I have to say that Russia absolutely blew my mind. The city of St. Petersburg is home to some of the most beautiful and opulent palaces I have ever seen and all of it is steeped in a fascinating history. St. Petersburg was Russia’s capital from 1713 to 1918; the capital is now Moscow. If travelling to Russia you will need the local currency, the Russian Ruble although some vendors will take euros as well. Here are some words that could be useful in your travels to Russia!
Once you have practiced the local dialect, be sure to grab your camera and set out. It is important to note that Russia has strict Visa requirements so be sure to look into this well in advance of your travels! There is no shortage of places to visit, and going through the effort of getting a visa is well worth the amazing things that you will see while in Russia. Out of all the places I visited, I am going to give you a list of the sights of St. Petersburg that in my opinion cannot be missed.
The Hermitage Museum has more than three million works of art, including pieces by Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt. The art is displayed among beautiful rooms of the Winter Palace. The Palace has 1,786 doors, 1,945 windows, 117 staircases, 1,500 rooms and could sleep 6,500 people. It really is a breathtaking experience – and don’t forget to see the Treasury which houses some of the most beautiful jewels I have ever seen. Sadly, you can’t take any photos in the treasury. ☹
The Church of the Spilled Blood
This church is a depiction of Russian architecture and a wonderfully beautiful building! It was constructed on the site of Czar Alexander II’s assassination. The interior is full of amazingly bright and colourful tile mosaics – definitely a must see!
Peter and Paul Fortress
This fortress was originally built to shield St. Petersburg from Swedish invasion and is now the burial place of many of Russia’s rulers including Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and the last Czar Nicholas and his family who were killed during the Russian revolution.
I had the great fortune of visiting Catherine’s Palace in the evening, after it had been closed to the public. The exterior of the palace is a light vibrant blue with golden/yellow accents. The rooms inside are as opulent with plaster ornaments and silks and goldeverywhere and 1,400 acres of lush gardens. Needless to say, there were more than a few ‘jaw dropping’ moments! I was lucky enough to get to walk through the palace with only a few dozen others and at the end an orchestra performed classical music as part of a private concert in the Grand Hall (which is covered in gold!!).
The Peterhoff Palace is located a short drive from central St. Petersburg. The 300-acre grounds and massive palace were built to rival Verasilles and they do not disappoint. The centrepiece of the palace grounds includes an amazing fountain that uses the natural forces of gravity to produce an impressive display that is turned on each day and doesn’t require the use of a single pump.
These are just a few of the highlights when visiting St. Petersburg in Russia, as the largest country in the world, there is much much more to explore.
See the world, make it better.
~ Earthly Traveller