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Saint-Petersburg is one of the main cultural, historical and architectural centers of Russia. It was named in the honor of Peter the Great, who founded St. Petersburg in 1703. St. Petersburg, Russia is worldknown for its channels and bridges and is often called "Northern Venice“. Many outstanding monuments are situated here, most known are: St. Isaac's Cathedral, Kazan's Cathedral, Peter and Paul's Fortress, Admiralty, Hermitage, Smolniy Cathedral.
The Hermitage ranks with the very finest of the world's art museums. It contains more than two and a half million works of art representing different ages, countries and peoples. The Winter Palace and the three buildings of the Hermitage, conventionally called the Small Hermitage, the Old Hermitage and the New Hermitage The Winter Palace was built between 1754 and 1762 by Bartolommeo Rastrelli (1700-1711) in magnificent Baroque style.
The The third St. Isaac’s cathedral was laid on August, 8, 1768 in accordance with the project by Antonio Rinaldi. For the following one and a half decade, St. Isaac’s Cathedral became the main cathedral of the capital.
The focal point of the ensemble is St. Peter and Paul's Cathedral. Its bell-tower served as the city's watch-tower and became a symbol of the consolidation of the new capital on the Baltic lands. Crowned with a gilded spire, the bell-tower remains the tallest building in the city (122.5 m). The centrepiece of the interior of the church is the gilded iconostasis (1722-29), which was executed in Baroque style by Moscow carvers in accordance with a design by Trezzini and Ivan Zarudny. From the very beginning the cathedral served as the sepulchre of the Romanov Dynasty. All of Russia's emperors, from Peter I to Nicholas II, and their families are buried here. East of the cathedral one can see the Grand Dukes' Burial Vault, where thirteen members of the imperial family were buried before the 1917 revolution. In 1992 Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich Romanov, who died in exile, was laid to rest here, and in 1995 the remains of his parents, Kirill Vladimirovich and Victoria Fedorovna, were brought from Coburg (Germany) and interred in the vault.
Captured enemy banners were put in the cathedral and the famous Russian field marshal Mikhail Kutuzov, who won the most important campaign of 1812, was buried inside the church.