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St. Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It was founded in 1703 by Peter he Great as the "Window on Europe. St. Petersburg was the capital of Russia from 1712 till 1918. The city was built on the swampy land at the mouth of the River Neva. Prominent European and Russian architects worked here. The new capital grew rapidly in wealth and beauty.
Now St. Petersburg is an industrial, cultural and scientific centre. There are over 80 museums, more than 40 theatres, a lot of exhibitions, clubs, universities, colleges, schools and parks. The Alexandrinski Drama Theatre, the Bolshoi Drama Theatre, the Mariinsky Theatre of Opera and Ballet are pearls of the Russian art.
The Church of the Saviour on the blood is situated in the centre of St.Petersburg, not far from the banks of Neva.It is one of the few surviving memorial buildings dating to the late 19th to early 20th centuries. It was built on the site where Tsar Alexander ll was wounded on March 1881.The unusual design and decoration of the Chirch is a good reason to consider the building one of the most interesting architectural and artistic monuments in St. Petersburg.
Majestic palaces, cathedrals, churches and other buildings, built by famous architects, such as: palaces of Stroganov, Menshikov, Anichkov, and St. Isaac's Cathedral, erected by Montferrand, decorate St. Petersburg.
The foundation of the colossal St. Isaak`s cathedral produced many problems because of the soft soil. The construction of the cathedral lasted forty years and was finished in 1858. The French architect Monferrand erected the 101.5 meter building. The interior space of it reaches 4000 square meters.
The most famous square in the city is the Palace Square with its magnificent ensemble. Here one can see the Winter Palace built by Rastrelli. Till the revolution it was the residence of the Russian csars. Now the Winter Palace and four other buildings are occupied by the Hermitage, It is one of the oldest art museums in Russia. It has 365 rooms and more than 2.7 million various exhibits. It is the largest art museum in our country and one of the most famous art museums in the whole world. There one can see masterpieces of outstanding artists: Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt,Velazquez and other unique works of art.
St. Petersburg is famous for its magnificent architectural ensembles of the 18th and 19th centuries. The city began with the Peter and Paul Fortress built to protect the Neva banks from Swedish invasion. The walls of Peter and Paul Fortress are up to 20 metres and the heightf the walls are from 10 to 12 metres. The fortress was never at war. It served as a political prison till 1917. In the centre of the fortress there is Peter and Paul cathedral and Russian tsars were buried in it. Now it is a museum.
A classic symbol of St.Petersburg, the Bronze Horseman Statue is in the centre of Senate Square. fThe "Bronze Horseman," was created by the famous French sculptor Falconets From the top, Peter shows the way to the West for Russia, while his horse steps on a snake, which represents the enemies of Peter and his reforms. According to legend, enemy forces would never capture St. Petersburg while the "Bronze Horseman" still stood as protector. During World War II the statute was protected with sand bags and a wooden shelter and survived intact.Senate and Synod - was created by the famous French sculptor Falconet was created by the famous French sculptor Falconet