How did the Neva embankments and Nevsky Prospekt look two or three centuries ago? What was Palace Square like without the Alexander Column? What did people do on the Tsarina's Meadow and the Field of Mars? How did the Winter Palace change with time? And what about fashions in the capital founded by Peter the Great? The answers are provided by eye-witnesses - Alexei Zubov, Mikhail Makhayev, Andrei Martynov, Karl Beggrow, Carl Collmann, Vasily Sadovnikov and other artists who with inspiration and affection recorded the appearance, life and atmosphere of the young and beautiful city on the Neva.