The Museum of Political History, located in the Kshesinskaya Mansion, is the first stop on the tour. Once a love nest of the famous ballerina, this charming Style Moderne house was occupied by the Bolsheviks in 1917 and turned into their headquarters. In 1955 it was made into the Museum of the Great October Socialist Revolution, and with the fall of Communism its collections were redesigned to reflect the whole Russian political history since 1700s. There you will see unique items related to the history of the Soviet Union: Comissars' outfits, Stalin's execution lists, Trotsky's letters, NKVD investigator uniforms, Lenin's private study and much more. You will learn how the Soviet system was shaped, how it degenerated into a bureaucratic dictatorship and what were the reasons for its imminent collapse in the 1980s, and get an insight into the life of ordinary Soviet people and Communist party bosses.
The next stop is the legend and icon of the Revolution - the Aurora cruiser. Its front gun that "heralded a new era in the history of mankind" is still well preserved, and the whole ship is a floating museum, permanently moored to the embankment.
The tour continues to Finlandsky railway station where Lenin made his historical speech to a crowd of thirty thousand on the night of his return to Russia in April 1917.
On our way to the Tauride Palace which housed the first Russian parliament in 1906-1917 you will see the dreaded Big House - an imposing constructivist building that was the local KGB HQ throughout the Communist era.
Taking a break from our long hike along the embankment, we'll stop for a coffee break in the Coffee Museum, located in the building which once belonged to the Kresty political prison. The open terrace on the second floor offers a great view of the Neva river and the somber red brick buildings of the famous prison where Russia's leading dissidents were locked in the times of Nicholas II and Stalin.
Depending on the day of the week (i.e. which museum will be open on the day we visit) our final stop will be
either Smolny Palace or Kirov museum.
The tour lasts for approximately 7 hours.