Top 5 hidden gems of St. Petersburg: sights you did not know about

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Sometimes it’s the little thing that matters the most and makes us happier than we ever were. The same applies to travelling, be it a cozy little courtyard, hidden behind a heavy fence from the passers-by, or a cute tiny monument by an unknown artist. Little things matter. Here we put together some sights that probably are smaller in size than the Winter Palace or Bronze Horseman, but nonetheless they will definitely make your city walk more memorable and will bring you closer to discovering of the city’s soul.

Lions’ Bridge on Griboedova Canal (Bridge of Four Lions)

You might have seen them on pictures on the Internet or heard that St. Petersburg has uncountable number of Lion sculptures (nobody actually knows how many lions there are in St. Petersburg). But it is not as easy to see them on a city walk, as they are generally located away from tourist’s paths and not large enough to catch your eye. The most famous are located on The Griboyedov Canal embankment, not too far from Mariinsky theatre. Four snow-white lions are seated on the both sides of pedestrian bridge. The lions are there not only for decoration. The bridge’s pylons are hidden inside the sculptures. This might be one of the most filmed bridges in St Petersburg, it was often shown in movies, made at Lenfilm studio during the Soviet years.

To get to the bridge just turn from Dekabristov street to L’vinyy Pereulok, which continues right to the bridge.

Cat Vasilisa sitting on the platform (Malaya Sadovaya street)

Malaya Sadovaya is a charming walking streets right across the monument of Catherine the Great and the Alexandrinsky Theatre. To see the Cat, turn your back to Alexandrinsky theatre at the very start of the street and look to the right and up. Do you see a curious cat looking at you? Make a wish and toss a coin, so that it falls and stays on the platform. If you managed that, the wish will come true. If you didn’t just try again). Actually there are two cats on this street, Vasilisa and her neighbor Elisey.

Passers-by are trying their luck by tossing a coin at the Cat. They say if the coin doesn’t fall from the molding, your wish will come true.

Supposedly cats appeared there as a tribute for cats which helped to clear the city of rats during the Siege in the Great Patriotic war. It is true that the city has a very special relations with cats. They became a symbol, ambassadors of the city.

There are others animal monuments.  St. Petersburg loves miniature cute sculptures, and they quickly become popular among citizens and tourists. You probably already heard of Chizhik-Pyzhik (tiny bird on Fontanka river near the First Engineer Bridge), and of the famous Hare sculpture nearby Hare Island (the island where the Peter and Paul fortress is located).

All these animals bring luck and fulfill your wishes, in the same way as Vasilisa does: try another toss with a coin.

Revenue house of Kudryavtseva

Looks bizzare, isn’t it? This architectural marvel has been called “house-iron” for its similarity in shape with an iron. It is located on the crossroad of Sadovaya Steeet and Fontanka Embankment. The architect, who designed this project, received very limited budget. It was supposed to be a neo-classical building, but because of budget limitations, he finally implemented a innovative façade construction. If you are wondering how a building like this can be inhabited, come and see it with your own eyes on Fontanka Embankment 199.

Peter the Great monument in front of the Engineer (Michael’s) Castle

It is understandable that in the city founded by Peter I, there will be numerous monuments dedicated to him. But this monument is special. First of all, it also brings luck and makes wishes come true. Make a wish and rub part of the bass-relief on the sculpture. Some parts of sculpture shine brighter than the rest, because of the many wishes.  

Second of all, the works on this monument started when Peter the Great was still alive! It was finally finished in 1747 and finally found its current location in 1801, while Emperor Paul I was reigning. The most curious about this monument is the actual bass-reliefs depicting famous battles lead by Peter the Great. They are made with incredible precision to details and realism.

Miniature copy of St. Petersburg

Have you ever thought of touching the bell tower of Peter and Paul Cathedral? Or looking into the eyes of the guardian Angel, who is sitting on top of Alexander’s column?

You can do it here!

This location has miniature copies of St Petersburg’s Golden Triangle in 1:33 scale. Feel like a Gulliver, looking over the domes of cathedrals and roofs!

Here you will find the Admiralty, Peter and Paul Cathedral and the fortress, St Isaac Cathedral, Stock Exchange building on the Spit of Vasilievsky Island, Rostral columns, Michael’s Castle, Church of the Savior on Blood, Cathedral of our Lady of Kazan, and the palace square with the Hermitage and Grand Staff ensemble. The place is perfect either for starting your city experience or for finalizing it. In the first case, it will give you a general idea of city’s layout and top must-sees. In the latter, you will have a full picture in your head of how the city developed, recognizing already familiar buildings and streets. The sculptures were created in accordance with original architectural plans of the buildings, so the miniatures are true representations.

Adjacent to the miniature park there is another sculptural composition depicting the architects who contributed to the actual portrait of the city.

The free chair is there for you to join the group. You are welcome to take a picture with the greatest architects of XVIII century.

Ready to start your St Petersburg adventure?
Check our best sellers:

Walking Tour

Hermitage Tour

Pushkin Catherine Palace Tour

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