Treasures of St Petersberg
"An inspiring tour through one the architectural wonders of the world." - The Times
"This is more than a story of the fine city, it is also a tribute to the courage and determination of its people" - Daily Mail
St Petersburg - the extraordinary beauty of its architecture and canals, its complex and volatile history, its fantastic cultural treasures, all combine to provide the subject of a riveting documentary.
A city created from the swamps by Peter the Great, it was for 200 years the capital of the world's largest country - home to legendary rulers like Catherine the Great, and the tragic Tsar Nicholas II.
A central player in the history of the last century, the home of literary giants like Pushkin and Dostoyevsky, composers such as Rimsky-Korsakov and Shostakovich, it was both the scene of one of the most bitter sieges of the second world war and the birthplace of the Bolshevik revolution.
The Russians - urged on by native son President Putin - have been spending some $1.5 billion restoring the city and preparing it for its 21st century role as the country's 'summer capital' and a major tourist destination.
This series, originally commissioned by Channel Five, narrated by Tim Marlow and with music performed by The State Hermitage Orchestra, explores the art and architecture of this 'Venice of the North' through wonders like the Winter Palace, St Isaac's Cathedral and the Church on Spilled Blood - and not least the treasures contained in The Hermitage, possibly the greatest museum in the world.