About St. Petersburg. Tour to Saint Petersburg. Trip to Russia. Legendary tour.
TRIP TO ST. PETERSBURG
BETWEEN NEVSKY PROSPEKT & NEVA RIVER
Just a block north of Nevsky Prospekt metro, quiet ploshchad Iskusstv (Arts Square) is named after its cluster of museums and concert halls - notably the Russian Museum, one of St Petersburg's
best, the Ethnography Museum, which has some fascinating displays of the peoples and cultures of the former Soviet Union, the Large Hall
(Bolshoy zal) of the St Petersburg Philharmonia, venue for top
classical concerts, and the Maly Theatre, the city's second fiddle to the Mariinsky for opera and ballet. A statue of Pushkin stands in the middle of ploshchad
Iskusstv. The square, and ulitsa
Mikhailovskaya which joins it to Nevsky prospekt, were designed as a unit by Rossi in the 1820s and 1830s.
Note that the facade of the palace is illuminated at night, making that the best time to photograph it. It is most impressively viewed from the back of the building, during a late-night stroll
through the pleasant Mikhailovsky Gardens behind it.
See the following map and boxed text for a straightforward walk through the rooms.
The Mars Field (Marsovo pole) is the open space south of the Troitsky most. Don't take a short cut across the grass - you may be walking on graves from the 1917 revolution, the civil war, or of
later communist luminaries also buried here. The field is so named because it was the scene of 19th century military parades.
Across ulitsa Millionnaya is the Marble Palace (s 312 91 96), built for Catherine the Great's lover Grigory Orlov in 1768-85, formerly housed a Lenin Museum; currently it is a branch of the Russian
Museum featuring rotating exhibitions.
South of the Summer Garden.
A much greater Summer Palace used to stand across the canal from the south end of the Summer Garden. But Rastrelli's fairytale wooden creation for Empress Elizabeth was knocked down in the 1790s to
make way for the bulky, brick Engineers' Castle of Paul I, an insanely cruel tsar who lived in fear of assassination and was indeed suffocated in his bed a month after moving into the castle. Later it
became a military engineering school (hence the name).
Across the Fontanka and south about half a kilometer is the yellow Sheremetev Palace (Map 6), built in 1750-55, which houses a lovely little museum to the great, long-persecuted poet Anna
The flat, on the 2nd floor, is filled with mementos of the poet, her bedroom and her study, and her correspondence with
Pasternak. Downstairs, you can watch Russian-language documentaries about her
life while sipping tea.
From the Fontanka, enter the palace, walk through the lobby and into the courtyard, to the right, and follow the signs.