The Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg is a “must see” on any tour or St. Petersburg shore excursion.
Compared to the grand suburban palaces like Peterhof and the Catherine Palace in Pushkin and even Gatchina Palace, the Yusupov Palace fits into the city environment in which it resides. It is only when you enter that you get a sense of its grand scale and wealth required to build it
Built in 1770 during the reign of Catherine the Great, the Yusupov family had “status” to preserve as there were many other wealthy families who were not a part of the ruling Romanov family. Among these families were the Sheremetevs who owned the Fountain House in St. Petersburg and for whom the main airport in Moscow is named. It was a tall order to “keep up with the Sheremetevs”. The Yusupov Palace did its job well.
Upon entering the Yusupov Palace you are greeted with a magnificent marble staircase. Your visit will reveal all manner of functional, albeit exquisite, rooms and a variety of special purpose rooms which include a ballroom and a spectacular private theater. The wealth of the Yusupovs enabled them to entertain not only the aristocrats but also the Russian royal family. Technically the wife of Yusupov was royal. She was the niece of Czar Nicholas II.
Art lovers will enjoy the Yusupov Palace. The family loved art and culture. It is obvious even with the pieces in the palace today. Vast numbers of art works were looted by the Bolsheviks and are on display in various museums around Russia including the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.
It is said that some of the most famous works of art owned by the Yusupov family,including a Rembrandt, were sold to support the family in exile in Paris after the Bolshevik revolution.
Look at this painting of a charity ball staged in the ballroom of the Yusupov Palace. (click on the image to see a larger version)
A MURDER MOST FOUL -
Perhaps the event which most distinguishes the Yusupov Palace is the murder of one who was as crude as the Yusupovs were refined. That would be Gregori (Gregory) Rasputin. A fake faith healer, Rasputin had become essential to the Tzarina Alexandra. Her son, heir to the Russian throne, suffered from hemophilia and Rasputin convinced her that he had the power to relieve the boy’s suffering. Seeing that Rasputin’s influence was causing Czar Nicholas II to govern more irresponsibly than ever, Felix Yusupov and others lured Rasputin to the Palace where they murdered him.
While in Paris, where he died in 1967, Felix Yusupov filmed an introduction to a movie entitled “I Shot Rasputin”.
When you tour the Yusupov Palace you will definitely visit the state rooms, the music room and galleries of fine art owned by the Yusupov family. Only if you receive a proper tour with a tour guide recognized by the palace will you see the area of the palace where Rasputin was murdered. (There are periodic tours of the Rasputin murder area offered by the Palace but they are in Russian language only)
In order for St. Petersburg tour guides to have permission to tour in the Rasputin exhibition of the Yusupov Palace they must receive training and be credentialed by the the Palace. Re-certification must be accomplished each winter or they lose that certification. RussianTourGuide.com enjoys a special relationship with the Yusupov Palace and can take you, not only to the Rasputin area but also the Boudoir area, if enough notice is given.
There are evening cocktail parties,with live chamber music, which our clients can enjoy ! Ask us about a “Magic Evening at the Yusupov Palace”.
Starting in 2013 all RussianTourGuide.com
- St. Petersburg 2 Day Shore Excursions
- Comprehensive Tours of Russia (St. Petersburg ,Golden Ring & Moscow 12 Day tour)
will include an inside visit to the Yusupov Palace.
The Mariinksy Theatre
Recognized as one of the best venues for Russian ballet and opera.
No trip should be made to St. Petersburg without including a ballet performance.
This is true even if you have never been to a ballet.
I am just such a person. I did not think I would enjoy ballet, but felt the need to see the things that we suggest to our clients. Now I can say I have seen Swan Lake 5 times in Russia as well as many other Russian ballet performances. Ballet is delightful and beautiful.
If it is possible, you should see many ballets and opera performances, but, if you can see only one, then it should be at the Mariinsky Theatre.
This most prestigious theatre features the best of ballet in the world and is the home of the most prestigious ballet company in the world, the Kirov Ballet Company.
The specific list of performances at the various venues changes and is not posted very far in advance. We will be happy to give you the list of peformance options for St. Petersburg’s various theatres if you would care to drop an quick email. Of the things which causes St. Petersburg to be among my favorite cites is the amazing night life. The number and variety of cultural performances , I think, exceed those available in New York or London.
For English and Japanese speakers, ballet, opera and the folk shows are wonderful as they are language “independent”.
As with everything, there are varying degrees of excellence. So it is not surprising that there are vastly different prices for performances of the same ballet or opera at different theatres.
Among the best theatres in St. Petersburg are, but not restricted to,
- Mariinsky theatre.
- Alexandrindky theatre.
- Mihailovsky theatre.
- Hermitage theatre.
- Palace theatre.
It is wonderful to attend an opera, ballet, symphony or folk show. Let us assist you in choosing what is right for you based on your budget, and the dates on which you are in the city.
Beware! Many of the ticket sellers on the internet either sell fake tickets or ones at HIGHLY inflated prices or both. (there are theatres who openly publish that they will not accept balletandopera.com or operaandballet.com tickets)
3* Delux Hotel: Located near the Hermitage, this botique hotel is cozy with free breakfast, wi-fi, television and everything tourists want for convenience and comfort. We enjoy a close relationship with this hotel group and will be happy to include accomodations in your tour package.
4* Nevsky Forum: Located on Nevsky Prospect this boutique 4 star hotel has all the amenities with the extra luxury desired by many visitors to Russia. We enjoy a close relationship with this hotel group and will be happy to include accomodations in your tour package.
When you work with www.RussiantourGuide.com in St. Petersburg, you get the skill and experience of Anna and her organization with planning and administration from professionals in the USA. The collaboration of our organizations brings powerful resources to your tour planning and execution.
Tour Collaborators in Other Cities:
St. Petersburg is the home of the Russian School for Ballet. In this city, the most important ballet dancers have trained and performed. Among those are Baryshnikov and Nureyev.
If you have a free evening in St. Petersburg or Moscow, the ballet is an event you will long remember, even it you are not already a fan of ballet.
It is important to note that the revival of the Hermitage Theater makes it possible to step back in time to see a performance as did the previous crowned heads of state during the days of Imperial Russia. It is all the more remarkable that these ballets are again being performed along the historic Neva Embankment and it is as if the patron has stepped back into a time once thought to have been lost forever. Performances are practically nightly in during the tourist season.
Performances of the great ballets like “Swan Lake”, “Giselle” and “Sleeping Beauty” ,among others, are performed frequently.
RussiantourGuide.com obtains tickets, for all of our clients, to any of the theatres in St. Petersburg.
The Hermitage Theatre is the oldest building in the complex of theWinter Palace preserved to our time. It was built on the site of the former Winter Palace of Peter I. The construction of the theatre is functionaly independent and is connected to the basic court building by an arch. The arch is built over the channel that connects the Moika River to the river Neva. The arch is called the “Winter flute”. The theater building, which sometimes is called as fourth Winter the Palace, was constructed between 1711-1723. The theatre was built later in 1783-1785 during the reign of Catherine the Great. The architect was Jakomo Kvarengi, who built around 30 of the most beautiful buildings and structures in the city.
Note: There are many companies who sell tickets to the theatres in St. Petersburg. One of the most easily found in web searches, actually sells ticktets which are fake. Some theatres’ home pages warn potential customers not to buy from this site.
You can be assured of the quaity and price of the tickets RussiantourGuide.com buys for your theatrical performances in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
The Delux is a small 3.5 star mini hotel near St. Isaac’s Cathdral and about 5 minutes walk for the Hermitage.
Features include tv, wi-fi, free breakfast
Rooms are mostly “townhouse style” with sleeping upstair and living downstairs.
Most rooms have a sleeper sofa.
Some rooms have sauna and kitchen.
This is a great value hotel. We have a special relationship with the management which enables us to give our clients rooms at the Delux with a big discount over published rates.
St. Petersburg 1 Day Cruise Excursions
Many cruise lines have ships which visit St. Petersburg for 1 day.
We offer custom 1 day tours of St. Petersburg.
See the sights of St. Petersburg you want without a large crowd. You can visit exactly what interests you the most in your limited time in magnificent St. Petersburg.
This is especially a good idea for families who would like to tour together and enjoy activities, like a nice lunch or dinner, together.
It will be our pleasure to prepare and itinerary, with pricing, for your examination at no charge!
It is that simple. Just click here to get started!
When one observes the skyline of St. Petersburg the spire of the Peter and Paul Cathedral is predominant. The Peter and Paul Fortress was the first structure Peter the Great built in Saint Petersburg, Russia in 1703. Today it marks the founding of the city, but the fortress was used as a political prison for centuries and the cathedral holds the tombs of the Romanov Tsars. The Peter and Paul Fortress sits on the northern banks of the Neva River, and the tall golden spire of Peter and Paul Cathedral marks the location. This spire was the tallest point in Saint Petersburg until a television tower was built in the mid-1960s. Many famous persons have been incarcerated in the Prison. Feodor Dostoevsky was imprisoned here for his part in the attempt on the Czar’s life. While standing to be executed, the czar commuted his death sentence and sentenced him to many years in Siberia. This episode in his life is assumed to be the motivation for his novel Crime and Punishment. It is remarkable to see the semi precious stone tombs of the likes of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. All of the Romanov Czars’ remains are in the Peter and Paul Cathedral with the exception of Peter the III.
The remains of the last Czar , Nicholas II, and his murdered family are in the Cathedral in a special room. They were placed there in the last few years after the remains were discovered in the Urals near where they were murdered.
Many children will recognize the name of one of Nicholas’ children, Grand Duchess Anastasia from the Disney movie of the same name.
The Church on Spilled Blood was built in the late 19th century on the site where a terriorist tossed a bomb under the carriage of Tsar Alexander II. The Czar was rushed to the Winter Palace where he died from his wounds.
The church’s fascinating, colorful appearance is the result of the numerous materials used in its construction. Much like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the church is a challenge to the visual senses–there is so much to see. For example, the bell tower is covered in 144 mosaic coats of arms, representing the regions and towns of Russia.
The five domes are covered in jeweler’s enamel, and glazed ceramic tiles cover much of the exterior. The intricate design and detail of the church are an interesting contrast to the simplicity of most of the rest of the buildings in St. Petersburg.
The Church on Spilled Blood is an easy walk from the Hermitage and many of the other sights in St. Petersburg which every visitor must see.
For those who have been to Moscow, the resemblance to St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square is no coincidence. The architect, Alfred Parland, was trying to copy St. Basil’s, and most would say the two churches do look much alike, although their environs are certainly different.
The Church on Spilled Blood is one of the “Must See” sights of St. Petersburg. This is true even for the brief St. Petersburg shore excursions. Fortunately the church can be included on any guided tour of St. Petersburg after a full day of other visits since it remains open for tours until 7 p.m. (19:00).
For those on St. Petersburg holidays who wish to see the beautiful city from the canals, our private boat tour is one of the most relaxing and picturesque tours of St. Petersburg. It begins just a short walk from the Church on Spilled Blood.
If you want to buy souvenirs in St. Petersburg, one of the best places is in the market just to the rear. Another reason to have a proper tour of St. Petersburg, is to have a St. Petersburg tour guide with you when you shop. You will be able to consult with him/her regarding the quality and value of your potential purchases. In fact, several of the vendors in the market behind the Church on Spilled Blood represent skilled artists. I have purchased original oil paintings which I have admired in my home for years.
You will certainly see the Church on Spilled Blood if you book our:
The Grand Choral Synagogue of St. Petersburg , sometimes called the St. Petersburg Synagogue, is the second largest synagogue in Europe. It was built between 1880 and 1888, and consecrated in 1893.