Meet your guide and driver this morning for the short drive to Palace Square and the Hermitage. Early entrance to the Hermitage has been arranged for you, so that you can enter the museum before the general public. The Hermitage collection spans just about every artistic period from Greek and Roman collections to Matisse. The museum boasts that it holds the largest collection of art in the world.
This afternoon, visit Peter Paul Fortress: the birthplace of St. Petersburg. After walking through the many gates and across the bridges and moats, you can begin to feel the late 18th century era that required such fortification. As Peter’s original outpost against the Swedes, St. Petersburg was born from this fortress and its historical significance is felt to this day by the presence of every Romanov tomb from Peter the Great.
This afternoon, your guide will take you into the stately St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Its malachite and lapis lazuli columns are not to be missed! For those with strong legs, you can climb to the top of the cathedral’s dome for the finest views over St. Petersburg’s historic neighborhood.
Optional Exeter International Extraordinary Experience
St. Petersburg’s first Fabergé Museum, a must see, is at the Shuvalov Palace on the Fontanka Canal, right in the city center. The palace houses the celebrated Fabergé collection of the Link of Times Foundation owned by Russian Entrepreneur Viktor Vekselberg, which, with its over 1500 choice pieces, now easily outranks the comparatively small collection of the Kremlin Armoury Museum. Mr. Vekselberg has assembled the most formidable collection in the world of works by this great Russian master craftsman, best known for his celebrated million-dollar Imperial Easter Eggs. There are various ways to see Fabergé Museum, not just private. Please inquire for options.