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Russia, Artistic Powerhouse

St Petersburg, Imperial Capital

St. Petersburg is a beautiful port city on the Baltic Sea. It is a popular tourist destination as it offers travelers a mixture of historical and cultural attractions. From an overwhelming number of museums to relics of wars past, this city has a lot to offer.
Here is the top 10 things to see:

1. The Hermitage Museum

The Hermitage Museum offers tourists a mixture of art and culture. It is known as one of the oldest museums in the world. There is something here for even the toughest of critics to wonder and marvel over.

2. Peter and Paul Fortress

This is most noticeable building in the city. Built by Peter the Great, it has served a multitude of purposes over the years from fortress, to citadel, prison and museum. People come from all over to get a first hand look at the prisons that once housed very famous historical figures.

3. The Russian Museum

It was opened to house art that was taken from other museums and galleries. The buildings themselves demonstrates the Russian artistic powerhouse and are much older than the museum and had housed a number of imperials of note over the years as they served as living quarters at times.

4. The Catherine Palace (Tsarskoe Selo)

Summer “home” for Catherine 1, this palace has gone through many changes and renovations in its time. It is said that renovations during her reign were in the range of six hundred thousand rubies supplied by Catherine herself so it is hard to give an exact figure. To this day it is used for many major cultural and political events from everywhere around the world including some of the biggest stars in music.

5. Peterhof

Peterhof is a small town and not just a regular tourist site. This town acts as a municipality of the larger city of St Petersburg and has seen a lot of changes to its identity throughout history. Areas of interest would be the grand palace. A campus of the St. Petersburg State University is situated in Peterhof and houses some of their science institutions. There is also many gardens and fountains.

6. St. Isaac's Cathedral

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral was not the first to be build on the same site. This was the fourth of such cathedrals built here to appease certain rulers at the time. It may be familiar too many people because of the massive dome on top. Since the end of communism in Russia this massive cathedral serves a dual purpose for the citizens of St Petersburg. There are regular church services with the rest being a museum for the general public that are not worshipers.

7. Church of Our Savior on the Spilt Blood

This is another of the many churches that St Petersburg is known to host. It is best known for having an architectural style that stands uniquely on its own among all of the other Russian churches.

8. Boat Tour on River Neva

Traveling along the River Neva by boat offers tourists a one of a kind experience and unique way to see St Petersburg. It is rich in terms of history as it is one of the largest rivers in Europe and can be traveled to get directly out to the Baltic Sea.

9. Summer Garden

This massive garden was first developed at the turn of the 18th century in 1704 under the orders and design of Czar Peter. The walking areas in the Summer Garden offer a spectacular view as most of them are lined with statues that are replicas as the curator did not want to risk having the originals damaged.

10. Mariinsky Theatre

For opera and ballet lovers the Mariinsky Theatre is a must see if traveling through the city of St Petersburg. It is one of Russia's artistic powerhouse. The theatre still holds events in the present day and has had its hand in starting the careers of numerous world wide opera singers and ballet dancers.

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