Cruise - Pearls of the Baltic Sea

Russia - Sankt Petersburg

~ Historic centre and related Groups of Monuments ~
UNESCO World Heritage

Vasilievsky Island with the Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange between the Rostral Columns
Peterhof, the Russian Versailles
St. Petersburg is with 4.6 million inhabitants Russia's second largest city after Moscow. It is a major European cultural centre and an important port on the Baltic Sea. Located right at the mouth of the Neva, the city stretches across 42 Island with countless natural waterways, channels and bridges, which gave it the nickname "Venice of the North". However, St. Petersburg is a bustling metropolis, that has nothing lost of its historic appeal.
Peterhof, the Russian Versailles, - Cascades with Samson Fountain
The city was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713 – 1728 and 1732 – 1918) and as such its political and cultural centre. The tsarist era left an overwhelming cultural heritage. The city is full of stunning sights, such as magnificent palaces and cathedrals, grand boulevards and museums.
Saint Isaak Cathedral
Saint Isaak Cathedral
The Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and related groups of monuments in the immediate vicinity are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Your sightseeing should at least include:

- Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace
- Peter and Paul Fortress
- Tsarkoye Selo with Catherine Palace
- Saint Isaak Cathedral
- Peterhof, the “Russian Versailles”

Church of the Savior on Blood
Church of the Savior on Blood
Some more historical facts
In May 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured the Swedish fortress of Nyenschantz on the Neva river in Ingria (Nyen is Swedish and means Neva) in order to enforce access to the Baltic sea for Russia.  Only a few weeks later he laid the foundation of the Peter and Paul Fortress, which is considered to be the nucleus of the city of Sankt  Petersburg. Just up to four metres above sea level the Neva delta has often been  flooded since ancient times and tens of thousands of serf and forced labourers died with ague and cholera during the erection of the city on the muddy ground.

In the course of its history the city had different names. At first Peter 1 named the fortress St. Pieterburch not after himself, as one could guess, but after his patron Saint Peter, the apostle. The name was meant to sound like Dutch due to Peter's weakness for the Dutch culture, but soon the growing city was renamed Sankt Petersburg.  Other names were Petrograd (1914 – 1924) and Leningrad (1924 – 1991)

Catherine Palace
Catherine Palace - Amber Room
Catherine Palace
Catherine Palace 
Amber Room


UNESCO World Heritage Saint Petersburg


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