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Palace Square

The main square of St Petersburg and one of the world's most magnificent plazas, Palace Square contains the picturesque Baroque buildings of the Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum on one side and the Classical yellow and white former General Staff buildings of the Russian army on the other. The focal point of the square is the Alexander Column, a tall monolith of red granite topped by the statue of an angel and a cross, dedicated to Russian military victory in the Napoleonic wars. Palace Square has been the site of numerous political protests, most notably the demonstrations of Bloody Sunday in 1905 that started the first Russian Revolution. Today the square, with its beautiful views of the Admiralty's golden spire and the dome of St Isaac's Cathedral from across the vast stone paving, is filled with markets, outdoor cafes and the sound of horse-drawn carriages.

Address: Dvortsovaya Ploshchad (Palace Square)

Transport: Metro stations Nevsky Prospekt or Gostiny Dvor; trolleybus 1, 7 or 10; or bus 7, 10 or 147.