Zdravstvuyte. You will impress when in St. Petersburg by learning this one word only. This link takes you to an entire article on how to say hello in Russian. Thank you is spasibo. Or, you could just greet everyone with the far easier gresti?, which means row, and meet some new rowing friends.
That’s a good start for guests joining our Russia St. Petersburg rowing tour, one of the most famous, historic and beautiful cities in the world, established and named after Peter I.
Peter the Great, occupation tsar, led Russia from 1682 until his death in 1725. Besides modernizing the Russian alphabet, introducing the Julian calendar, and establishing the first Russian newspaper, this so-called Great Father of the Fatherland or “the Great” formed an institution tasked with “teaching the subjects to love the sea and to have no fear of it,” no doubt an early link in the chain of Russian rowing.
On our tour, we will row the rivers and canal of the city, as well as exploring a bit of rural Russia. St. Petersburg is a grand city that is certainly showcased on the river, but must also be seen on the ground. Masterpiece-filled galleries and Baroque and Neoclassical architecture abound with extravagance and plenty of gold. We will visit some of the most significant cultural sights—Hermitage Museum, Peterhof Palace & Garden among others —and taste great culinary fare at some of St. Petersburg’s excellent restaurants.
Here are a few top experiences you can’t miss when in St. Petersburg. This is in addition to the rowing of course, which is the raison d’être for the trip. But we will share more of that during and after our rowing adventure.
Peterhof Palace & Garden was the summer palace of Peter the Great, which was modelled after France’s Versailles. The UNESCO World Heritage Site includes the impressive palace, but it is the huge gardens and hundreds of golden fountains cascading into the Gulf of Finland that steal the show here.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with an abundance of greatness, stroll the historical-building flanked Nevsky Prospect, the city’s main street (pictured below), and have a cappuccino at one of the many local cafes.
The city’s north-end includes the Hermitage Museum and the intricately decorated Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.
Since it opened in 1852, the Hermitage Museum is considered one of the most interesting and famous museums on the planet, drawing more than two million visitors a year, and is also the determining factor for visitors choosing to visit St. Petersburg. Which is why there will be more than one opportunity to visit on our trip—it’s massive with more than 2.7 million exhibits including some of the world’s greatest works of art. Thankfully we will start with a guided tour.
Catherine the Great founded the Hermitage Museum in 1764 as a place to house her private art collection.
One Trip Advisor reviewer calls it Russian elegance at its best.
“The Winter Palace, which is now known as the Hermitage is one of the largest art museums of the world. It hosts art collections from international artists like Johann Ernst Gotzkowsky, Heinrich von Brühl, Pierre Crozat, Horace Walpole, Raphael, Rembrandt, Rubens, Leonardo da Vinci . . . Renoir, Cezanne, Monet, and Pissarro, numerous canvasses by Van Gogh, Matisse, Gauguin and several sculptures by Rodin and Michelangelo among others. The collection is both enormous and diverse and is an essential stop for all those interested in art and history.”
Viator says “the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is possibly the most iconic site in St. Petersburg after the Hermitage Museum, standing out with its multicolored façade and onion-shaped domes. Sometimes called the Church of the Resurrection of Christ or the Resurrection Church, it was built on the site near the Griboedov Canal where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881.”
Other amazing sites include St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Grand Maket Russia Interactive Museum and the Cathedrale navale Saint-Nicolas de Kronstadt. There is so much to do, we might almost forget to make time to row. Just kidding, we can’t wait to row there. Planning to be back in 2018 to see more. Spasibo for your time.