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Private St Petersburg Jewish Cultural Tour
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Other Attractions Tips (95)

VISIT THE METRO

Worth a visit, although generally not as ornate as Moscow, there are still some beautiful stations

See my SPB transport tips for some photo's

The St Petersburg Metro is reputed to be the deepest one in the world due to the fact that St Petersburg is actually mad up of a number of islands.

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stevemt
Aug 21, 2015

"Cruiser Aurora" Museum - light of Baltic see

Aurora (Russian: Авро́ра) is Russian protected cruiser. Now is a famous museum ship in St. Petersburg from 1957.

She participate in battle against Japanese Navy in the Russo-Japanese War. The October Revolution in Russia start with incident on Aurora ship.

I spend some time here, on deck and inside the ship. Without tourist guide, enter to ship is free. You could visit deck and lower cabins with permanent exhibit.
For an extra fee you can tour the engine-room. If you like that ask an attendant for that service. Regular price is 300 RUB and students discount is 100 RUB. There is and additional cost of taking photos (50 RUB) and filming (100 RUB).

It was open every day (except on Monday and on Friday) from 10:30 am to 4 pm.

Note: On VT forum I got information that ship is moved for restoration. In fact, I find online that from 18th September 2014 cruiser has been moved from its location in St. Petersburg to Kronstadt for repairs.

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Odiseya
May 01, 2015

Aurora - inside of ship

Aurora, the magnificent museum and historical symbol of Russian Navy daily visited by many tourists.

Inside the ship is a rich collection of documents, photos, art work, military artifact as well permanent exhibit of presentation of everyday life of mariners. So, there was a navy collectibles and others memorabilia related to Russian Navy.

It was free of charge when I visited (August 2011). I visited deck and museum-exhibition room. On official site I saw that now it have fee for entering and taking photo and video for engine-room and boiler-room.

Inside is a small gift shop.

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Odiseya
May 01, 2015

Metro the Beautiful

You will remember traveling by the city underground called the Metro. It is so clean, comfortable and reliable! You can reach the remotest districts of the city in no time!
It saves you the precious time and energy and is quick and beautiful in the interior.
The stations are like small underground palaces. The builders did not spare granite and lavishly decorated each station in Soviet times.

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hunterV
Jul 20, 2014
 
 
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Obvodny Kanal Emb 93a, St. Petersburg, North-West Russia, 191119, Russia
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Wonderful place to have coffee and cake

The place to have a coffee and cake or lunch is the Singer bookstore building opposite the Kazan Cathedral. The room itself is quite atmospheric and you have a lovely view of the Kazan Cathedral. You can have a package lunch with 2 courses for 600 roubles. The serving of tea is huge. We had borsch dumplings and two teas.
The borsch which was very nice for 300 roubles. They also had a selection of cakes and pastries. The service was friendly and efficient.

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albaaust
Nov 19, 2013

Unusual bank building

I stumbled across this rather magnificent looking building quite by accident. Its currently used by the Bank of Moscow. So far I have not been able to find out anything more about it. If your in the area its well worth a look.

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Skillsbus
Jul 24, 2013

Sphinx beside the Neva

Not many foreigners know that the most Northern location of Egyptian sphinxes is in St. Petersburg. Russian government have bought a few sphinxes from Egypt in 1820 and brought them to decorate shore banks of Neva river in St. Petersburg. This is probably the only place in the world where you can see each year Egyptian, 3500 year old sphinxes covered with snow.

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Skillsbus
Dec 28, 2012

“San Agustin” sculptures from Colombia

In one of the regular inner yards of multi-stored buildings in St. Petersburg there is a whole collection of Middle-American San Agustin statues standing under open air and not protected by anybody, left all by themselves.

The story of them appearing there starts in 19th century when Academy of St. Petersburg sent a group of explorers to Middle America. They visited through all of Yucatan, collected different things for St. Petersburg’s museums. By the way they noticed and bought a set of San Agustin idols from Chichen Itza ruins. Upon the return of expedition smaller objects were placed into museums but nobody has found a good place for those San Agustin statues and they were left all by themselves in the back yard, dug into ground.

A few years passed and Soviet Revolution happened, all the museums were messed up, all the buildings were nationalized by Soviets and were used for a totally different purpose then before. In many churches warehouses were founded as the result of total atheism of new Russian authorities, and many museum were turned into something else as a result of ignorance.

So hundred years passed and those 1500 year old San Agustin deities stand abandoned

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Skillsbus
Dec 28, 2012

Top 5 Saint Petersburg Writers

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sennaya

"St. Petersburg: a City for all Seasons"
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filipdebont

"St Petersburg : City of Peter the Great"
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Canadienne

"St. Petersburg in Spring"
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balhannah

"STUNNING ST. PETERSBURG!"
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HORSCHECK

"St. Petersburg - City of cathedrals and bridges"
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Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

The Institute was founded much earlier than this building was built, in 1773.
The Institute was built in 1806-1811 after the project of A. N. Voronihin (he built Kazanskii Cathedral).
The sculpture on the right is " Hercules suffocating Antaeus", made by S. S. Pimenov.

On the other side of the portico there's the "Abduction of Persephone", made by V. I. Demut-Malinovsky.
There's a mineralogical museum in the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

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Skillsbus
Nov 24, 2012

Smolny Institute

Catherine II (the Great) founded the Smolny Institute for Girls, officially the Society for the Upbringing of Noble Girls, in 1764. Its popular name comes from its site in the Smolny Monastery on the left bank of the Neva River in St. Petersburg. Inspired by Saint-Cyr, a boarding school for girls in France, Smolny was part of Catherine's educational plan to raise cultured, industrious, and loyal subjects.

Ivan Betskoy, the head of this reform effort, was heavily influenced by Enlightenment theorists. Drawing on the ideas of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Betskoy's pedagogical plan for Smolny emphasized moral education and the importance of environment. Girls lived at Smolny continuously from age five to eighteen without visits home, which were deemed corrupting. As at all-male schools such as the Corps of Cadets and the Academy of Arts, Smolny stressed training in the fine arts, especially dance and drama. The curriculum also included reading, writing, foreign languages, physics, chemistry, geography, mathematics, history, Orthodoxy, needlepoint, and home economics. The range of subjects led Voltaire to declare Smolny superior to Saint-Cyr. In 1765, a division with a less extensive curriculum was added for the daughters of merchants and soldiers.

Catherine held public exams and performances of plays at Smolny, and took her favorite pupils on promenades in the Summer Gardens. Portraits of these favorites were commissioned from the painter Dmitry Levitsky. Smolny also became a stop for visiting foreign dignitaries. Its graduates were known for their manners and talents and were considered highly desirable brides. Some became teachers at the school, and a few were promoted to ladies-in-waiting at court.

Peter Zavadovsky, who directed Catherine's commission to establish a national school system, succeeded Betskoy as de facto head of Smolny in 1783. He replaced French with Russian as the school's primary language and altered the curriculum to emphasize the girls' future roles as wives and mothers.

After Catherine's death in 1796, Maria Fedorovna took over the institute and made changes that set Smolny's course for the rest of its existence. The school's administration became less personal and more bureaucratic. The age of admittance was changed from five to eight, in recognition of the importance of mothering during the early years of a child's life, and the rules forbidding visits home were relaxed.

Throughout the nineteenth century, Smolny maintained its reputation as the most elite educational institution for girls. Its name was regarded as synonymous with high cultural standards, manners, and poise, although sometimes its graduates were considered naive and ill-prepared for life outside of Smolny. The many references to Smolny in the Russian literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries attest to the school's cultural significance.

In October 1917, Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks appropriated the Smolny Institute and made it their headquarters until March 1918. Since then, the Smolny campus has continued to be used for governmental purposes, eventually becoming home to the St. Petersburg Duma. Several rooms have been preserved as a museum of the institute's past.

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Skillsbus
Nov 24, 2012

Communist ceiling mosaic

To see one of the city’s best examples of communist “art”, and one of the least noticed, head to Moscow Station, go to the main entrance hall and look up. The colourful ceiling mosaic makes you feel as if you are lying on your back in a sunlit square, looking at the sky. Its unique perspective makes it one of the more original and less austere examples of communist propaganda. It suggests unity and celebration; happier times that perhaps never came. The Olympic flags tell you it’s from the fifties, when the Soviet Union joined the Olympic family.

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Skillsbus
Nov 22, 2012

Leningradsky Zoo

Right opposite the Peter and Paul Fortress is Russia's first zoo, opened in 1865. It's not a big place but there is a fair range of animals including the cutest polar bears ever, two giraffes and a range of impossibly energetic monkeys. There's also an indoor aquarium and a giftshop.
Admission 0 - 400Rbl.

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Skillsbus
Nov 22, 2012

Things To Do in Saint Petersburg

Things to do

St.Isaac's Cathedral

Having a boat trip along the city canals you will see lots of magnificent edifices. his is the golden dome of St.Isaac's Cathedral built in 1818 - 1848. St.Isaac was the patron saint of Peter the...
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Admiralty

This huge complex of buildings can be seen from the three main thoroughfares of the city. You can see this tower with the old spire crowned with a weather vane shaped like a caravelle. The spire...
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Things to do

Hermitage

As any Great Museum of the World Class, the State Hermitage has collections representing human culture from pre-historic times till XX century. At the ground floor you are going to find hall #65 the...
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Things to do

Grand Palace

The Palace Church was built in 1751 by architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. This Church played a special role in the history of the Russian imperial court. In the summer months, when Peterhof...
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