--:-- • --:--Пример экскурсии
The Grand-Hotel Europe lies down Mikhailovskaya Street, which runs off Nevsky Prospect here. Its richly-decorated stucco facades and atlantes spoke eloquently of the quality and respectability to be found within.
The Grand-Hotel Europe is known by many as the best in St.Petersburg. Its special blend of aged luxury with modern comfort is the draw for royalty, politicians and stars of stage and screen. There's been a hotel on the site since 1825, but the present hotel building appeared in 1875. Some of the finest architects of the style moderne were involved in the interior decoration. It amused Swedish King Gustav V to invite his Russian counterpart Nicholas II to tea here. Famous composers such as Johann Strauss the Younger, Tchaikovsky, Debussy and others lodged here, while the infamous figure of Grigory Rasputin was among the inveterate boozers who would gather here.
In 1917 the Hotel was taken into the ownership of the soviet state, and a new kind of guest appeared. Bolshevik leaders took the decisions on city management here in the 1920s. Although a great deal of the hotel's former glory was ruined in WW2, the renovations made in the post-soviet era have returned the old building to its former extravagant glory.
The dearest room in the entire hotel – indeed, in the whole of Russia – is the Lidval Suite, in the centre of the hotel above the main entrance. Guests have included Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton, Jacques Chirac, Helmut Kohl, and Charles, Prince of Wales.
The hotel dazzles guests with its impeccable service, its marvellous cuisine, and its prices – but it's the atmosphere which leaves the most lasting impression. On Fridays the Europe Restaurant plays host to Tchaikovsky musical evenings. If you have a chance, take a glance into the restaurant – or stop to try the culinary masterpieces of Head Chef Dominique Ferchaud. The menu includes dishes such as crême brulée of foie gras with apricots, or a delicious filet of turbot. These Atlantic fish are air-shipped directly from France, and served fried with artichokes, sun-dried ham and chorizo sausage. There's a story that Elton John was so astounded by the cuisine of the Europe Restaurant that he offered to give an impromptu concert there.
A legendary hotel has legends of its own, of course. A wealthy St.Petersburger died during the post-Revolution years of emigration, and his heir became the hero of one such legend. It seems that before the old man fled St.Petersburg he hid the family jewels under the floorboards in one of the hotel rooms. Many years later his heir was a member of a foreign delegation staying in the hotel, and he arranged to stay in the same room. By night he pulled off the parquet flooring and pulled up the floorboards – and there he found a metal box, which had been bolted to the floor structure. He spent half the night wrestling to release the box from its bolts. As he finally unscrewed the final bolt holding the box in place, an appalling crash was heard from the storey below – he'd unscrewed the fittings that held the chandelier in place in the dining-room.
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.