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Cathedrals  |  Museums and Palaces  |  Monuments and Historical Sites  |  Bridges  |  Squares and Prospects  |  Parks and Gardens  |  Suburbs

Monuments and Historical Sites

More than three centuries ago it took Peter the Great??s sagacity, untamed will and energy to unite the efforts of thousands of Russian people for erecting one of the most beautiful cities of Europe that was destined to live through the lean years more than once, still preserving its majestic beauty and imperial spirit. Everything ?? palaces, cathedrals, theatres, monuments, granite-clad embankments ?? all testify to invincible power and mirror Russia?? turbulent history.

Peter-and-Paul Fortress
Across the Neva from the Winter Palace, on a small island, lies the Peter and Paul Fortress, which was laid by the order and to the plot-plan of Peter the Great on the Zayachiy (Hare) Island in 1703 and which is considered to be the birth place of Saint-Petersburg.
Bronze Horseman
A symbol of indomitable will and ruthless vision, the famous statue of Peter the Great known as the Bronze Horseman was commissioned by Catherine the Great to glorify the ???enlightened absolutism???, designed by a French sculptor Etienne Falconet and mounted on the 1600-tonne ???Thunder Rock??? in 1782.
Alexander Column
The vertical shape in the Palace Square centre is the Alexander Column, which was designed by Auguste Montferrand and unveiled in a gala in 1834. Crowned by an angel with a cross, whose face is supposedly modeled on Alexander I??s, the monument is 47,5 m high ?? one of the tallest of its kind in the world.
The Spit of Vasilievsky Island
The Spit of Vasilievsky Island, which used to be a working port 1733-1885, is one of the most picturesque places in Petersburg with its Rostral Columns and stock exchange building - the ensemble created in the 19th century by Thomas de Thomon, who also designed the granite embankments and cobbled ramps leading down to Neva.
One of the magnificent expressions of naval triumphalism - the Admiralty, initially founded by Peter the Great in 1704 as a fortified shipyard, in the course of the time became purely administrative in function, and after a disastrous fire in 1783 professor Adrian Zakharov was commissioned to design a suitable replacement.
Field of Mars
Used as the parade ground for the Imperial Guards early in the 18th century, the Field of Mars was turned into a burial place for heroes of February Revolution and the Civil War, which was marked by the erection of a low-lying granite Monument to Revolutionary Fighters with an eternal flame flickering in the center.
Monument to Catherine the Great
The only monument to Catherine the Great in Petersburg, designed by sculptor Mikeshin, was erected on Alexandrinskaya Square, on which looks the fa?ade of Russia??s first public library the Empress had established. Unveiled in 1873, the monument portrayed Catherine in bronze on a high pedestal with luminaries of her time at Empress??s feet.
Monument to Nicholas I
At the centre of St.Isaac??s square prances a haughty, bronze equestrian statue to Nicholas I, which came from the chisel of Peter von Klodt in 1858. August Montferrand was the author of a porphyry and marble pedestal, adorned with figures representing Faith, Wisdom, Justice and Might; while bas-reliefs depict the achievements of Nicholas?? reign.
Alexander Nevsky Lavra
At the southeastern end of the Nevsky prospect, beside the Neva, lies the Alexander Nevsky Monastery ?? one of the oldest St. Petersburg architectural complexes, which was founded by Peter the Great in 1710 and got status of a Laura in 1797.
Piskarevskoe Memorial Cemetry
From February 1942 onwards, all mass burials occurred near the village of Piskarevka thus forming the Piskarevskoe Memorial Cemetery. The burial place of more than 470.000 citizens, who died of starvation, bombardments and cold during the siege of Leningrad, was solemnly opened in 1960.
Narva Gate
The copper-plated Narva Gate, a diminutive triumphal arch crowned by a statue of Victory astride her six-horde chariot, was erected to commemorate the Napoleonic Wars in the center of Ploschad Stachek, previously known as Narvskaya Ploschad and scene of the first of the many fatal clashes on ???Bloody Sunday???.
Cruiser Aurora
The 6731-tonne cruiser Aurora, which is famous for its forward cannon firing the historic blank shot at the Winter palace on October,25 1917 ?? the first in the barrage that accompanied the storming of the building, was declared an icon of the revolution and the national monument in 1948, later opening as a museum.
Moscow Triumphal Arch
The cast-iron Moscow Triumphal Arch, a green monument modeled on Berlin??s Brandenburg Gate, was built by Stasov in late 1830s to commemorate a whole series of victories against the Persians, Turks and Poles during the first decade of Nicholas I??s reign. The arch was dismantled on Stalin??s orders in 1936, and re-erected in 1960.
Neva River
No one would deny that Saint-Petersburg??s claim to fame is the infinite full-watered Neva river which is being the main waterway of the ???Northern Venice??? constitutes the downtown and at the same time connects the major city ports with the Gulf of Finland and Ladoga Lake.

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