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  • 1 Peterhof: Lower Park Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    The Lower Park occupies the northern part of the Peterhof estate with alleys extending all the way to the Baltic on either side of the Maritime Canal, affording an extraordinary view of the estate and the sea. Explore its pavilions (the Hermitage to ..

  • 2 Peterhof: Great Cascade Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    Designed by Peter the Great, the Grand Cascade stands at the centre of the Peterhof estate. It is made up of no less than three small tiered waterfalls, two grottoes and a central basin into which the fountain's water flows. 37 gilded bronze sculptur..

  • 3 Peterhof: Fountains Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Five waterfalls and no less than 150 fountains make Peterhof Park an enchanting setting. All these water features, connected by miles of piping, function solely due to the differences in level! Note the Chessboard waterfall with its winged dragons sp..

  • 4 Tsarskoye Selo Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    The splendour of Imperial Russia, Tsarskoye Selo is in a way the domain of the empresses. Catherine I, the wife of Peter, set the ball rolling when she had a small palace built here in 1711, which her daughter Elizabeth had transformed by Bartolomeo ..

  • 5 Tsarskoye Selo: Catherine Palace Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    The quintessentially Baroque Catherine Palace unfurls its vast sky-blue facades, supported by powerful atlantes, on a hilltop surrounded by gardens. With its lavish interior, including the dazzling Amber Room, probably the most extraordinary of all, ..

  • Pavilions, "follies", baths, antique statues and monuments to the glory of Russia are scattered throughout the Old Garden and the Landscaped Park on the Tsarskoye Selo estate. The former, designed in 1720, was beautified by the famous archi..

  • 7 Pavlovsk: Grand Palace Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    The Grand Palace contains the collections that Paul Petrovich and Maria Feodorovna brought back from Europe, including French bronzes, Jacob furniture, Gobelin tapestries and Sèvres porcelain. From the ceremonial rooms to the private apartments, disc..

  • 8 Oranienbaum: Chinese Palace Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Antonio Rinaldi devoted six years of his life to building the Chinese Palace, a Rococo gem. The Middle Kingdom is honoured here from the floor to the ceiling teeming with Chinese motifs. The particularly remarkable Bead Room shimmers with finely embr..

  • 9 GUM Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Place Rouge

    GOUM was the state department store. Built in the late 19C, it is crisscrossed with passageways connecting its galleries and topped by glazed ceilings and is now a temple of triumphant capitalism. With the exception of the legendary gourmet delicates..

  • 10 Kremlin Fortifications Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    The best way to explore the Kremlin's fortifications, triangular shaped brick ramparts dotted with towers, is to follow the itinerary that runs alongside the river as far as Red Square, and then alongside the walls that border the Alexander Gardens, ..

  • 11 Saviour Tower Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Dating from 1491 and built by Solari, this is the Kremlin's main tower, through which high dignitaries and ambassadors entered the fortress. Built with double walls, Savior Tower was enlarged in 1624 with a complex crown composed of a drum(tchetverik..

  • 12 Koutafia Tower Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    At a distance from the surrounding walls, to which it is connected by a ramp straddling the Alexander Gardens, the delightful Koutafia Tower is now the entrance for visitors to the Kremlin. Topped since 1685 by an elegant decorative crown, this 13m-h..

  • 13 Patriarchs' Palace Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Through its collections of objects, furniture and costumes, the Patriarchs' Palace attests to the life of 17C Russian dignitaries and patriarchs. It was the Patriarch Nikon who had this building erected next to the Church of the Twelve Apostles betwe..

  • 14 Church of the Deposition of the Robe Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Pl. des Cathédrales

    The Deposition of the Robe, an Orthodox feast day on 15 July celebrating the transfer of the Virgin's robe from Palestine to Constantinople, lent its name to this private chapel of the patriarchs. In the exterior gallery, note the icons in bas-relief..

  • 15 Ivan the Great Bell Tower Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    The Ivan the Great Bell Tower, built between 1505 and 1508 by Italian Bono Friazine, is white and topped by a gilded onion dome. Tsar Boris Godunov had it raised a century later, and since then it has stood at a height of 81m, making it the highest c..

  • 16 Cathedral of the Archangel Michael Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Place des Cathédrales

    The great princes of Vladimir and Moscow were placed under the protection of St. Michael. The cathedral, a royal necropolis built between 1505 and 1508, thus bears the name of the archangel. From Ivan Kalita buried here in 1340 to Ivan V, who died in..

  • 17 Palace of Facets Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    The sumptuous Palace of Facets, built between 1487 and 1491 by Marco Friazine and Pietro Antonio Solari, is not open to the public (what a pity!). Its ceremonial hall occupying the entire first floor was used as a throne room for the tsars residing i..

  • 18 Kitay-Gorod Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Kitay-Gorod, an area formerly devoted to teaching and trade, then to business, is Moscow's oldest quarter. Once fortified, it has preserved some if not all of its past appearance, and its little streets lined with renovated old houses only add to its..

  • 19 Varvarka Street Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    The massive and now ephemeral presence of the hotel never succeeded in dissipating the charming atmosphere on this street lined by the former Merchants' Court and numerous churches and palaces. Known since the 12C, Ulitsa Varvarka attracted silk merc..

  • 20 Church of the Trinity in Nikitniki Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Nikitnikov per. 3

    Although a bit squashed by all the post-war buildings around it, the Church of the Trinity in Nikitniki, built in the first half of the 17C, is a little gem that is all refinement and curves. Its typically Muscovite architecture is strikingly polychr..

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