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Saint Petersburg. A Royal Dream on Ice

Sezione 1
Sezione 2

Winter Palace

Peter I the Great. 1682


From one of the many windows

of the palace, I was looking at the square,
on one side, over which snow was falling heavily, and at the Neva River, on the other. Its icy waters mirrored the green and white walls of the building, where its almost two thousand illuminated windows heralded the evening's event, one of the many magnificent court parties I used to hold. I love the pomp, the lights, the beauty of the clothes, the jewels,
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the company of the courtesans; my wife Catherine, by the way, is aware of this, but it matters little to me. She is an intelligent woman, full of charm and power. I am a so-called 'enlightened ruler'. The modernisation process in backward Russia is bearing fruit, and today the rest of the world looks to us, to Russia, as the leading European power.

I look at the room in which I am resting: its gilded stucco, the finely decorated ceilings, the mirrors, the Pietrine Baroque, which bears my name; everything makes me feel like a sovereign of considerable depth and intelligence. I love the collection of works of art in the Hermitage Museum.

Of course, I could not imagine today the terrible events that this sumptuous palace might one day sadly witness, but for the moment I will enjoy such luxury and splendour.
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Sezione 3

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Winter Palace

Peter I the Great. 1682

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Aleksandr Nevsky. 1252

Nevsky Prospect

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