Private & Small groups guided tour
Description from the guide:
Walk with me around Peter and Paul fortress and surrounding area, where the nucleus of the city was situated starting from Peter the Great’s cottage, built by soldiers in three days out of wooden logs and painted to look like small one storey Dutch house made of bricks, and now completely overshadowed by the huge monstrosity of Stalin’s Empire style buildings, designed to show the power and the might of the Soviet State. Visit Kshessinskaya prima ballerina and lover of the last tzar Nicolas II mansion, which was taken over by Bolshevick’s revolutionary committee, where from its balcony Lenin proclaimed his "All power to the Soviets" speech. Walk with me along the river Neva embankments, where every stone remembers the past. Enjoy a breathtaking view from its bridges and solid granite embankments that don’t exist anywhere else in the world. You will be able to see the Admiralty, Palace, English, Peter’s, University embankments and much more. A visit of Peter and Paul fortress is included or another museum of your choice, such as political history museum or Aurora cruiser’s museum, with the gun, that signaled the beginning of Bolshevik revolution with a its blank shot across the bow. We can visit city history museum inside the fortress. As an extra bonus we would be able to visit miniature version of St. Petersburg with all the replicas of iconic buildings presented on scale.
Find out about the history of Peter’s creation. Was he right when he willed into existence his "Window on the West", counting the cost of thousands of human lives in the process of his reforms? These reforms were intended to socialize the barbaric Russian population and train them in new European ways. Starting from Trinity square, under protection of the Peter and Paul Fortress, place of public executions and bacchanalian procession of Peter’s "all drunken all jesting" unholy council of court dwarfs, the official center of the city moved first to Basil Island and Admiralty side after that. We proceed to places connected with more recent Russian history. We learn the story of love affair between the young girl, who just graduated from Imperial ballet academy and a future tzar of all Russias, when they met at the graduation ceremony and stayed lovers, before Nicolas became happily married to his wife. Though Matilda Kshessinskaya, who became prima ballerina and continued her affair with two of the Grand Dukes, living in a mansion, built for her by tzar’s family and stuffed with jewelry made by Faberge, eventually lost everything, when Lenin, arriving from Switzerland, send by German government in a sealed train as plague bacillus to destroy the whole Russia, made his way on an armored car to her mansion to turn it into headquarters of military revolutionary committee of the Bolshevik party, organization that took power in October 1917. We’ll see the Peter and Paul fortress maximum security political prison, where the brother of Vladimir Lenin along with other comrades and predecessors such as utopian socialist democratic writer Cherniyshevskyi, the one, who wrote the book while sitting there, which according to Lenin’s own words, "plowed him up" were incarcerated. Many of those people who belonged to different socialist parties moved after revolution to more comfortable, though also sinister looking barebones constructivist building constructed in the 1930s just opposite the fortress and intended for the community of former political prisoners who were actively involved in revolutionary events, but were purged there by Stalin, who executed from 70 to 90 percent of its dwellers, trying to revise history and erase from it all other parties except Bolsheviks. And we’ll visit Peter and Paul Cathedral with its bell tower, rising into the air to the height of 122 miters, which was higher than Ivan the Great tower in Moscow, and intended by Peter I as a statement that this territory belongs to Russia once and for all times, and under which, the first political prisoner was buried, Peter I own son, prince Alexei, whom Peter had tortured and killed in the prison for the political expediency sake, as he might have been a rallying point for the opposition, same as the last heir to the throne young boy Alexei, is buried on the other side of the church with his whole family, which was executed by Bolsheviks in Ekaterinburg along with doctor and servants, just because he might have been the rallying point for the opposition to communist’s regime.