Тема: Музеи и художественные галереи в Санкт-Петербурге
St. Petersburg is called the second cultural capital of Russia. The city was founded by Peter the Great in 1703, and it eventually became one of the most beautiful European cities, an important cultural and scientific centre of Russia. The location of St. Petersburg in the delta of the Neva played a very important role in appearance of the city and its palaces and museums. There are a lot of palaces and museums, which attract tourists from all parts of the world. Among them is the famous Winter Palace, one of the Europe's most fascinating palaces and a monument to Peter the Great's daughter, Empress Elizabeth Petrovna It was erected by the famous sculptor Bartolomeo Carlo Rastrelli. In the 18th century it became a place for collections of paintings. The name Hermitage is in no way related to the collecting of artworks, but later on it became attached to the entire ensemble — famous museum, where one can see an enormous collection of paintings, sculptures, china, arms and a lot of other historical and unique things. It's one of the top attractions in the city.
Another famous palace, the Mikhailovsky Palace was created by Rossi and in 1898 became the museum of Russian art in St. Petersburg (like the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow). The museum collections contain over 300,000 exhibits, including old Russian icons, paintings by Karl Briulov, Ivan Aivazovsky, Ivan Shishkin and other famous Russian artists.
There are famous cathedrals and churches, which are masterpieces of arts in the city. One of them is magnificent St. Isaac's Cathedral. The cathedral is the fourth Petersburg church dedicated to St. Isaac, a legendary Byzantine monk whose feast day happened to be the birthday of Peter I. In 1819 the foundation stone of the cathedral was laid, and only in 1858 the church took its final shape. It is the construction of the highly advanced architectural thought and engineering skills of the 19th century. Now it is a museum.
Another famous museum is the Church of the Saviour on the Blood. It has a very sad history. On March 1, 1881, just at the same place where the church is now, Emperor Alexander II was fatally wounded and died. The very next day his son and heir Alexander III took the decision that a church dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ should be built on that site. This church, built in 1907 and is better known as the Church of the Saviour on the Blood, became the most exotic structure in St. Petersburg.
There are a lot of other palaces and churches which are famous all over the world, and among them are the Kazan Cathedral, the Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas, Petergof, Oranienbaum, Tsarskoe Selo, Pavlovsk, Peter and Paul Fortress, Menshikov Palace, the Ethnographic museum, the Suvorov memorial museum and a lot of others. All of them show the history and the development of Russia, its life and victories during the centuries.