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St-Petersburg: 21th Century

In 2003 the revived city celebrated its 300th jubilee. In the past three centuries St Petersburg celebrated triumphs of imperial grandeur and witnessed terrible dramas of wars and revolutions. It was glorified and damned in literature – some authors saw it mystically attractive and some others found it disgustingly cruel. And even today it arouses different emotions, never leaving anybody indifferent. The inhabitants of St Petersburg believe that their city is the best in the world and capable to overcome any trials and tribulations. One cannot help musing upon the glorious and
tragic history of the city near the equestrian statue of its creator, Peter the Great, the first Russian Emperor. This monument, a work by Etienne Maurice Falconet, inspired Alexander Pushkin for the creation of the poem The Bronze Horseman, and under its spell the bronze statue acquired a profound symbolic significance for St Petersburg implementing its spirit of vitality. Seemingly arrested in an eternal jump over the city, its patron is gazing, as it were, into breath-taking St Petersburg vistas and gorgeous ensembles.

Monument to Peter the Great. 1768-82. Sculfpor Etienne Maurice Falconet assisted by Marie Anne Collot

Monument to Peter the Great

An old legend has it that as long as the Bronze Horseman stands on its place, St Petersburg will not perish. Under its shelter the city’s mystery and uniquely tragic history have blended to create that special unfathomable aura, which adds much to its everlasting beauty. The city has grown and developed as a living organism in the course of the three centuries and walking about it one can trace the principal phases of its life. The Peter and Paul Fortress will enable the city’s guests to re-create the picture of its foundation; Vasilyevsky Island will probably help them imagine the
time when there was a vast noisy forest all around; the Winter Palace and the Hermitage Museum will convey to them an idea of imperial majesty, while a tour of rivers and canals will add to their notion about the scope of work carried out on this swampy land to make Peter’s dream about a flowering “Paradise” come true.

View of the Peter and Paul Fortress on a festive day
The Peter and Paul Fortress, founded by Petek the Great, was a starting point of St Petersburg. The SS Peter and Paul Cathedral

The Peter and Paul Fortress

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