--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
Now take a look at the even-numbered side of the street! In the recess between numbers 40 and 42 you can see the Armenian Church of St Catherine.
This exquisite church in the Russian classical style, is the Armenian Church of St Catherine. It was built mostly with funds donated by the Armenian Petersburg businessman Ivan Lazarev.
Although Ivan Lazarev was a fabulously wealthy businessman, he didn't have a great deal of spare cash for building the church. He decided to raise the funds by selling the family heirloom – a priceless diamond half the size of an egg. It was a stone the Lazarevs had brought with them from Iran when they'd moved to St.Petersburg – legend had it that it had once belonged to the Persian Shah Nadir. Lazarev's first suggestion was that Catherine II's admirer Count Orlov might buy the diamond. But Orlov himself didn't have access to such funds, so Lazarev arranged to show the diamond to the Empress herself. Catherine was enchanted by the diamond, and vouchsafed a payment of a million roubles to Lasarev for it, from the State Treasury.
However to avoid criticism of extravagance, it was decided to announce the purchase rather differently. Officially it was made known that Orlov had bought the diamond, and presented it to the Empress. The unique diamond, known as the Orlov Diamond, was set into the Imperial Sceptre – which you can see these days if you visit the State Armoury Collection of the Kremlin. And in the end everyone was happy. Catherine II obtained a diamond of suitably magnificent status for the Imperial sceptre. Ivan Lazarev realised the sum he hoped to raise for his diamond, and the Armenian community in St.Petersburg got this fine church on Nevsky Prospect.
The buildings adjacent to the Armenian Church were also built with Ivan Lazarev's funds. The House at No.42 was home to one of the most talented reformers in Russia in the early C19th, Count Mikhail Speransky. The building later housed the diplomat and poet Fyodor Tyutchev, a close friend of the building's owner, Count Abamalek-Lazarev.
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.