Oranienbaum Park and Palace

Oranienbaum (Lomonosov) Park and Palace Ensemble was named so after orange trees in the lower park, though another version is that Oranienbaum was named after William, Prince of Orange, and the King of England whom Peter the Great admired so much.

It will take an extra 20 minutes to get there by car after visiting the Russian Versailles, Peterhof.

Unlike the other Imperial palaces, Oranienbaum never fell into hands of the Germans, although it suffered constant bombardment as a tiny enclave held by the Russians throughout the Blockade. After the war both town and park and palace ensemble were renamed Lomonosov, after a Russian polymath who founded a glass factory in the area.

Prince Alexander Menshikov, a close friend of Peter the Great, started building the estate and its Grand Palace (by architects Fontana and Shidel 1710-1725) with a lower park in front of it. The lower park was and is connected with the nearby Gulf of Finland by a 500 meter canal. After Menshikov’s arrest and exile to Siberia the palace was turned into a naval hospital. Later, Peter III (grandson of Peter the Great) became the next owner of the palace and after his assassination Catherine II made the estate one of her holiday stops and created a unique Chinese palace. Catherine the Great (Catherine II) nicknamed it “Her Majesty’s private Dacha”, though she spent only 48 days at the palace during the course of her 34 year reign.

The exterior is quietly baroque while the luxurious yet intimate interior is decorated in a more fanciful Rococo style with pink, blue, and green faux marble, ceiling frescos by Venetian painters, and very beautiful ornate parquet floors. The gem of the palace is Buglework Room with its touch of Oriental exotica – the walls depict peacocks, pheasants and other birds fashioned from beads produced at the Lomonosov factory.

Oranienbaum Park and Palace

Very close to Grand palace there is extraordinary Sliding Hill Pavilion resembling an oversized slice of wedding cake. This blue and white, three story pleasure pavilion is all that remains of a wooden roller-coaster, that once stretched for over 500 meters along the upper park. In winter Catherine the Great and her guests rode sledges; in summer wheeled carts, offering a unique sensation of height and speed in a flat landscape, where nothing else moved faster than a horse could gallop.

The rooms of Sliding Hill Pavilion were designed by Rinaldi in Rococo style with ceilings, floors and walls covered with faux marble of gentle pink, blue, and yellow colors. The rooms are used for demonstrating a set of Meissen Porcelain depicting mythological scenes symbolizing Russia’s victory over Turkey.

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The Faberge Museumhas the world-class collection of Faberge Masterpieces (including 14 Easter Eggs), gift boxes, Russian enamels etc.The collection is situated in 9 beautiful rooms of Shuvalov Palace. It was opened in November 2013 and was founded by the “Link of Times” Cultural Historical Foundation, established by Russian entrepreneur Viktor Vekselbergto repatriate lost cultural treasures to Russia.

The fourth tallest dome construction in the world. St Isaac’s Cathedral used to be the main Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Russian Empire. The enormous decoration of the interior of the cathedral, was created in the Russian Academy of Fine Arts.Gilded bronze, malachite and lapis lazuli together with countless paintings, columns, mosaics, will take your breath away.

One of the best private palaces in the Europe .Its real gem is a home theater. Outstanding Russian singers and dancers performed there.In this palace young Felix Yusupov, the heir of the family, and other conspirators assassinated Grigory Rasputin.  During a visit to the palace you will learn about the plot of Felix and how it was brought to life.

Peter and Paul Fortress here our city was founded in 1703.Peter the Great started a fortress to protect the lands won back from Sweden. Now it is one of the most important 18th century fortresses in Russia and Europe.St Peter and Paul Cathedral is the burial place of almost all Russian Tsars from Peter the Great up to the last Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his family.

Many metro station vestibules and platforms are adorned with marble, granite, bas-reliefs and mosaics which makes them look like underground palaces. The very first 10 stations appeared after WWII and have various military and Soviet symbols reminding visitors about the glorious victory over Nazi Germany. Owing to the city’s swampy subsoil, most of the lines were built extremely deep underground.

Peterhof is definitely “a must-see” for any first-time visitor to St Petersburg.It is often called the “Russian Versailles”: it is a real “kingdom of fountains” and true paradise for little children (as well as adults) with amazing cascades, a variety of unique and playful fountains, Grand Peterhof Palace, and other small ones.

Catherine Palace Is a must to visit. Inside you will find a succession of interconnecting rooms in Baroque style and somewhere in the middle of that enfilade is the famous Amber Room which was called by contemporaries “the eighth wonder of the world”. The palace was badly damaged during WWII and amber panels were stolen by the Nazi. But they started restoration in 1979 and finished it in 2003.

St Petersburg Siege Memorialcommemorates the hardship that Leningrad‘s (the soviet name of our city) citizens endured during the siege which lasted 900 days (1941-1943) and took away about 1.5 mln lives. The most striking part of the memorial are the tableaux of soviet citizens facing south towards the enemy. It was designed to be viewed from a distance. In the subterranean memorial hall are relics from the siege.

Offers fresh food from all over the former Soviet Union: melons, tomatoes, farmhouse honey, pickles, sour cream, ham and gherkins, not to mention imports such as kiwi fruit. Most vendors offer the chance to taste a sliver before buying. Outside the market are “babushkas” (pensioners) who sell things they have grown at their dacha (summer cottage) or gathered in the forest.

Hermitage Museum one of the most important and oldest museums in the world. It has one of the largest collections of paintings. If you spent one minute viewing each exhibit of the Museum it would take you11 years to see everything. The collection of the French Impressionists is exhibited in the General staff building which is located opposite the Winter Palace.

Most famous for almost 21,000m² of mosaics that cover both the interior and the façade of the building. The mosaics were created in Russia, which makes them even more valuable. It is the only building in our citybuilt in the style of Moscow churches. The church was built on the place where Alexander II was assassinated, hence the name.

St Petersburg boat tours offer a perfect way to see the city under a bit different angle – sailing under numerous bridges along rivers and canals, and listening to curious stories from your guide. St Petersburg boat tours are especially majestic during the White Nights season in St Petersburg.

Alexander Palace was commissioned by Catherine II for her grandson, future Russian tsar Alexander I and later became the summer home of a succession of Imperial heirs, each of whom left their mark on the building.