Often described as the cultural capital of Russia, the city of St. Petersburg boasts some truly marvellous architecture that commands its skyline by day, before lighting up spectacularly at night. It is a picturesque location with roots back to its origins throughout the 18th Century that are still visible today.
With that in mind, we decided to compile a shortlist of the most breath-taking examples of architecture accessible during a day trip from our Radisson Sonya Hotel, St. Petersburg.
State Russian Museum
Opened in 1895 - the same year that Nicholas II was enthroned, the inviting pillars of the State Russian Museum conceal a treasure trove of celebrated national artworks from such artists as Kazimir Malevich, Ilya Repin and Ivan Aivazovsky. The museum's contents were bolstered after the Russian Revolution of 1917, when several private collections were redistributed as national works and put on display within its many opulent halls.
Established in 1860, this vast theatre is home to the Mariinsky Ballet and since opening, has served as a cultural tent pole throughout Russian history and into the present day. Directed by conductor Valery Gergiev, the theatre continues to host operas and ballets featuring world-class performers. The annual White Nights Festival serves as a preview showcase of the theatre's season each year, and is essential viewing for patrons of the fine arts.
Saint Isaac's Cathedral
Taking 40 years to construct, the cathedral on St. Isaac's Square was commissioned by Tsar Alexander I, with construction starting in 1818 under the stewardship of French architect Auguste de Montferrand. The exterior is typical of Russian-Byzantine design, and the structure's gold-plated dome sits at 333ft in height, while the interior features vast halls with detailed ceiling artwork and motifs.
Devised as the summer residence of Catherine I of Russia, the grand blue exteriors of the palace were completed in 1717 by German architect Johann-Friedrich Braunstein, before being expanded in 1733. The original design was deemed outmoded after a few years and was demolished and rebuilt in 1756 as the Rococo masterpiece we see today. The intricate interior boasts a grand Portrait Hall embossed in gold and stark blue shades, and is an essential attraction for fans of art and history alike.
The Church of the Saviour
Completed in 1907, this marvel of design stands on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated, and today enjoys status as a state historical museum. Work started on the church's grand spires and halls in 1883 under the guidance of the Tsar's son Alexander III, and after 27 years of restoration opened as a museum in 1997. It is now one of the most-visited attractions in St. Petersburg.
Explore St. Petersburg with Radisson Blu St. Petersburg!