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Welcome to Saint Petersburg! Its canals flow around buildings inspired by Paris’s romantic architecture, parks reminiscent of the greenery of Versailles, cathedrals taken straight from the reverent Rome, and streets cobbled like the avenues of jolly old London. To visit St. Petersburg is to visit all of Europe’s best cities all at once, a land dubbed by Peter the Great as “a window looking into Europe.” With all this beauty, it is no surprise that St. Petersburg inspired many of Russia’s most amazing artists. Tchaikovsky was among the dozens of renowned musicians to enrichen the world’s heritage with remarkable Russian melodies whose sparks of inspiration were born in St. Petersburg. Dostoyevsky set his famous Crime and Punishment in this city, and Pushkin used it as the setting of his Eugene Onegin as well. This cultural capital of Russia is also credited with birthing the greatest form of expressive dance in the world: ballet. So what was it that inspired such a wide array of breathtaking accomplishments? Founded in 1703 by Peter the Great, St. Petersburg was created to be a culmination of the world’s greatest capitals. The first structure of the city was the imposing Peter and Paul Fortress, a citadel of stone that has withstood attacks for centuries.

The entire city adopted a Baroque style, building up around the Fortress in golden domes, candlelit spires, and marble columns. Over the centuries the seat of government switched back and forth from Moscow to St. Petersburg until it permanently moved to Moscow during the Soviet regime. This final shift of power has allowed St. Petersburg to focus solely on its unrivaled network of tourist attractions, transforming itself into a city of culture and pristine sites. Its history is just as riveting as the rest of the country, which adds a level of intellectual awe to the beauty. When visiting St. Petersburg, it is impossible to leave without an overwhelming dose of inspiration. Its fairytale-like architecture and gurgling canals, centuries-old palaces and golden cathedrals blend St. Petersburg into a city as if right out of a dream. Despite its young age in comparison to such giants as Moscow, St. Petersburg (fondly called “Piter”) holds its own as one of Russia’s most spectacular vacation destinations.

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Varshavskiy station

Baltiysky station


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