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Breathtaking architecture highlights Saint Petersburg

It's hard not to be awestruck by the sheer size of Russia, and it's large area and historical weight can certainly seem intimidating. Yet despite it's enormity, a tour of Russia can provide you with a number of accessible destinations that offer a window to the country's lengthy history.

Saint Petersburg is one of the most interesting cities, not only is Russia, but in the world. Located in the northwest corner of the country, it is the northernmost city on earth to have a population over 1 million, and has played an important role in Russian history. As a result, there is a long list of landmarks worth visiting on any trip.

Standing out above the rest is the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, which not only has one of the most compelling backstories of any Russian building, it's is also one of the most unique in appearance. The city's most photographed church, it was completed in 1907 on the grounds where Czar Alexander II was assassinated 26 years prior.

Despite its solemn history, the building's brightly-colored design has made it a popular destination for guests on a Russia tour. Specifically, the church's onion domes hearken back to the architecture of Russia's past, and it's ornate facade is a sight to behold.

Of course, the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is not the only historic building in Saint Petersburg that you should  visit on your tour of Russia, and many of them  are housed in the city's Palace Square. Among the most celebrated of them is the Winter Palace, which dates back to the 1730s.

This enormous white and green building (which stretches for nearly half a mile) has become an icon of Saint Petersburg, and it's easy to see why. The Palace served a vital role through many periods of Russian history, and still houses the Library of the General Staff to this day. Though parts of the building are closed to the public, the left wing houses a number of exhibits throughout the year.

Often recognized as the most Western of Russia's cities, Saint Petersburg is understandably a staple of many  tours of Russia. Even if historic buildings are not in your agenda, the city is littered with parks, gardens, museums and landmarks to attract visitors from all walks of life.

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