Military and political history of St. Petersburg
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Despite the fact that in comparison with other Russian cities St. Petersburg is quite a young one (300 years do not seem as impressive as, for example, 1150 years of Novgorod history or 870 years of Moscow existence), its role in Russian history can not be overestimated.
For more than 200 years Petersburg remained the capital of the Russian Empire, which made it an unwitting witness to and participant in major military, historical and political events in the country. The Northern war, the Patriotic war of 1812, the First World War, the Revolution of 1905, the Great October revolution – all these pages of Russian history were closely entwined with the history of St. Petersburg and largely determined its fate. And even after the transfer of the capital to Moscow, St. Petersburg residents continued to play a key role in the life of the country and showed themselves especially bravely in the years of the tragically famous siege of Leningrad during the Second World War.
Although many city tours relate to historical aspects in varying degrees, our experts have elaborated a special tour that focuses solely on the main military-political events associated with the history of the city. You will visit the Peter and Paul fortress – the place, where the history of St. Petersburg began, see the Field of Mars – the main area for military parades in Imperial Russia, visit historical and memorial Museum of Smolny which reveals the events of the Great October revolution in details. Military history of St. Petersburg and Russia will appear before you in the unique Artillery Museum, founded personally by Peter I, and major political events of the country will be uncovered in the Museum of political history, located in the former mansion of the famous ballerina and a favorite of Emperor Nicholas II Matilda Kshesinskaya. The tour is a great opportunity to get acquainted with the history of St. Petersburg and details of historical events that subsequently got into all textbooks of world history.
Military and political history of St. Petersburg tour
Peter and Paul fortress
Besides, during a walk at the Peter and Paul fortress you can not only visit various museums, but also observe the unique architecture of the fortress, Peter and Paul Cathedral and the Mint, admire the magnificent panorama of the Neva, the spit of Vasilyevsky Island, Winter Palace and Palace bridge, sit on the knees of the monument to Peter I and study the history of St. Petersburg floods by the plaques on the walls of the Neva gate.
Field of Mars
When Peter the Great decided to build his summer residence here, the gardens became the main parade ground for the conduction of maneuvers and masquerades. In 1805 the area changed its name to “The field of Mars”: new name was associated with the erection of the monument to legendary commander Alexander Suvorov, who was represented in the armor of Mars, the god of war. Since then, the area is associated with the installation of monuments to military personalities. In 1917 by the decision of the Petrograd Soviet a cemetery, where the bodies of the revolution victims were buried, grew at this place.
In our days The Field of Mars has become a place of recreation for residents and guests of the Northern capital, though still retaining its original historical significance.
Military-historical Museum of Artillery
To date, the museum has the richest collection of Russian and foreign weapons that had been brought from 54 countries. Among the exhibits there are rare edged weapons, personal weapons of famous marshals, generals and representatives of the royal dynasty as well as various awards and uniforms. Especially popular are the famous armored car that served as a platform for Vladimir Lenin’s while he was delivering his revolutionary speech, the pistols of Napoleon Bonaparte and real anti-aircraft missile complexes. The museum also hosts permanent exhibition devoted to the genius of the famous Russian weapons designer Mikhail Kalashnikov.
*except Mon, Tue, last Thu of every month
Museum of political history of Russia
Expositions and exhibitions of the museum focus on the main political, economic and cultural transformations of the 19th-20th centuries, the crucial stages of Russian history which determined its fate. You will certainly discover unexpected sides of Russian history, biographies of prominent Russian politicians, reformers, revolutionaries, emperors and party leaders.
Memorial Museum of Smolny (optional visit)
The museum preserved personal belongings of Vladimir Lenin, Nadezhda Krupskaya and Sergei Kirov, the first Soviet original posters (over 2000 pieces), a collection of the first samples of Soviet art and objects relating to arts and crafts: the famous commemorative plates, vases and other valuable works. In total the museum has over 48 000 exhibits, most of which are exhibited in the museum halls.
Leningrad Siege Museum (optional visit)
The museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions dedicated to the siege years. But the main place is occupied by the exhibits that tell the story of the inhabitants of Leningrad in those years: organization of their household, military production, transport arrangement and other aspects of everyday life in the siege period. Here you will also find recreated interior of a city apartment of 1940-ies, which allows you to see the unvarnished life in difficult war time.
*except Tue, last Thu of every month
- Get a comprehensive review on late Russian history – from Peter’s epoch to USSR
- Discover all the secrets of the Great October Revolution in Smolny Memerial Museum
- See the famous Lenin’s armored car with your own eyes
- Be impressed by real cannons, guns and missile complex in the Artillery Museum
- Feel the struggle of the Leningrad citizens during the siege and explore their everyday life
- Detailed look at some of the most important pages in Russian history with expert comments from our professional guide
- Visit to 6 memorial places and museums just in one day
- Fascinating stories, captivating legends and amazing exhibits related to different periods of the country and city history
- Storming the Winter Palace (we suggest trying more appropirate ways of getting into the Hermitage – for example, our Hermtage tour)
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Best viewing points in St. Petersburg
When you are a regular traveler, it is difficult to explore one of the most beautiful cities in the world — Saint-Petersburg — in a short period of time. A great opportunity to literally look over the whole city look is to visit one of the viewing points of the Northern Capital. The panoramic terraces of cathedrals, museums, restaurants and hotels will allow you to combine a walk and a tour, arrange a romantic date and make great photos. Read more
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