St Ekatherina Cathedral, the funeral took place of Polish King Stanisław August Poniatowski, attended by the Crowned heads of Europe. In his youth he'd been the lover of a German Princess named Sophie – who later became Empress Ekatherina II of Russia. He later acceded to the Polish throne, where his foolish policy-making brought the country to ruin. His former lover Ekatherine took over half his Kingdom, leaving the former king to set up home in exile in Grodno. Ekatherina's son Pavel I – who hated his mother and all her policies and advisers – invited the exiled Poniatowski to St.Petersburg, offering him the then-vacant Marble Palace as his residence. However, the ex-King died there mysteriously soon after.
In 1938 Poland appealed to Stalin to have their ex-King's mortal remains returned. His urn was reburied at Wołczyn, where he had been born. However, in the border realignments ending WW2, Wołczyn too ended-up in the former USSR – now a part of modern Belarus. In 1988, on the personal orders of Mikhail Gorbachev, King Stanisław's ashes were once again unearthed and donated afresh to Poland – this time being reburied in St John's Church in Warsaw.
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.