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Saint Petersburg, Russia

Hermitage is a museum of art and culture -- the largest art museum in the world by gallery space. The collections occupy a large complex of six historic buildings along Palace Embankment, including the Winter Palace, a former residence of Russian emperors.

Peterhof was the main home of Peter the Great. The most spectacular feature of the palace is the Golden Cascade, which just might be the world's most wonderful fountain! It has dozens of monuments and golden statues drenched in a huge water display.

Peterhof, palace of Peter the Great, with Golden Staircase of fountains and golden statues in a splendid garden setting with a lavish interior rivaling Versailles; canal boat ride is another must-do in your visit, passing many palaces, parks, impressive apartments.

Church on Spilled Blood is the most Russian-looking major building in town, with its wild, colorful spires similar to the famous St. Basil in Moscow's Red Square. It was built in the Russian Revival style as a memorial to Czar Alexander II, assassinated here in 1881.

Nevsky Prospect, the main street, is lined with shops and restaurants. Nevsky is the best shopping strip the country has to offer, filled with thousands of residents out for a walk, so it is a fine place for serious spending and people-watching

Catherine Palace is one of the most beautiful of all Russia's royal homes, an hour's drive outside of town. This stunning place was created for Peter the Great's daughter, Czarina Elizabeth I, by her favorite architect, Rastrelli.

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