Archive | Museums of St. Petersburg, Russia Visa Free

RSS feed for this section

Places to See During Your Visa Free St Petersburg Cruise

21 May

Places to visit in St. Petersburg

Combination of solemn architectural forms, regularly planned avenues and squares, picturesque park and gardens, fantastic sculptural composition, rivers and canals framed by granite embarkments and patterned railling of bridges create unique poetical image of St. Petersburg.

The whole architectonic environment of the city was created in two centuries. Front facades of St. Petersburg are reflected in water of the main thorough-are of the city, Neva River. Austere bastions of Peter and Paul Fortress remind of boisterous and sometimes hard history of the city. The golden spire of Peter and Paul Cathedral that tends to reach sky combined with lengthly line of fortress rampart wall make a laconically stem architectonic silhouette of river facade of the city.

The spirit of Vasilyevsky Island like a huge ship is cutting mighty waters of the Neva River. This grandiose ensemble being a combination of architecture, water and wide open space creates great impression on visitors. The whole scope of the classical Stock exchange House, the Rostrum Columns, the the resilient tape of the embarkment from an integral architectural ensemble of the Northern Capital.

Walking alone Nevsky Prospect surrounded with architectural and cultural monuments of different epochs and styles will be a fascinating and unforgettable experience for you. Classical pavilion of Admiralty, crowned by the golden spire opens the perspective of the main city street. You can enter one of the most beautiful squares of Alexander Column dominates in its center. The column is crowned by the statute of angel who blesses St. Petersburg.

Luxurious baroque facades of The Winter Palace, the solemn rhythm of colonnades of the Ministries buildings, broken by Triumph Arch form one of the most brilliant architectonic ensembles of the world.

A visit to the Cloister of Alexander Nevsky will bring you back to origins of Russian history. This ensemble combines the traditions peculiar to Russian monasteries with the architectural features of the beginning of the 18th century. Imposing Cathedral of Saint Trinity is a monument of the national warrior St. Alexander Nevsky.

Near the steep turn of the river the marvellous well proportioned silhouette of Resurrection Smolny Cathedral of Smolny Monastery seems to be coming up to reach the sky. This masterpiece of the wolds’ architecture is build in Elizabeth’s style.

The Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. Petersburg

The Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, St. Petersburg

The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia

Winter in St. Petersburg

Winter in St. Petersburg

Visa Free St Petersburg Cruise

Rostral Column in Vasilievsky Island.


Uspenski Cathedral in Helsinki, Finland

13 Aug
Uspenski Cathedral, Visit Helsinki with Baltic Cruises

Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki

Uspenski Cathedral in Helsinki, Finland

Uspenski Cathedral stands proudly upon a hillside on the Katajanokka peninsula, overlooking Helsinki. Aleksei Gornostajev designed the building based on the plan of a 16th century Russian church. The grand structure was completed in 1868. In tribute to the building’s rich history, a plaque hangs on the back of the cathedral to commemorate Russian Emperor Alexander II, who was sovereign of the Grand Duchy of Finland during the construction. The cathedral underwent significant renovations in 1996-1998 and is currently the seat of the Archdiocese of Helsinki in the Finnish Orthodox Church.

As a magnificent display of the Romanesque Revival style, the Uspenski Cathedral attracts about 500,000 people yearly from around the globe. It is the largest Orthodox church in Western Europe, commanding attention with its brick-red exterior, gold and green onion domes, and massive granite pillars. The 13 domes represent Christ and the twelve apostles. Within the striking interior, visitors are awed by various icons and decorations, such as the glimmering chandeliers suspended from the ceiling vaults.

Entrance to Uspenski Cathedral is free of charge. It is open every day of the week – excluding Mondays during the winter. However, because it is closed during ceremonies, our company is advised to confirm the hours in advance. Accessibility via wheelchair is limited, except in the summer when a temporary ramp is erected.

Visit Nordic Cruises today to discover how you can travel to Helsinki, Finland to see this historic gem in person. Why not add in a cruise from Helsinki to Petersburg for the ultimate trip.

Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia

05 Jul

Traveling to Russia or St. Petersburg visa-free ? Don’t Miss Yusupov Palace

If you’ve always dreamed of traveling to Russia, here’s your chance to see a key player in Russian history—Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. The former home of the wealthy and influential Yusupov family, the palace took on a more sinister aspect when an assassin used the home to stage the murder of Grigory Rasputin, a controversial, yet influential political figure in turn-of-the-century Russia.

Yusupov Palace Early History

Located on the Moika River, Yusupov Palace has kept most of its original interior, unlike many of its contemporaries.

Close to the famed Mariinsky Theatre, the site originally belonged to one of Peter the Great’s nieces, the Tsarevna Praskovia Ivanovna. During the 18th century, a new owner, Andrei Shuvalov, razed the original wooden structure to construct a new palace designed by French architect Jean-Baptist de la Mothe.

A Famed Murder Mystery

The royal line of the Yusupov family bought the palace in 1830. On December 16, 1916, assassins—with the help of Yusupov heir Felix Yusupov—entered the home, poisoned, shot, and beat Rasputin in the palace basement. Finding the “mad monk” still alive, the killers threw him into the half-frozen Malaya Nevka River. According to most accounts, Rasputin finally succumbed to hypothermia.

In the palace, historians have crafted a display from photographs, papers, and wax figures to illustrate what took place that day, as well as the subsequent investigation. Many details of the killing remain murky even to this day.

The Palace’s Post-Revolutionary History

Following the Bolshevik Revolution, the education ministry of the newly formed Soviet Union appropriated the building but kept most of the original interior. Currently, in addition to the museum, the building hosts theater performances and classical music concerts in the palace’s theater and its white-columned great hall.

Breathtaking Architecture

In addition to the building’s spellbinding history, its architecture alone is well worth the price of a ticket. On its exterior, its imposing white columns and frieze contrast with its golden-yellow walls, creating a sense of immensity and depth.

Inside, white columns repeat its classical motif. A colonnade of lights extends throughout the interior halls. Decorative molding, ceiling murals, and gilded chandeliers give texture and sparkle to the palace interior.

A sweeping staircase of Carrera marble which once stood in an Italian residence creates a dramatic focal point. As the story goes, while on holiday in Italy, Boris Yusupov saw the staircase in his host’s home. Though Yusupov offered a huge sum for the feature, the owner balked. Undeterred, Yusupov bought the entire home, transporting only the staircase back to his palace in St. Petersburg. There it stands until this day.


The Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg

23 May

The History of the Mariinsky Theatre

Located in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Mariinsky Theatre is world renowned for the variety of great artists it has provided to the world for centuries. The Mariinsky Theatre is a historic theatre of ballet and opera. It holds the title of the first musical theatre in Russia and continues to develop the great traditions of Russian music.

This articulate structure is built to enhance and maximize the beauty of the artists who perform here. A few artists who have taken the stage include: Fyodor Chaliapin and Anna Pavlova. The Mariinsky Theatre has also witnessed several talents develop in creative theatre directors, such as Alexander Golovin.

After a fire destroyed the Circus Theatre in 1859, which originally stood on the same ground, the construction of the Mariinsky Theatre began. The project was overseen by Alberto Cavos, who originally built the Circus Theatre as well. Cavos named the new theatre in honor of the wife of Alexander II, Empress Maria Alexandrovna.

The production A Life for the Tsar performed as the opening show for the first theatre season, on October 2, 1860. The show was presented under the lead of Konstantin Lyadov, a Russian Opera Company conductor.

Since its original construction, the Mariinsky Theatre has seen several more renovations and name changes. In 1885, the theatre added a wing consisting of three-stories for multipurpose use, such as: rehearsal rooms and an electricity substation. In 1894, concrete and steel replaced the original wooden rafters and they enlarged the audience foyers. After a few name changes, the Mariinsky Theatre was restored back to its name on January 16, 1992.

Music and Ballet at the Mariinsky Theatre

In 1783, it a decree established that a theatre committee was “to direct plays and music,” as stated by the decree of Empress Catherine II. Since that time, several astounding singers and ballet dancers have performed on this stage. During its lifetime, the theatre has harbored both renowned artists, as well as emerging artists.


After their performance for many years at the Bolshoi Theatre, ballets transferred to continue performance at the Mariinsky Theatre in 1886. The ballet history at the Mariinsky Theatre remains closely linked with the European choreographic art history.

After a long period of isolation, the Mariinsky Theatre renewed contact with several international choreographers, in the 1970s and 1980s. Since this time, the theatre has continued to collaborate with several leaders in the field of world choreography.


After Konstantin Lyadov, the Principal Conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre led the theatre, Eduard Nápravník arrived in 1863 and took his place. He came to lead a fruitful period in the history of music at the Mariinsky Theatre. The 50 years Nápravník spent at the theatre is known as one of the most influential time periods for the opera in Russian music history.

The Mariinsky Theatre is home to the Mariinksy Orchestra, one of the oldest orchestras in Russia. The Mariinsky Orchestra played a role in the first Russian performances of European ballets and operas, and several roles in countless Russian premieres. The orchestra continues to thrive, named as one of the top twenty orchestras in the world in 2008.

The Mariinsky Chorus is best known for its rich history, including impactful events and its close links with the development of Russian music. Regularly appearing at international festivals and performing in several world premieres, the Mariinsky Chorus possesses a rich and powerful sound. Recently, the Mariinsky Chorus won one of its most prestigious prizes, the ICMA 2011 award “For the Best Work by a Chorus.”

The Theatre’s Role in the Musical World

The Mariinsky Theatre has, and continues to, harbor well-known and emerging artists in a variety of different arts – from ballet, to opera to the Mariinsky Chorus. With its image being upheld both in Russia and around the world, the theatre continues to influence artists globally. Several masters of the arts have received their premieres on this stage.