St Petersburg is a place to explore fully – this tour will give you the chance to get up close to it, as you walk through part of the city on a guided walking tour.
Start with a drive to the downtown St. Petersburg and Decembrist’s Square where you will find the famous monument to the founder of St. Petersburg Peter the Great (the Bronze Horseman), an equestrian statue created by the famous French sculptor Etienne Maurice Falconet. The monument was meant to be a tribute by Catherine the Great to her famous predecessor. For that reason an inscription on the monument reads in Latin and Russia. According to a 19th century legend, enemy forces will never take St. Petersburg while the "Bronze Horseman" stands in the middle of the city. During the Second World War the statue was not taken down, but was protected with sand bags and a wooden case. In that way, the monument survived the 900-day siege of Leningrad virtually unhurt.
From the square you commence your walk along the Neva River embankment towards the main square of the city - Palace Square. On your way you will enjoy the rich parade of sights on the Neva’s opposite bank including the Academy of Arts, the ochre painted Menshikov Palace, the impressive building of Peter the Great’s 12 Ministries, the Academy of Sciences and The Chamber of Curiosities which houses the Museum of Ethnography and Anthropology.
As you approach Palace Square, make sure you have your camera ready as you are sure to want to take pictures of this magnificent ensemble where every building is a masterpiece of architecture. This square has seen the birth of many revolutions that shook the world and is considered to be the main square of the city and serves as a good example of how different styles can be combined in the most elaborate way. On the northern side of the square stands the picturesque Baroque Winter Palace (built in 1754-62 by Bartalomeo Rastrelli). Across the square, on the southern side, there is a classical yellow-and-white building of the former Imperial Army General Staff (built in 1819-29 by Carlo Rossi), whose triumphant chariot announces victory over Napoleon, the theme enhanced by the Alexander Column in the centre of the square, dedicated to Alexander I.
From here you will continue your exploration of the city by walking to the city’s main street – Nevsky prospect, lined with magnificent architectural ensembles - cathedrals, churches, theatres and cinemas, cafés, restaurants, casinos and nightclubs.
You will pass the stunning Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan built by the Russian architect Andrei Voronokhin in 1801 – 1811 – an outstanding example of early 19th century Russian architecture and also a memorial to the Russian’s victory over Napoleon.
From the bridge across the Moika River you can see the marvellous Cathedral of Our Savior of the Spilled Blood. This Old Russian-style church was built on the spot where Emperor Alexander II was assassinated in 1881.
Passing the Grand Hotel Europe you will proceed to the Square of Arts – a remarkable architectural ensemble and, at the same time, has become one of the most important cultural centres of the city.
There is a famous monument to Alexander Pushkin by sculptor Mikhail Anikushin put up in 1957.
Every single building facing the square is either a theatre or a museum. Here you will find the world-known Russian Museum, the Museum of Ethnography, Michailovsky theatre of Opera and Ballet and the State Philharmonic Society.
Your tour will conclude here and you will be transferred back to your awaiting ship
DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISE HOLIDAYS