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A city can be shaped by many things—its food scene, for example, or abundance of shopping options. But perhaps nothing can define a place quite as distinctly as its architecture. Whether it’s through thoughtful urban planning or adapting to cultural movements, the visual design of a city can transport you through time, while planting you firmly in a very specific place.

St. Petersburg, Russia: Rococo

The Rococo movement came about in the 18th century in France as a way to fight against the strict, symmetrical Baroque style that came before it. While both movements are known for their richly decorated architecture styles, Rococo has elements all of its own: think curves, pale colors, and secular, light-hearted themes.

The style made its way across Europe, where it found favor with the female rulers in St. Petersburg. The Catherine Palace (commissioned by Catherine I and expanded by her daughter, Empress Elizabeth) is by far the most famous example in the area.

St. Petersburg, Russia: Rococo

The Rococo movement came about in the 18th century in France as a way to fight against the strict, symmetrical Baroque style that came before it. While both movements are known for their richly decorated architectural styles, Rococo has elements all of its own: think curves, pale colors, and secular, light-hearted themes.

The style made its way across Europe, where it found favor with the female rulers in St. Petersburg. The Catherine Palace (commissioned by Catherine I and expanded by her daughter, Empress Elizabeth) is by far the most famous example in the area.

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