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Home » Attractions and Leisure » Suburbs and Tzar Residences

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Saint Petersburg Suburbs and Tzar Residences

Saint Petersburg is famous not only by its city sights but also by its marvellous suburban attractions with the fabulous parks and palaces built as summer residences by generations of Romanov Tsars dinasty. Explore two centuries of history and architectural grandeur at St. Petersburg's magnificent Imperial estates.


The dominant natural feature of Peterhof is a sixteen-metre-high bluff lying less than a hundred metres from the shore. The so-called Lower Gardens, at 1.02 km² comprising the better part of Peterhof's land area, are confined between this bluff and the shore, stretching east and west for roughly 200 metres. The majority of Peterhof's fountains are contained here, as are several small palaces and outbuildings. East of the Lower Gardens lies the Alexandria Park with 19th-century Gothic Revival structures such as the Kapella.

Pushkin (Tsarskoe Selo)

The town was founded in the 18th century as the summer residence of the Russian tsars under the name "Tsarskoye Selo" (Royal Village). Nicholas II of Russia and his family lived in the Alexander Palace until they were moved to Tobolsk on July 31, 1917.


Pavlovsk is a town situated in Russia, 30 km from and under jurisdiction of Saint Petersburg, just to the south of Tsarskoye Selo. Its population is of 14,960 (2002 census). The town developed around the Pavlovsk Palace, one of the most splendid residences of the Russian imperial family. It is part of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.


Gatchina was first documented in 1499, a village in possession of Novgorod the Great, Russia. In the 17th century, in a series of wars, it passed to Livonia, then to Sweden, and was returned to Russia during the Northern War. At that time, Gatchina was a southern vicinity of the new Russian capital, St. Petersburg. In 1708 Gatchina was given by Peter the Great.[4] to his sister Natalia Alekseevna, and after her death, Peter founded an Imperial Hospital and Apothekary here. In 1765, Catherine the Great bought Gatchina with suburban 20 villages, then she granted it to her favourite General Count Orlov.


The Palace-and-park ensemble on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland opposite the town-fortress Kronshtadt (architects D.Fontana and J.Schedel). In 1743, Oranienbaum became the summer residence of the future emperor Peter III. A fortress ensemble with a petite palace was constructed for him to the design of architect A.Rinaldi. Later, A.Rinaldi was commissioned by the Empress Catherine the Great to erect the Chinese Palace and the Katalnaya Gorka (Sliding Hill) with a pavilion.


Kronstadt is a Russian seaport town, located on Kotlin Island, thirty kilometers west of Saint Petersburg near the head of the Gulf of Finland. It is under the administration of the federal city of Saint Petersburg and is also its main port. In March 1921 it was the site of the Kronstadt rebellion. Traditionally, the seat of the Russian admiralty and the base of the Russian Baltic Fleet were located in Kronstadt guarding the approaches to Saint Petersburg . The historic centre of the city and its fortifications are part of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.


The beginning of the new millennium became the turning point in the history of Konstantinovsky Palace. The original idea of Peter I is realized to the three-hundredth anniversary of St.Petersburg Konstantinovsky Palace becomes the embodiment of the government of Russia. The funds for it were given by the state. The International Charity Fund was created. Businessmen and ordinary citizens Subscribed funds, charitable contributions arrived also from other countries. As a result more than two hundred million dollars were gathered. The works of architects, water engineers, builders and restorers lasted only a year and a half. Great work was done. Six thousands people were occupied with building and projection at the same time. The general planner was the GIPRONII of the Academy of Science in St.Petersburg and the general contractor was the consortium with "Sixteenth Trust LTD" at the head. Works were held day and night, as in Peter's time. At the beginning the whole work zone needed to be raised by two metres. The sea front of the gulf was strengthened, waterfront structures were built and the Morskoy (Sea) canal was laid on the shallow water of Markizova Luzha. Now the whole Konstantinovsky ensemble is the realm of canals, rivers and bridges. River-channels were cleared, the Big, the Carp, the Trout, the Flower and the Mill ponds were renewed and the system of sluices was restored. Twenty bridges were built including three drawbridges connecting the park with the Peter Island where the Pavilion of Negotiations is placed. The stocky domed building was constructed on the place of Leblon's forethought Temple of Water. The Palace of Congresses of the Russian Federation supervises such important objects as the small helidrom in the West Park and the modern Press-Centre based in the restored building of 1960s on the seashore. It transmits news all over the world. The cottage village called "The Consular Village" with comfortable houses is now ready for guests. The new 4-star hotel is opened in the rebuilt building of the Arctic College. The former Stable Building is now adapted for administrative and household needs.


On the territory of the Russian village Shuvalovka placed a unique complex of buildings, made in the traditions of Russian wooden architecture of the XVIII and XIX centuries. You can visit the smithy and pottery studio, ethnographic hut, reconstituted from drawings Novgorod peasant's house of the XIX century, the mill and the Chapel Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. Every weekend, open to all visitors the Animal Farm, the Children's playground with a trampoline and the Fairytales Theatre Mr Pezhos wandering dolls - a unique, unparalleled project where children, along with the actors themselves play a fairytale.


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