st. petersburg
St. Petersburg
Nevsky Prospect and Around
Church on Spilled Blood (Church of the Resurrection of Christ) - Not far from the Nevsky Prospect is the Church on Spilled Blood. You can't fail to notice the sea green, turquoise and white towers, twirled like a triple-flavor soft ice cream cone. The church was built to commemorate the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. Inside, the walls are decorated with gilded mosaics depicting the life of Christ, the floor is covered in marble. Don't miss the canopy over the cobblestones, marking the spot where Alexander was mortally wounded.
Boat ride on the canals - Take a boat ride on the canals, past building facades of yellow, peach, blue and cream, sunlight glinting on gilded spires and domes as you pass by. You'll explore the Moyka, Griboedova and Fontanka canals and river. In an open boat, some of the bridges are so low, it seems you'll bump your head.
You can pick up boat tours at the Nevsky Prospect and Griboedova Canal or Fontanka. Unless you want non-stop commentary in Russian while cruising the canals, ask at your hotel for an English guide or arrange for a water taxi (somewhat pricey, but you'll have peace and quiet).
Russian Museum - This museum is worth a visit, even in nice weather. The charm of this museum are vivid scenes from Russian life - paintings of farmers harvesting wheat, ice skating in winter, armies fighting in the snow, a 17th century merchant family, a girl with a sickle in her hand, a boy thinking what to write (the painting is called Composition).
Wishing dog - The wishing dog is a contemporary landmark. Opposite the Catherine the Great statue on the Nevsky Prospect is a small pedestrian street, Malaya Sadova. Next to the bronze statue of of a man holding an umbrella, go into the countryard. To the right, you'll see the small metal statue of a dog. Place your wish in the black post box on the wall, then put a coin in the dog's mouth and whisper your wish in the dog's ear.
Wax Museum (Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace) - This exhibit of waxwork figures from Russian history is awesome. Each section has 50 figures - the first from the 12th - 19th century, the second group includes the last Tsar, Stalin and other Soviet leaders to the present. Figures are dressed in authentic costumes and have very life-like expressions. Request a tour guide in English - you'll get a detailed explanation of each figure. The wax museum is a wonderful way to bring Russian history to life and a good background for all the historical sites in St. Petersburg.

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