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Bucket List: St. Petersburg, Russia

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Regal Russia

Five must-dos in the majestic port city of St. Petersburg

By Carol A. Henry

St. Petersburg, Russia, a source of several UNESCO World Heritage sites, and considered the “Venice of the North,” should be on every traveler’s bucket list.

On a recent trip there, I discovered that besides riding along the canals and under the many decorative bridges for a unique perspective of this ancient and historic city, there are several impressive sites that you simply must include.

The Hermitage Complex

Located in the very heart of the city on the left bank of the Neva River, the Hermitage complex incorporates the Winter Palace, the former state residence of the Russian emperors; the buildings of the Small, Old (Great), and New Hermitages; the Auxiliary House; and the Hermitage Theatre.

The Winter Palace and complex houses one of the world’s most outstanding collections of art and culture from around the world. Entering from the Palace Square, the imposing grandeur of the gold-gilded Jordan Staircase made of Italian marble, and the arched windows, alcoves, and banister ascending upward had my imagination in overdrive. Statues of the earthly allegories of virtues fill the various niches on the second level staircase. Overhead, the magnificent canvas of Mount Olympus, painted by Gasparo Diziani, dominates this affluent entrance. The second floor…

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