Jewish St.Petersburg tour
Pick up & drop off
At your chosen destination
By private car
No hidden cost
Admission tickets included
Professional & licensed
This thoughtfully elaborated tour offers you to immerse into the history of one of the oldest nations in the world, to visit the synagogue and other prominent places, to learn about traditions, customs and specifics of the Jewish St.Petersburg.
Did you know that Jews in Russia were banned not only from living on the territory of Russian, but also from passing through the territory until the end of the 18th century? Thus, in St.Petersburg – the capital of a vast Empire – the Jewish past was absent until the early 1860s. However, by the end of the 19th century in the Russian Empire there was the largest Jewish community in the world (67% of all Jewish people lived here).
During our tour of Jewish St.Petersburg you will visit places where the turbulent and bright life of St.Petersburg Jews flowed. You will learn where Jewish people lived and worked, what problems they had and what they fought for. You will take a leisurely walk in Kolomna, which is the historical Jewish district of the city, visit the Grand Choral Synagogue, the second largest synagogue in Europe, attend the Jewish section of the Russian Museum of Ethnography which gives an excellent opportunity to learn about the difficult historical path of the Jewish people and provides many unique items, including art pieces, household items and religious objects. And of course you will learn contemporary aspects of Jewish life in the Northern capital.
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Kolomna (historical Jewish district)
By the early 20th century the center of Jewish life in St. Petersburg was concentrated in the district called Kolomna, where most of the sights related to Jewish Petersburg were located and still are. There were Jewish publishing houses and cultural societies, a Jewish gymnasium and the synagogue. Signs of the traditional lifestyle were preserved within the Jewish quarters, and often on Saturdays, in spite of the official ban, one could see elderly Jews in Thales and yarmulkes in the streets of Kolomna.
It is from here that you will start your fascinating journey into the world of Jewish St. Petersburg. Accompanied by an experienced guide, you will walk through narrow streets, alleyways and picturesque canals of Kolomna, hear fascinating stories and legends associated with these places, visit facilities related to the history and modern life of the Jewish Petersburg and learn how the representatives of the Jewish community lived in St. Petersburg for the last 200 years.
The Grand Choral Synagogue
The Grand Choral Synagogue of St. Petersburg was opened at the end of the nineteenth century, in 1893. From that moment and till present time the synagogue has always been operating and never closed. It somehow miraculously survived the revolution, the years of Stalinist repression and the Leningrad siege. You will be amazed the beauty of this magnificent building, designed in Moorish style, quite rare for St Petersburg. It should be noted that it is the second largest synagogue in the whole Europe. You will also visit the shop at the synagogue, which sells kosher products, and, if desired, a local kosher restaurant.
History and Culture of the Jews of Russia (exhibition)
“The History and Culture of the Jews of Russia” exhibition in the Russian Museum of Ethnography appeared as a first step to the full-value museum of the Jewish culture in St. Petersburg. You will definitely enjoy the amazing collection of the ethnographic museum which consists of more than 2500 items, including utensils, costumes, home decor items, amulets and charms, decoration of the Torah storages and unique photos.
Additional Tour Sites
The Formula of Sorrow
The monument to victims of the Holocaust (also known as the Formula of Sorrow) in Tsarskoye Selo is located 500 meters from the Catherine Palace, on the very place where a Nazi ghetto was located during the Second World War.
Preobrazhenskoye Jewish Cemetery
Preobrazhenskoye cemetery in St.-Petersburg exists since 1875. In addition to Jewish burials — magnificent family crypts and tombstones, which themselves are of artistic value, you will see a beautiful fence with a front gate, the house of Rabbi and the monumental stone bathing house in the Moorish style.
Anton Rubinstein monument
In July 2005, when Peterhof celebrated its 300-year anniversary, a monument to the outstanding Jewish-Russian pianist and composer Anton Rubinstein was opened here. The name of Anton Rubinstein is closely connected with the history of not only Russian, but also world music. With his active participation the Russian music school was created and gave the world a galaxy of great musicians and teachers.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS
- Get acquainted with Jewish culture and its Russian specifics
- Take a walk through narrow streets and picturesque lanes of Kolomna, the former Jewish district of the city
- Marvel the majestic Grand Choral Synagogue
- Learn about the most outstanding representatives of St.Petersburg Jewish community
- Buy some kosher products at the synagogue shop
- An exiting excursion through the historical Jewish quarter
- A visit to the second largest synagogue in Europe
- Fascinating Jewish-related stories and legends delievered by a professional guide
- A deep dive into the Jewish unique customs, traditions and rituals
- Bringing Golem to life
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Best viewing points in St. Petersburg
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The mystery of the Mikhailovsky castle
The Mikhailovsky (or the Engineer’s) castle became infamous immediately after the death of Emperor Paul I, who was strangled in his bedroom in the castle. And no wonder the palce gained bad reputation, since Palace coups and the Emperor’s murder were not a common thing for Russian Empire after all. Read more