Places to visit around St. Petersburg
St. Petersburg is a unique city. It is the only city in Russia which was built to resemble European capitals. Throughout its long history, St. Petersburg served as the capital city of the vast Russian Empire and was home to the Czars of Russia, as well as to many high-ranking officials and notable persons.
The city is filled with numerous marvels of architecture, built during its long and nodiverse history, moreover, being a “classic” European capital, St. Petersburg boasts a great number of suburban palaces, and estates, which are most advisable to visit during the high season - late April to early September.
If you go South, you will see a wall of land rising above the plain. In the ancient times, these were the banks of a sea, which covered all of that is today St. Petersburg. Today, these heights are named “Pulkovo heights” and house the old observatory complex. It is in a poor condition nowadays and is rarely advertised for tourists, still, it is a remarkable place, the oldest and the most renowned observatory in Russia.
Towns of Pushkin and Pavlovsk lie in the same direction. Both cities boast classic gardens and palatial complexes. Pushkin served as a summer residence for Catherine the Great, while Pavlovsk was a runaway palace for Paul the 1st before he was crowned. Both parks are adorable, Pushkin having a flatter landscape and Pavlovsk being a bit wilder with nuts sold at the entrance to feed local squirrels.
The Catherine Palace in Pushkin boasts the famous “amber room” now on display.
Along the coast of the Gulf of Finland there lies Peterghof. The original palace was found in the 18th century and the park boasts a unique system of fountains, dating back from the baroque period. There are numerous fountains in the park y the palace and the spot can be reached by boat right from the city center.
There are many estates, preserved around St. Petersburg, but the most attractive of those is certainly Penaty, the famous estate of Repin - a well-known Russian artist. One can go there by traincar or taxi. The estate is located in the village of Repino, north of the city.
For those arriving in winter, Pushkin and Pavlovsk may be advised as excellent cross-country skiing destinations, however equipment is not available for hire there.
Helen Hamburger, August 2010
PS: I’m miserable, if I’m too offtopic here
PPS: And if so, a giant favor to Admin, to move this message to a narrowest sense Topic. Thanx.
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