Women on the Russian Throne

The route gives you a chance to see the most popular places associated with the rule of great Russians Empresses

  • temples and cathedrals 1 ,
  • squares 1 ,
  • exhibition halls 1 ,
  • streets 2 ,
  • palaces 3 ,
  • points of interest 1 ,
  • parks 3
20 km, 417 m
Mikhailovsky Garden

Mikhailovsky Garden

St. Petersburg, Inzhenernaya ul., 2

Mikhailovskiy Garden is a part of The Summer Garden, which was laid down in the times of Peter the Great

Mikhailovsky Garden is one of the most rare monuments of landscape architecture of XVIII — the first third of the XIX centuries, representing a unique combination of two different styles of landscape art on one territory — regular or "French" and landscape or "English" gardens.

During the time of Peter I the territory of contemporary Mikhailovsky Garden was called "Swedish garden". It was gifted by the emperor to his spouse Catherine. On the place where now is located a pavilion constructed upon K. Rossi's  project (on the Moika River Emb.) there was the palace of the empress called as a “Golden mansion". In the middle of the XVIII century, in the reign of  impress Elizabeth, the garden was reorganized upon the project of  F.-B.Rastrelli. Two big ponds which remain up to now in southeast part of a garden had a geometrical form, and behind them started the big garden labyrinth stretching up to the Nevsky Avenue.

In the XIX century the garden changes its "regular" face on the "landscape" shape and becomes part of the ensemble of the Mikhailovsky Palace – a marvellous example of architectural unity of the building and a natural landscape created upon a plan of the great architect Carlo Rossi.

Mikhailovsky Garden was in the private possession and became available to citizens’ visit from the moment of the Russian Museum’s foundation in 1895. In 1999, having almost completely lost the historical appearance, I became part of the Russian Museum. The XXI century - a reference point of the contemporary history of Mikhailovsky Garden. Having passed large-scale reconstruction, it began the life not only as a unique monument of landscape architecture, but also as modern museum space, a peculiar green hall open-air.

Rossi's Pavilion in Mikhailovsky Sad

Rossi's Pavilion in Mikhailovsky Sad

St. Petersburg, Mikhailovsky Sad
1 km, 350 m
The Field of Mars

The Field of Mars

St. Petersburg, Marsovo pole

That is the place where the first eternal flame in Russia was ignited

At the beginning of the 18th century, on the site of the Field of Mars, there was an overgrown swamp grove. Subsequently, it was turned into a venue for military reviews and was called "Bolshoi Lug" (eng. Big Meadow). There were celebrations and festivities in honor of the victories in the Northern War. Carnivals, performances and fireworks were held at this place, in honor of which the Big Meadow was renamed "Poteshnoye Pole" (eng. Amusement Field). But this name wasn't fixed for a long time either: the palace of the wife of Peter the Great, Catherine I, was erected near the field, and the territories adjacent to it became known as "Tsaritsyn  Lug " (eng. Tsarina’s Meadow). Only in 1805 the field was named in honor of the ancient god of war - Mars.

In 1917, the victims of the February Revolution were solemnly buried in the center of the Field of Mars, and later the victims of the Civil War were buried there. In the years 1917-19 according to the project of architect L. V. Rudnev, a memorial was built for the victims of the revolution with the epitaphs of A. V. Lunacharsky. In the 1920's a square was laid out around the memorial. In 1957, the memorial was reconstructed under the direction of architect S. G. Mayofis, as a result of which the Field of Mars became the first place in the country where the Eternal Flame was lit.

In the years 1918-1920 Finnish communists were buried on  the Field of Mars.

407 m
Summer Palace of Peter the Great

Summer Palace of Peter the Great

St. Petersburg, Letniy Sad, lit А

The Summer Palace is a diminutive residence of Peter the Great that was built in 1710-14 in his new capital

The design was by Domenico Trezzini.This simple Dutch-style (Petrine Baroque) mansion contains just 14 main rooms.

857 m
Kutuzova Embankment

Kutuzova Embankment

St. Petersburg, nab. Kutuzova

Originally this embankment was a part of the Palace Embankment

Initially it was called the Palace Embankment and became a continuation of a present Palace Embankment. Later it had names – Gagarinskaya, Voskresenskaya, Frantsuzskaya, Zhoresa. It got its actual name in 1945 in honor of Field Marshal Kutuzov, who had a house on this embankment.

Kutuzov Embankment is located between Liteiny and Prachechny bridges, and its length is 720 meters.

269 m
Tavrichesky Palace

Tavrichesky Palace

St. Petersburg, Shpalernaya ul., 47

Tavricheskiy or "Tauride" Palace is one of the largest and most impressive palaces in St. Petersburg

Located in the north-east of the historic centre, next to the Tavricheskiy Garden(formerly the grounds of the palace).


2 km, 167 m
Tavrichesky Garden

Tavrichesky Garden

St. Petersburg, Shpalernaya ul., 47

Tavricheskiy Park was established around the Tavricheskiy palace constructed by Catherine the Great for duke Potyomkin - Tavricheskiy

The palace was inspired by Old Classicism style manors.

The manor includes a big garden with greenhouses, artificial ponds and park pavilions. In the middle of XIX-th century the garden was opened for visitors. In wintertime there were ice rinks and sleighing tracks on the ponds. Today one the garden's territory there is located a greenhouse with unique uncommon plants. In the park there are many sports grounds, which are the favorite place of chess players. Nowadays in the building of the palace there is functioning an Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.

Smolny Cathedral Exhibition and Concert Hall

Smolny Cathedral Exhibition and Concert Hall

St. Petersburg, Bolshoi Sampsonievskiy prospect, 41

Smolny cathedral is a part of architectural ensemble of Smolniy monastery.

St Sampson’s Cathedral State Museum is an operating orthodox cathedral. It is one of the oldest cathedrals in the city, constructed in 1709 in honor of a victory of Russia over Swedes in the Poltava fight. There was the first city cemetery and the first almshouse opened in 1713 at the temple. Some of Peter I devotees found the last shelter on the orthodox and the next Lutheran cemeteries, for example, the first architects of Petersburg D. Trezzini and G.-B. Le Blond, the leyb-physician L.Blyumentrost, "prince-father" P.I.Buturlin and others. The magnificent carved throne and the shade over the throne in the main altar and an 11-meters iconostasis are of special value.

The place for construction of the temple was chosen not incidentally: the church was constructed near Vyborgskaya Road conducting in the times of Peter towards possession of the Swedish king. Going to fields of battles of the Northern war and passing by this temple, armies improved their fighting spirit and felt pride for a victory of the Russian weapon.

1 km, 238 m
Transfiguration Cathedral

Transfiguration Cathedral

St. Petersburg, Preobrazhenskaya pl., 1

Cathedral of the first Russian guards regiment

The Transfiguration Cathedral was the Cathedral of the Life Guards Preobrazhensky Regiment - the first Russian Guards Regiment. It is situated next to the Liteyny prospect, a place where the  Barracks of the Preobrazhensky regiment were located for a long time. In the 1830s this place was the regimental courtyard of the grenadier company of this regiment. It was there that the daughter of Peter I, tsesarevna Elizabeth, was praying  to obtain the throne "illegally abducted" from her by the regent Anna Leopoldovna.

A few days after getting enthroned Elizabeth decided to build a temple on this site in gratitude to God for the great mercy shown to her. In 1743 a stone temple in the name of the Transfiguration of the Lord was established.

By order of the Emperor Paul I  the Transfiguration Cathedral was renamed into the Cathedral of the entire guard in 1796. The cathedral burned down in 1825 and was restored by the winter 1828. The magnificent  cathedral with five domes designed in the  late classicism style keeps its original form to the present time.

There is a square garden surrounded by a fence near the cathedral. The fence consists of 34 granite bases with 102 bronze gun barrels. These guns were taken from the walls of Turkish fortresses during the Russian-Turkish war of 1828-1829. All middle barrels are decorated with golden double-headed crowned eagles. Being the main church of the entire guard, there were numerous regimental banners and other trophies conquered from Turks inside the cathedral. The uniforms of Alexander I, Nicholas I and Alexander II were kept behind the glass in special cabinets.

In 1918 the cathedral became a parish church. Banners, guns and trophies were confiscated and moved to the Artillery Museum. In 1950 they were put to the Hermitage.

Near the northern wall of the cathedral, in the aisle of the saints Clement and Peter there is a winged altarpiece with images of the Transfiguration of the Lord, the great martyr Panteleimon and the holy king Constantine. In 1900 the regiment commander, Major General Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich (the famous poet K.R.) gifted this winged altarpiece  to the regimental hospital.

2 km, 948 m
 Nevsky prospekt

Nevsky prospekt

St. Petersburg, Nevsky prospekt

The main street of St.Petersburg

The need for building Nevsky Prospect arose shortly after the foundation of the city. The only land route that connected the Admiralty (the industrial center of the new city) with central Russia was the Novgorod road, from which a path ran along the banks of the Neva. The Novgorod road ran approximately along the line of the modern Ligovsky Prospect to the Tauride Garden. The trail crossed the Fontanka along the dam built by master I. Matveev in 1705 at the direct instruction of Peter I.

Nevsky Prospect (Nevsky Avenue) is the main street of St. Petersburg, stretching for 4.5 km from the Admiralty to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra. Crosses the Moika River (Green Bridge), Griboedov Canal (Kazan Bridge), Fontanka (Anichkov Bridge). The greatest width is 60 m (at Gostiny Dvor), the minimum width is 25 m (at the Moika river).

Nevsky Prospect is only 10 years younger than St. Petersburg. According to the plan of Peter I, this road was to connect the Admiralty with the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. Empress Anna Ioannovna called the road “Nevsky Pershpectiva”, Catherine II –Nevsky Prospect.

Nevsky Prospect is overlooked by facades of 240 buildings. The right side (odd) is informally called “shadow side”, the even - “sunny side ” (a popular place for a walk). The section from Ploschad Vosstaniya Square to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery is unofficially called Staro-Nevsky (partly due to the fact that in the 1730s an attempt was made to straighten the highway along the current Goncharnaya and Telezhnaya streets).

2 km, 218 m
The Catherine Garden

The Catherine Garden

St. Petersburg, Ostrovskogo pl.

The Catherine garden is a part of the Ostrovskiy Square complex, on the territory of the Anichkov Palace manor

The Catherine Garden is an informal name of the park that is located in front of the Alexandrinskiy Theatre. It was established in 1820-es under the project of architect K. Rossi. The Catherine garden is a part of the Ostrovskiy Square complex, on the territory of the Anichkov Palace manor. The building of Alexandrinskiy Theatre is dominating in the square's view. The central place of the Garden is the monument to Catherine II that was erected in 1873. It gave its name to the park that is also known as "Catherine's garden" or "Montmartre": near the garden many St-Petersburg artists exhibit and sell their pictures.

4 km, 93 m
 Winter Palace

Winter Palace

St. Petersburg, Dvortsovaya pl., 2

The Winter Palace is the former royal palace. Nowadays  it is a part of the main museum complex of the Hermitage

The monumental and elegant Winter Palace built by order of the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna by the architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754-1762, is a striking monument of the Baroque style. The palace is a brilliant example of a synthesis of architecture and decorative plastic art. All the facades are embellished by a two-tier colonnade. Forming a complex rhythm of verticals, the columns soar upwards, and this motion embraces the numerous statues and vases on the roof. The abundance of stucco decoration - fanciful surbases and window architraves, mascarons, cartouches, rocailles, and a variety of pediments - creates an extremely rich play of light and shade that invest the building's appearance with magnificence.

Developing upon one and the same architectural motif, Rastrelli gave each of the four facades of the palace a different structural rhythm. The southern facade, overlooking the square, has a formal grandeur. Here the architect pierced the building with three arches to create a grand entrance into the courtyard and accentuated it with the vertical elements of paired columns. The majestic northern facade, giving the impression of an endless colonnade, faces the broad expanse of the Neva. The western facade, across from the Admiralty, is reminiscent of the composition of a countryside palace with a small courtyard. The monumental eastern facade with its massive side blocks forming a large courtyard is turned to Millionnaya Street, where the mansions of the nobility were located.

For 150 years the palace served as an imperial residence. In November 1917 it was declared a museum. The exhibition placed in the palace includes grand halls and chambers, collections of the antiquities of Eurasia and the East, as well as collections of European and Eastern paintings, sculptures, and decorative art works.

Ticket price - 800 rubles

Citizens of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus - 400 rubles

Children, students, pensioners of the Russian Federation - for free

1 km, 665 m