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Architecture of St. Petersburg Tour

Architecture of St. Petersburg Tour

Duration: 6 hours

Guiding you through the heart of this fascinating city, this comprehensive six-hour tour allows to explore the military baroque and European cultural influences introduced by Peter the Great, the luxurious excess of Elizabeth, the austere classicism of Catherine II and the grand imperial style favoured by her grandson Alexander.

Following a route along St. Petersburg’s remarkably visionary City Plan, which has survived for centuries, you will share in a unique experience of architectural heritage that includes famous Art Nouveau and Soviet-era buildings together with recent developments, giving a view of how modern architecture can blend and compliment historic buildings in the city today. This tour also includes inside visits to the Academy of Fine Arts and St. Petersburg Academy of Art and Design.


Peter the Great was the first Tsar to have a progressive vision of a more open and European Russia. He started a unique cultural revolution that replaced Russia’s traditionalist, medieval social and political system with a more modern, scientific, Europe-oriented rationalism. Nothing reflects this creative vision more than the beautiful city of St. Petersburg, with its eclectic diversity of architecture and culture.

Tour Programme

St. Petersburg enjoys a unique and varied architectural heritage and this tour includes visits to some of the most important and magnificent monuments in the world:

  • Early 18th century examples such as Peter-and-Paul Fortress, building of Twelve Colleguims and Kunstkammer
  • Mid 18th century Baroque including Smolny Convent, Winter palace and Palace Square, Stroganoff Palace and St. Nicholas Cathedral
  • Late 18th century and early 19th century classicism examples including the Marble palace, Academy of Fine Arts, Taurida Palace, Smolny Institute, Admiralty, Kazansky Cathedral, Mikhailovsky Palace, Yusupov Palace, Alexander Theatre and the Spit of St. Basil Island ensemble
  • Mid to late 19th century eclecticism such as Mariinsky and Nikolayevsky Palaces, Mariinsky Theatre, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Palace of the Grand Duke Vladimir and others
  • Early 20th century Art Nouveau, including the Yeliseyev Store and Sienger Company Office (central book store) on Nevsky Prospect, the Palace of the ballerina Mathilda Kshesinskaya and houses on the Stone Island Prospect.

 The Academy of Fine Arts and St. Petersburg Academy of Art and Design

The Academy of Fine Arts was founded in 1757 to provide training in painting, sculpture and architecture. Many great Russian architects studied and worked there. You will pay a visit to the Museum of the Academy featuring works by students and graduates of the school; of special interest is the section exhibiting models of famous St. Petersburg buildings.

Scaled models made of wood were used in creation of especially complicated and important structures in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of their dimensional composition, internal structure and interior decoration. When buildings were completed, their models – these works of architecture of a particular kind – were handed over to the Academy for the benefit of the future architects and scholars.

St. Petersburg Academy of Art and Design was founded in 1876 by a famous banker and Maecenas, baron Alexander Stieglits, and often referred to as the Stieglits Institute.

The Academy contains the important Museum of Applied Arts. Its basic purpose was to introduce the future artists to world art treasures enabling them to use the knowledge they had received. Gradually the Museum collected over 30,000 objects (sculpture, porcelain, glassware, antique furniture, ceramics and interior decorations) distinguished by their diversity and high artistic quality, reflecting all trends of applied art from ancient time to the present day. The Museum rooms themselves are unique decorated in various architectural styles reflecting different historical epochs.

Tour Extensions

Other optional tours lasting four hours, conducted by Professor Alexei Leporc of the State Hermitage Museum, include:

  • St. Petersburg Architecture of Constructivism Style (1920s)
  • Soviet and Modern Architecture of St. Petersburg (from 1930s until the present time).

Combine this tour with others to make your own custom St. Petersburg sightseeing tour. Call us for details

Please fill in the Customise your tour form to give us details about your trip and your tour preferences, for this tour alone or in combination with others.