Find out about the history of Peter's creation. Was he right when he willed into existence his "Window on the West", counting the cost of thousands of human lives in the process of his reforms? These reforms were intended to socialize a barbaric Russian population and train them in new European ways. Starting from Trinity square, under protection of the Peter and Paul Fortress, place of public executions and bacchanalian procession of Peter's "all drunken all jesting" unholy councel of court dwarfs, the official center of the city moved first to Basil island and Admiralty side after that. We see Peter's cottage, the first building in St. Petersburg, made of wooden logs, but now encased in brick. We proceed to places connected with more recent Russian history. We learn the story of love afair between the young girl, who just graduated from Imperial ballet academy and a future tzar of all Russias, when they met at the graduation ceremony and stayed lovers, before Nicolas became happily married to his wife. Though Matilda Kshessinskaya, who became prima balerina and continued her affair with two of the Grand Dukes, living in a mansion, built for her by tzar's family, stuffed with wichjewelry made by Faberge, eventually lost everything, when Lenin, ariving from Switzerland, send by German government in a sealed train as plague bacillus to destroy the whole Russia, made his way on an armored car to her mansion to turn it into headquarters of military revolutionary committee of the Bolshevik party, organization that took power in October 1917. We see the Peter and Paul fortress maximum security prison, where the brother of Vladimir Lenin along with former comrades, predecessors and democratic writes including utopian socialist Cherniyshevskyi, the one, who wrote the book while sitting there, which accordig to Lenin's own words, "plowed him up" were put up. Some of those people moved after revolution to more comfortable, though also sinister looking barebones constructivist building constructed in the 30s just opposite the fortress for former political prisoners, only to be purged there by Stalin, who executed from 70 to 90 percent of its dwellers. And we'll visit Peter and Paul Cathedral with its bell tower, rising into the air to the height of 122 miters, which was higher than Ivan the Great tower in Moscow, and intended by Peter I as a statetement that this territory belongs to Russia once and for all times, and under which, the first political prisoner was burried, Peter I own son, prince Alexei, whom Peter had tortured and killed in the prison for the political expediency sake, as he might have been a rallying point for the opposition, same as the last heir to the throne young boy Alexei, burried on the other side of the church with his whole family, which was executed by Bolsheviks in Ekaterinburg along with doctor and servants, just because he might have been the rallying point for white opposition to communist's regime.
Palace Square, 10, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191186
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Walk around Peter and Paul fortress and surrounding area, Peter the Great's cottage, Kshessinskaya prima balerina manssion, who was the lover of the last tzar Nicolas II, and which was taken over by bolshevicks revolutionnary commitee, where from its balcony Lenin proclaimed his "All power to the Soviets" speech. Walk with me along the river Neva embankments, where every stone remembers the past. Enjoy a breathtaking view from its bridges and solid granite embankments that don't exist anywhere else in the world. You will be able to see the Admiralty, Palace, English, Peter's, University embankments and much more. A visit of Peter and Paul fortress is included or another museum of your choice, such as political history museum or Aurora cruiser's museum, with the gun, that signaled the begining of Bolshevik revolution with a its blank shot across the bow. We can visit city history museum inside the fortress.