Journey to Russia (part 3) – Squares and Palaces

If churches have made people feel small, castles bring people to love of life. The city’s most beautiful Palace Square is located on the banks of the Neva River. Around the square there are 6 palaces, magnificent, massive. Today four (Winter palaces, small Hermitage, new Hermitage, old Hermitage) have combined into the national Hermitage museum, one of the oldest and largest museums in the world, on par with the British Museum ( London) and Louvre (Paris). The Hermitage has more than 3 million cultural and artistic artifacts from prehistory to modern. Especially the collection of works of many painters of impressionist, post-impressionist, French stereotypes … Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso, Kandinsky … desirable names for any museum. come on.

Only the Winter Palace (“nuclear” of the Hermitage), there are 1786 large doors, 1945 windows, 1,500 rooms, 117 stairs. We came to the front of the line to see the strong round columns, the beautiful cast iron fences in the cool, green space and waiting to set foot on the famous Jordan staircase, standing in the middle of the room. Peter and George … to admire the artworks, architecture, ancient coins, medals, weapons, and stand with the “Woman in the Garden” – a Monet masterpiece, or “The White House of the Night” by Van Gogh. Going to Petersburg without going to the Hermitage is like you’ve never been to St. Peter’s city.

In the early 18th century, Peter the Great just returned from Paris. The Palace of Versailles fascinates him. The king wanted the Swedes conquered by his weapons to be subdued before the wealth of the Russian empire, and Peterhof, 20km west of Petersburg, was chosen to build Russia’s Versailles. On an area of over 1,000 hectares, the Russians put up 20 palaces, 7 parks and 140 fountains – the famous gilded bronze statues. What’s very unique: These fountains do not need pumps. Streams from afar (20km) flow into the reservoirs in the Upper Garden and then “compress” into the fountains set in the Lower Garden. At the end of April to the end of summer, when the sun is at its peak, the fountains put up a hymn (water music). From the sky, we could hear the birds pouring down and lined in a cool stream like headwaters and feel the weight of the scent of flowers and grass spreading in the open space.

Not far from Peterhof’s fountains is Catherine’s Palace. The exterior of the Roccoco-style palace is adorned with 100 pounds of gold. However, inside the palace, there is something even more precious than gold. Not the “light” hall, not the large curved windows, not a monumental fresco that covered the entire ceiling, but the legendary amber room, a gift from Prussian Emperor Friedrich Wilhelm. I gave it to the Russian emperor Peter the First. 450kg amber is inlaid with Russian and Florentian artisans (Italy) inlaid with gold and Ural, Caucasus gemstones, creating extremely strange color effects. In 1941, the amber room was dismantled and mysteriously disappeared by the Nazis. Russians spent more than $ 12 million to restore the amber room. The opening day of the amber room (2002) was attended by Russian President Putin and German Prime Minister Gerhard Schroeder.

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