3 DAYS TOUR / ST. PETERSBURG & PETERHOF & HERMITAGE MUSEUM & CATHERINE’S PALACE

– 3 DAYS TOUR –
ST. PETERSBURG & PETERHOF & HERMITAGE MUSEUM & CATHERINE’S PALACE

– from $ per person –

DAY 1 / full day tour – 9 hours

The city sightseeing tour includes all major attractions of St. Petersburg.
Meet your private guide at the pier and after approximating 30-minute drive to the centre of the city, you will arrive at St. Isaac’s Square and start the inside visit of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the largest cathedral of the city. It is also one of the biggest one–dome cathedrals in the world after St. Peter in Rome and St. Paul in London. It was designed by the French architect A. Montferrand. It took 40 years to construct it. The cathedral is decorated with mosaics, painted ceiling murals, bronze gilt statues. The cathedral is surrounded by 112 monolith granite columns, which were transported from one of the suburbs of the city. St. Isaac’s Cathedral was the main cathedral of the city from the second half of the 19th century. Now the cathedral houses the museum, but for the Major Orthodox Holidays Religious services are held here.
During your panoramic sightseeing tour, you will also admire Nevsky prospect, the Menshikov Palace the Senate square, the Bronze Horseman, the Palace Embankment, Kazan Cathedral, cruiser Aurora, Field of Mars, Griboedov canal, St. Nicholas Cathedral. There are several photo stops during the tour.
Then, you will be visiting St. Peter and Paul’s Fortress. It was laid out by the order of Peter the Great in 1703 and it was built here to defend these lands from Sweden, during the war, which lasted 21 years and came down into the history as the Northern War. The first day of the fortress’s construction – 27th of May 1703 – became the Birthday of the whole city. The architect of the fortress was Domenico Trezini, the first architect of the city. The Fortress forms an irregular hexagon stretched from West to East with six pentagonal bastions at the corners. Since its first days, Peter and Paul’s Fortress has always had more than military functions. The Fortress was never besieged. It was destined instead to become the main political prison of the tsarist Russia. It was the city’s foremost architectural ensemble and contained St. Peter and Paul’s Cathedral.The Cathedral is a burial place of Russian Emperors from the time of Peter I. In 1998 the remains of the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family were buried in the Cathedral
Free time for lunch (not included).
After lunch, you will visit the “Hermitage Art Museum” – former residence of the Russian emperors. Hermitage is one of the largest museums in the world after Louvre in Paris and the National Gallery in London. Hermitage collection numbers over 3 million exhibits from prehistoric to modern times. The Russian Empress Catherine II founded it in 1764, when she bought a large number of Western European paintings. To house the collection, she ordered a new building to be constructed. Now the permanent museum display occupies five buildings (The Winter Palace, The Small Hermitage, The Old Hermitage, The New Hermitage and the Hermitage Theatre), which form a brilliant architectural ensemble. The remarkable architects and sculptors of 18th – 19th centuries decorated the museum’s interiors. A number of staterooms, where official ceremonies used to be held, preserve their sumptuous décor. The Hermitage acquires authentic masterpieces by the greatest painters and sculptors of the World, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco, Claude Monet, August Renoir, Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso and Matisse. The Hermitage complex is a veritable spiritual universe created in the course of times and filled with the unique gifts of creativity.
Return to the ship.

DAY 2 / full day tour – 9 hours

Meet your private guide at the pier and departure by hydrofoil to Peterhof.
Upon arrival, you will visit Peterhof including Grand Palace and lower parks with fountains. Peterhof is a jewel of the Russian art, a town of parks, palaces and fountains. It was built by the order of Peter the Great to commemorate the victory of Russia over Sweden in the Northern War. The architectural ensemble of Peterhof is rivalling the summer residence of the French kings – Versailles. In the past it used to be an exquisite summer residence of the Russian tsars. From the Great Palace of Peterhof three monumental cascading fountains (one of them comprising the famous Samson) lead to the Lower Park, the real masterpiece itself, with 173 fountains on its grounds. In the winter time, on the territory of the reserve seven working museums (the Grand Palace, Catherine’s Block, Marli, Hermitage, the Benois family museum, Cottage and the Bath Block) are open to the public.
Free time for lunch (not included).
After lunch, return by car to St. Petersburg and visit the Yusupov Palace including Rasputin cellar – located on Moika Embankment is one of the most beautiful examples of classicism style constructions in Saint Petersburg. It’s one of the rare works of architecture whose history is closely associated with the names of the aristocracy, eminent architects, artists of the 19th and early 20th century. It belonged to the Yusupov family, the family of fabulous rich. The Yusupov family owned the palace from 1830 to 1917. The palace catches one’s eye by its unique rooms such as the Moorish room with its beautiful mosaics and the Pool room with a secret compartment under the table. Admire the famous private theatre of the Yusupov Palace, which is mall-scale copy of the Mariinsky Theatre.The palace is also famed as the scene of Rasputin’s murder in December 1916. While passing through the exquisitely decorated interiors of the palace, the full story of the murder of Rasputin unfolds in front of you. Grigori Rasputin, a peasant and self-proclaimed holyman, had gradually won favour with the Tsar’s family through his alleged supernatural powers.
Your tour continues with inside visit of The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood – one of the main sights of St. Petersburg, Russia. The artistic concept of the church goes back to examples of Moscow architecture of the 16th century. The temple on the Spilled Blood was built at the end of the 19th century on the place where the Russian Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded by the members of the revolutionary movement on March 1, 1881. The temple is known all over the world due to the interior and exterior decorations. The walls of the church are faced with 7 thousand square meters of mosaic panels. The mosaics were made after the design of many prominent Russian artists. The Cathedral was badly damaged during the second world War. It was under the restoration works for a long period of time and only in 1997 it was re–opened to the public.
Return to the ship.

DAY 3 / full day tour – 8 hours

Your tour starts with the excursion to Tsarskoe Selo, a former country residence of the Russian emperors. It is a fascinating example of the world’s architecture and gardening. Peter the Great ordered to construct the small palace for his wife, future empress Catherine I. The palace, completed in 1756, is embellished with blue and white facades featuring gilded atlantes, caryatids, and pilasters. It took over 100 kg of gold to decorate the palace exteriors. The interior of the Catherine Palace is in the same degree spectacular. The Golden Enfilade of grand suites, designed by Rastrelli, starts at the spacious airy ballroom, the “Grand Hall” or the “Gallery of Lights”, and comprises numerous distinctively decorated smaller rooms, including the world-famous Amber Room. Originally designed in 1701 in Prussia and decorated the Berlin City Palace at one point, the Amber Room was gifted to Peter the Great by Frederick William I who sought for a Russo-Prussian alliance. The treasure of 13,000 lb of amber and gold was installed at the Catherine Palace, where the Russian Imperial family typically spent their summers. The room decor disappeared during World War II and was recreated in 2003. Before the room was looted by the Nazis, it was known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”.
Free time for lunch (not included).
After lunch, return by coach to St. Petersburg for a Metro (Underground) ride – the stations are worth seeing for their beautifully decorative interiors; many are adorned with crystal chandeliers, marble vestibules and beautiful frescoes.
Then, enjoy a relaxing cruise by boat along the Neva River and some other waterways out of the 66 rivers and canals of “Northern Venice” (as St. Petersburg used to be called). The main river of the city is the Neva, which is one of the youngest rivers in Europe. The magnificent architectural ensembles, churches, cathedrals and monuments seem to exist in astonishing harmony with the watery element. All the St. Petersburg embankments are faced with granite and each has its own distinctive character.
You will also have some free time for shopping on Nevsky prospect.
Return to the ship.

INCLUDED:

Private English speaking guide – 3 days
• Private air-conditioned car/mini-van/coach – 3 days
• Panoramic sightseeing tour of St. Petersburg
• Entrance fees to Peterhof including Grand Palace and lower parks
• Entrance fees to Hermitage Museum
• Entrance fees to Cathedral of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood
• Entrance fees to Yusupov Palace with Rasputin cellar
• Entrance fees to St. Isaac’s Cathedral
• Entrance fees to Peter & Paul Fortress
• Entrance fees to Catherine’s Palace
• One-way hydrofoil ride from St. Petersburg to Peterhof
• Canal boat ride on Neva river (40 minutes), regular tour
• Token for the Metro ride
• Visa-free entry formalities
• Port fees

NOTE :
– The Grand Peterhof Palace is closed on Mondays and last Tuesday of each month
– Hermitage Museum is closed on Mondays
– St. Isaac’s Cathedral & Cathedral of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood are closed on Wednesdays
– Fabergé Museum is closed on Fridays
– Catherine’s Palace (Pushkin) is closed on Tuesdays and the last Monday of each month

 

Jan 1, 2018 | Posted by | Comments Off on 3 DAYS TOUR / ST. PETERSBURG & PETERHOF & HERMITAGE MUSEUM & CATHERINE’S PALACE
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