- Sometimes known outside Russia as the Kirov, this is the city's premier cultural venue. Named after Maria Alexandrovna, the wife of Alexander II, the building dates from 1860; but it stands on the same site as a wooden theatre erected in 1765. The hulking exterior is hardly inspiring, but the glittering multi-tiered interior is a jewel among St Petersburg's aging auditoriums. The theatre is famous for the Kirov Ballet Company, but it is best known for opera. Consult the website or call for upcoming events and ticket prices.
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