St. Petersburg is a real revelation. The traveler entering Russia from
the west is bound to be struck by its beauty, so European and yet so
unlike anything else in Europe. The traveler coming from Moscow is also
bound to have a new experience, seeing something quite different from the
country's present capital and, for that matter, unlike any other city in
Russia. If Moscow is Europe's most Asiatic capital, St. Petersburg is
Russia's most European city.
It is unique in being most perfectly planned; its beauty lying in the
unsurpassed blend of Russian and West European architecture and art. The
builders of the city treated color as an essential part of their scheme,
and St. Petersburg owes much of its special atmosphere to these painted
facades. Architectural appearance is the basis of attraction for tourists
People often call St. Petersburg Northern Venice. With its ensembles of
embankments, avenues, squares and canals this city remains one of the most
beautiful in Europe: where Moscow intimidates, St. Petersburg enchants.
St. Petersburg is chock-full of history. It was founded by Peter the
Great as "window on the west". From here autocratic tsars ruled
Russia for two centuries with the splendor and stubbornness that led to
their downfall at the hands of workers and soldiers in March, 1917. That
same year, Lenin came back here from exile to drive his Bolshevik Party to
power. This very city withstood a three-year siege during World War II.
The city's two centuries as Russia's capital bequeathed it an artistic
and entertainment scene which still at least equals Moscow's. Russian
ballet was born in St. Petersburg and the 19th -century flowering of
Russian music was centered here. Nijinsky, Tchaikovsky and
Rimsky-Korsakov, to name but a few, spent important periods of their life
here. Pushkin was educated in, exiled from, read-mitted to and killed in
St. Petersburg; Dostoevsky set Crime and Punishment here.
The best time to admire St. Petersburg is a miracle time of "white
nights" from May, 25 to July, 20 (the most light nights are in the
period from June, 11 to July, 02).
You are welcome to Saint-Petersburg!