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Home > > > Welcome to Saint-Petersburg >>> Sights of Saint-Petersburg >>> Parks and squares



Summer Garden

The Summer Garden occupies an island between the Fontanka, Moika, and the Swan Canal in Saint Petersburg and shares its name with the adjacent Summer Palace of Peter the Great.
The park, first conceived by Peter in 1704, was laid out by foreign garden planners between 1712 and 1725 in a Dutch Baroque style. Three years later, the walks were lined with a hundred allegorical marble sculptures, executed by Francesco Penso, Pietro Baratta, Marino Gropelli, Alvise Tagliapietra, and other Venetian sculptors. In the late 20th century, 90 surviving statues were moved indoors, while modern replicas took their place in the park.

A delicate iron-cast railing, separating the park from the public walk of the Palace Embankment, was installed between 1771 and 1784 to a design by Georg von Veldten. The grille is suspended between 36 granite columns crowned with urns and vases. The poet Anna Akhmatova, among others, considered the grille to be a pinnacle of art-casting and one of the symbols of Saint-Petersburg.

Vasilievsky Island

Vasilievsky Island is an island in Saint-Petersburg, bordered by the rivers Bolshaya Neva and Malaya Neva (in the delta of Neva) from South and Northeast, and by the Gulf of Finland from the West. Vasilievsky Island is separated from Dekabristov Island by the Smolenka River.
Situated just across the river from the Winter Palace, it constitutes a large portion of the city's historic center. Two of the most famous Saint-Petersburg bridges, Palace Bridge and Blagoveshchensky Bridge, connect it with the mainland to the south. The Exchange Bridge and Tuchkov Bridge across Malaya Neva connect it with Petrogradsky Island. Vasilievsky Island is served by the Vasileostrovskaya station and the Primorskaya station of Saint Petersburg Metro.
The easternmost tip of the island, called Strelka (Spit, literally Arrow), features a number of museums, including the Old Saint-Petersburg Stock Exchange (Bourse) as well as two Rostral columns, and is a popular tourist attraction. The edifices lining the Universitetskaya Embankment along the Bolshaya Neva include the Kunstkamera, Twelve Collegia, Menshikov Palace, Imperial Academy of Sciences, and St. Andrew's Cathedral - all dating from the 18th century. Another notable attraction is an animated musical fountain located just off the Spit.

Palace Square

Palace Square connecting Nevsky Prospekt with Palace Bridge leading to Vasilievsky Island, is the central city square of St Petersburg and of the former Russian Empire. It was the setting of many events of worldwide significance, including the Bloody Sunday (1905) and the October Revolution of 1917.
View of the square with the Alexander Column from an open window of the Hermitage Museum in the Winter Palace.
The earliest and most celebrated building on the square is the baroque white-and-azure Winter Palace of Russian tsars (1754-62), which gave the square its name. Although the adjacent buildings are designed in the Neoclassical style, they perfectly match the palace in their scale, rhythm, and monumentality. The opposite, southern side of the square was designed in the shape of an arc by George von Velten in the late 18th century. These plans were executed half a century later, when Alexander I of Russia envisaged the square as a vast monument to the Russian victory over Napoleon and commissioned Carlo Rossi to design the bow-shaped Empire-style Building of the General Staff (1819-29), which centers on a double triumphal arch crowned with a Roman quadriga.
The centre of the square is marked with the Alexander Column (1830-34), designed by Auguste de Montferrand. This red granite column (the tallest of its kind in the world) is 47,5 metres high and weighs some 500 tons. It is set so well that no attachment to the base is needed.

Vosstaniya Square

Vosstaniya Square is a major square in the Central Business District of Saint Petersburg, Russia. The square lies at the crossing of Nevsky Prospekt, Ligovsky Prospekt, Vosstaniya Street and Goncharnaya Street, in front of the Moskovsky Rail Terminal, which is the northern terminus of the line connecting the city with Moscow.
Prior to the February Revolution, the square was known as Znamenskaya, after the church of the Sign, which was built there in 1794-1804 to a Neoclassical design by Fyodor Demertsov. The square was a scene of many revolutionary demonstrations and protests. After the Bolsheviks seized the city, they had the square renamed into the Uprising Square to commemorate these events. The church of the Sign was torn down in 1940 to make room for the surface vestibule of the Ploshchad Vosstaniya metro station (opened in 1955).
The Hero-City Obelisk was erected in order to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Victory Day in 1985 design by Vladimir Lukyanov and Aleksandr Alymov.

Victory Square

Victory Square in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, is named after the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War. It is located in the very end of Moskovsky Prospekt near Pulkovo Airport not in the central part of the city, despite this name being common in the former Soviet cities as a central city square. The nearest metro station is Moskovskaya.
Victory Square is home to the Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad, which commemorates the victims and survivors of the Siege of Leningrad. The monument, designed by Sergey Speranskiy and Valentin Kamenskiy, and sculpted by Mikhail Anikushin, was erected in 1975 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the end of the war. It consists of a 48metre high obelisk, a large circular enclosure, and a subterranean Memorial Hall.

Field of Mars

The Field of Mars or Marsovo Polye is a large park named after the Mars - Roman god of war situated in the center of Saint-Petersburg, with an area of about 9 hectares. Bordering the Field of Mars to the north are the Marble (Mramorny) Palace, Suvorova Square and Betskois and Saltykovs houses. To the west are the Barraks of the Pavlovsky Regiment. The Moyka river forms the boundary to the south.
The history of Field of Mars goes back to the first years of Saint-Petersburg. At that time it was called Grand Meadow. Later there were organised solemnities in the honour of the victory in the Great Northern War and the Field was renamed Pleasure Field (Poteshnoe Pole). In the 1740s Pleasure Field for a short while was turned into a walking park with paths, lawn and flowers. Its next name Tsarinas Meadow appears after the royal family commissioned F.B. Rastrelli to build the Summer Palace for Empress Catherine I. But near the end of the 18th century Tsarinas Meadow became a military drilling ground where they erected monuments commemorating the victories of the Russian Army and where parades and military studies took place regularly.

Leningrad Zoo

The Leningradskiy Zoopark, sometimes called the Saint Petersburg Zoo in Saint Petersburg, Russia, is located in Alexander Park on the Petrogradskaya Storona. It was founded by Sofia Gerhardt and Julius Gerhardt in 1865. It has about 2,000 animals from 410 species, including polar bears.
The zoo was renamed from "Zoological Garden" to "Leningrad Zoo" in 1952. In 1991 the name was retained, even after the city resumed its former name of Saint-Petersburg.

Senate Square

Senate Square, formerly known as Decembrists' Square in 1925-2008, and Peter's Square ( ), before 1925, is a city square in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is situated on the left bank of the Bolshaya Neva, in front of Saint Isaac's Cathedral. In 1925 it was renamed Decembrists Square to commemorate the Decembrist Revolt, which took place there in 1825.
The square is bounded by the Russian Admiralty to the east. On the west is the Senate and Synod Building (now headquarters of the Constitutional Court of Russia). The Bronze Horseman monument adorns the square. On July 29, 2008, the square was renamed back to Senate Square.