Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
To survive and prosper, the city had to tame the inhospitable, swampy delta on which it is
• The Peterswalk canal-boat tour in English departs from the Fontanka Embankment; just
turn right and walk along the canal (with the water on your left) for about five minutes. To
sightsee at the Russian Museum, Church on Spilled Blood, Kazan Cathedral, or Hermit-
age, walk back along Nevsky the way you came, or hop on a bus (see here for buses that
make the trip; note that a few trolley buses veer off from the end of Nevsky for St. Isaac's
Cathedral, saving an extra 10-minute walk).
To easily reach the Peter and Paul Fortress, take the Metro: Backtrack to the underpass
in front of Gostiny Dvor, find the Nevsky Prospekt station on the blue line, and ride one
stop to Gorkovskaya—a short walk from the fortress.
You've walked the most interesting stretch of Nevsky Prospekt, but if you'd like to see
more of the city center, continue (by foot or by bus) down Nevsky for a half-mile until you
Uprising Square (Ploshchad Vosstaniya): This intimidatingly gigantic transit hub is
a showcase of Russia's bigger-is-better city planning aesthetic. Admire the round subway
station entryway—classically Soviet in design—and the Moskovsky train station across the
square. On top of the big building facing the station, a sign still reads Hero City Leningrad
(Город-Герой Ленинград, using the Soviet name for the city)—a tribute to the city's res-
istance during the Nazis' WWII siege. The star-topped obelisk in the center of the traffic
circle also commemorates the “Hero City.” Nearby are two large shopping malls and su-
permarkets (see “Picnic Shopping” on here ) .
• The Ploshchad Vosstaniya Metro station (green line) zips from here back to the Gostiny
Dvor stop in the middle of Nevsky Prospekt (one stop.
Sights in St. Petersburg
▲▲▲The Hermitage (Эрмитаж)
Built by Peter the Great's daughter, Elizabeth, the Hermitage was later filled with the
art collection of Catherine the Great. The Hermitage's vast collections of just about
everything—but especially its European masterworks—make it one of the world's top
art museums, ranking with the Louvre and the Prado. Housed in the Romanovs' Winter
Palace, the Hermitage (EHR-mee-tazh, officially the State Hermitage, Государственный
Эрмитаж), is actually two top-notch sightseeing experiences in one: an art gallery of
European works and an imperial residence. Enjoy the Leonardos, Rembrandts, and Ma-
tisses while imagining the ostentatious lifestyles of the czars who collected them. Between
the canvases, you glide through some of the most opulent ballrooms and throne rooms ever
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