St Petersburg

St Petersburg is a fascinating city, from the wonderful architecture to the many treasures held in the Hermitage museum. It may surprise you that the city is relatively new, it was only founded at the beginning of the 18th century when Peter the Great captured Swedish outposts along the river Neva and founded the Peter & Paul fortress. In its time, it has also been renamed Petrograd and Leningrad before converting back to its original name. Despite its violent history, St Petersburg has a somewhat fairytale charm and is often referred to as the “Venice of the North” with its many waterways.

There are a lot of things you can do and see in St Petersburg. Below are a few suggestions of where to visit.

Museums

If you are interested in history, I suggest you visiting one of the world’s most famous museums, the Hermitage, home to around 3 million works of art from the Stone Age to the 20th century. Here you can study stone and bone figurines from the Palaeolithic age, admire jewelery made by the iconic FabergĂ© and see how armies were protected by different types of Armour.

Often overlooked in favor of the Hermitage, the Russian Museum is also a treasure trove of fine art. Famed for its many paintings, it also houses sculptures, folk handicrafts, engravings, medals and coins. A fascinating insight into Russian art and culture.

Cathedrals

Prepare to be impressed by the cathedrals of Kazan and St Isaacs. Constructed at the beginning of the 19th century, Kazan was inspired by St Peters Basilica in Rome. From 1932 until recently, the cathedral did not hold any services and became home to collections of the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism. The cathedral now holds services but shares its premises with the museum, although the word atheism has been removed from the latter title. If you’re feeling fit, you can climb the 300 or so steps to the base of the dome of St Isaacs to admire the spectacular views across the city. Inside marvel at the columns made of single pieces of red granite that weigh around 80 tons each.

Royal history

Winter Palace, also home to the Hermitage Museum. A masterpiece of baroque architecture, the Winter Palace lays claim to 1,786 doors, 1,945 windows and 1,057 elegantly and lavishly decorated halls and rooms. Alternatively, stroll through the Summer Garden to the Summer Palace, so called because it had no heating and was intended only for summer time use. Consisting of two stories with 7 rooms each, the palace was restored after WWII and houses became a collection of 18th century artifacts, mainly from Peter the Great.

You can also pay your respects to the Romanov family at the Peter and Paul Cathedral, which is inside the fortress and contains the tombs of the imperial royal family. It wasn’t until 9 years ago the murdered Tsar Nicholas II, his wife and children were interred at the cathedral after having lain buried in a pit for many years.

In the Navy

The historical battleship the Aurora (not to be confused with the P&O cruise ship!) started out life taking part in the Russo-Japanese War at the beginning of the 20th century before being used for training. She’s also given the signal to start the storming of the Winter Palace and her guns were used on St Petersburg’s defenses during WWII and the 900-day siege of Leningrad. Fortunately, life is more peaceful for her now as a floating museum, full of history about her life.

Take a stroll through the Admiraltys gardens, which are particularly beautiful in height of the summer. Originally designed as a dockyard, the Admiralty was then fortified to become a city defense and was Russia naval headquarters until 1917. The landmark is now a naval college and is the focal point of the main streets of Nevsky Prospect, Gorokhovaia Street and Voznesensky Prospect.

A walk in the park

Take a walk through the Botanical Garden, originally an apothecary (an early pharmacist to you and me) garden where medicinal plants and herbs were grown it soon extended its collection to include rare and exotic plants. One of the more unusual exhibits is the Queen of the Night, which flowers for one night only every May.

If you visit the Russian Museum, why not meander through Michael Garden which adjoins it. In its time the garden has served as a formal French garden, hunting reserve, nursery and a place for horseback riding. Nowadays it is an interesting combination of regular French style around the outside and English landscape in the middle.

Shop until you drop

Many of us remember images of barely stocked Russian shops with unimaginative goods for sale. There’s now plenty to attract shopaholics, from art and antiques to books and souvenirs. Why not pick up some original, local artwork, a rare edition of a classic Russian novel, amber jewelery or iconic matryoshki (nesting dolls)? The best areas for shopping are to be found at Nevsky Prospekt or Bolshoi Prospekt on Vasilyevsky Island.

These are just some of the many highlights of St Petersburg. With so much to see and do, you’ll find yourself going back again and again. Most cruise lines offer itineraries that include St Petersburg, such as Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O, Costa, Cunard, Celebrity and Fred Olesen. So what’s stopping you? Make St Petersburg your next stop.

Denver Real Estate Offers Attractive Options

Denver is the capital of Colorado, lying east of the Rocky Mountains Front Range, at an elevation of 5,280 feet. The population was around 598,700 in 2008. The city sprawls in an area of 401.3 square kilometers. Denver was established as a mining town in 1858 when the Pikes Peak Gold Rush created history in western Kansas. The city is located in a ‘bowl’ and hence is protected from strong winds and severe cold. The climate is semi-arid. Denver City and County possesses 79 neighborhoods. The city has a varying character, with houses from the beginning of the twentieth century lying alongside suburban style, modern development areas and large skyscrapers. The older brick buildings are denser in the city center, while the neighborhoods away from the center contain modern structures.

Denver is a growing metropolis. The Denver real estate scene is quite attractive. The office buildings, restaurants, shopping centers, and entertainment venues are situated in downtown of Denver. This area is a thriving one but also safe and clean. The heart of downtown offers condominiums, lofts, town homes, and single-family homes for aspiring home buyers. Cherry Creek, Crestmoor, Belcaro, Bonnie Brae, Hilltop, Washington Park, Denver Country Club, and Polo Club are highly exclusive communities around downtown. Prices of condominiums and homes in this area are priced around $400 to $500 per square foot.

If you prefer a lifestyle of high-rise condominium, LoDo, near the Coors Field area, is the best one. Other areas near LoDo are Curtis Park, Highlands, Riverfront, and Golden Triangle. They are also developing rapidly and offer ample scope for developers to plan neighborhoods and homes. Curtis Park and Highlands are witnessing the renovation of old historic houses. Apart from Golden Triangle, Baker, Regis, and City Park are also undergoing renovations.

Cherry Hills and Greenwood Village are among the affluent suburbs in south Denver. Cherry Creek, Centennial, Aurora, Englewood, and Littleton are the other suburbs. All of them have lots of open space and very low crime rate. However, the biggest attraction for people relocating to Denver is Highlands Ranch, the largest planned community area in Denver. This neighborhood lies between Arapahoe and Douglas counties. The community is a mixture of suburban neighborhoods and rural sections and is an ideal place for Denver homes for sale.

The suburbs of Lakewood and Westminster lie in the west of Denver. This area is a combination of old homes and new construction. The nearby foothills have the suburbs of Morrison, Evergreen, and Conifer. These could be termed as mountain communities, with excellent views, golf courses, trails, and gravel roads. The northern suburbs include Broomfield, Louisville, Boulder, and Lafayette, with housing and shopping opportunities. Another area with old and new structures abounding side by side contains the communities of Northglenn, Thornton, Commerce City, and Brighton.

As such, Denver real estate and Thornton real estate offer ample scope for developers and home seekers. Denver homes for sale are mostly affordable and the recent slump in real estate prices had made investment in Denver real estate more attractive.

Houses For Sale in Parker, Colorado

The town of Parker in Colorado, located at the southernmost part of the metropolitan area of Denver, has undergone a rapid growth in the past ten to fifteen years. As a result of this, the real estate market of Parker has also experienced a marked change.

Because Parker is located in the metropolitan area of Denver, it gives you access to all the modern amenities right from a good transport system to a good educational infrastructure for your children to luxuries for you to indulge in. Naturally, this makes houses in Parker, Colorado an obvious choice among prospective real estate investors.

A clear sign that Parker’s growth has attracted more people to live in this town is that its population has increased from 23,558, as measured in U.S. Census 2000 to an estimated 43,767 in 2008. This increasing popularity is another sign of the flourishing economy of this town. This clearly is another sign that investing in houses in Parker, Colorado is a good decision.

Parker is served by the Douglas County School District. There are a number of private and public schools in the region that will most certainly impart the best of education to the children going there. The town is also served by a government that is dedicated to providing safety to all its residents as well as all necessary services. The communities offer various activities that are sure to make your life a lot more fun and enjoyable. The town has a recreation center where all the residents can go. There are also numerous jogging, biking and hiking routes in the town that are good for fun filled activities.

All these and other various features make houses in Parker, Colorado popular among buyers. If you are thinking of buying a house in Parker, Colorado you must conduct a proper search so that you are able to strike a deal that maximizes your gain. You may choose from foreclosures, ranch homes, townhomes or condominiums to apartments and new homes. A condominium in Parker will range from $89,900 to $325,000. The current median price of condos is $174,487. Median price of foreclosures is approximately $233,702. Foreclosure prices have experienced a fall in price by 1.3% in the recent time. Home prices have gone down by as much as 5.8%, the median price of homes in Parker now being $325,000. With the real estate prices going down, this would be a good time to invest in Parker homes.

The real estate agent’s knowledge about the local communities will help you judge each property and make the correct choice. With the help of an expert real estate agent, you will be able to conduct you property search efficiently and find the property that fulfils all your needs and also fits into your budget.