S T . P E T E R S B U R G - RUSSIA - DAY 2

Waking to another day in Russia and we can not wait.
Today we headed off to Peterhof Palace - founded in 1703 and built by Peter the Great.
Its another UNESCO World Heritage listed site often referred to as the Russian Versailles.

The interior of the palace was exactly as we had come to expect in Russia... art filled..opulent..and stunning in every way. It was badly damaged during world war 2  and then painstakingly restored.

We spent time wandering the huge gardens with its many water features. The story has it that Peter the Great had quite the sense of humour and many of the water features were for soaking visitors.

We gathered along with hundreds of others to watch the Grand Cascade fountain display with its 64 fountains and 200 gilded statues of Greek and Russian gods.

Once again we were treated to a lovely Russian lunch...again with a shot of vodka..and this time with Russian dancing as well.

The Church of our Saviour on Spilled Blood.. built on the spot where Alexander 2 was assassinated in 1881 - the church was built between 1883 - 1907 funded by the imperial family. After the revolution the church was looted and ransacked and closed in 1923. It was used as a morgue during WW2 and then as a vegetable warehouse. In 1997 after 27 years of restoration it was reopened. It is spectacular. Every inch of the interior is covered in colourful mosaics... 7000 square metres of mosaics!!

Final stop was Yusapov Palace - built in 1776 and purchased by Prince Nikolay Yusapov in 1820...remaining in the family until it was seized by the Bolshevics in 1917. The palace is most famous as the scene of assassination of Grigory Rasputin... the Russian peasant..mystical faith healer and trusted friend of Nicholas 2 the last Tsar of Russia. It made that famous song all make a little more sense. 

This tour was made so special by our guide Inna.... her knowledge not only about the Russian Royal family.. but about art.. architecture..the war... and pre and post communism was incredibly interesting ...every time she spoke we all listened intently.



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