JUN 26,2015 - JUN 26,2015 (1 DAYS)
Alexander Nevsky Monastery and Nevsky Prospect (northside and southside) :
Tip 1: Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
Tip 2: Northern (sunny) side of Nevsky Prospect - from east to west - from Alexander Nevsky Monastery to the Admirality.
Tip 3: Southern side of Nevsky Prospect - from west to east - from the Admirality to Vosstaniya Square.
Distance: 4.7 km. from east to west + 3 km. back west to east + additional side sights 4 km. = approx. 12 km.
Start: Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskogo I Metro station (line No. 3, the Green line). This station is at the intersection of two subway lines, the Green or 3 line, and the Orange/Yellow or 2 line. TAKE EXIT II. The monastery is opposite the station. You have to cross a bustling roundabout.
End: Vosstaniya Square and Metro Station.
Alexandra Nevskogo II Metro station (the Orange Line):
Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskogo I Metro station:
Duartion: Exploring Nevsky could take all day if you want to. An exhausting day !
Distance: Nevsky Prospect is 4.6 km. So, for both of the directions and poking, here and there, the side streets - allow, at least, 10-12 km.
Introduction: Nevsky Prospect (Не́вский проспе́кт) is the main street in the city of St. Petersburg. In Russian, prospekt means a straight street or avenue. Peter the Great planned this avenue as beginning of the road to Novgorod and Moscow. The avenue starts, in the east, in Alexander Nevsky Lavra (Monastery) and continues, to the west, to the Vosstaniya Square and, after making a slight turn opposite the Moscow Railway Station, it runs westward to its west end in the Admiralty. The Nevsky today functions as the main thoroughfare in Saint Petersburg. The majority of the city's shopping and nightlife are located on or right off of the Nevsky Prospekt. The street is served by the following Metro stations: Alexandra Nevskogo I, Ploshchad Vosstaniya, Mayakovskaya, Gostiny Dvor, Nevsky Prospekt. How many streets in the world can boast of having six separate underground stations? Nevsky Prospect was planned by the French architect Alexandre Jean Baptiste LeBlond, whilst working for the city's founder, Tsar Peter I (the Great). Peter the Great planned this street as the beginning of the road to the ancient city of Novgorod. But it quickly became adorned with beautiful buildings, squares and bridges and became the very center of the bustling, rapidly growing city of St. Petersburg. t least twice, in 1721 & 1777 Nevsky Prospekt was completely navigable by boat due to flooding. In those days this mainly broad avenue was partially lined with trees and the trees were regularly used by Nevsky's residents to dry clothes! Every building on Nevsky Prospect is a monument. Only very few occasional buildings on the whole of the street were built as late as the twentieth century. Nevsky Prospekt's architecture is in spirit with the Champs-Elysées and it rivals the best of Amsterdam, Rome and Venice. "Step into it, and you step into a fairground," wrote Nikolai Gogol. In Gogol's time, it was swept clean by prostitutes doing their early morning penance, prior to them being released to err afresh on the cobbles that evening. Until recently, the authorities appear to turn a blind eye to the elegant ladies of the night who ply their trade around the hotel bars and in the bustling night clubs. Nowadays (Summer 2015) everything is well maintained. We found the Nevsky Prospect perfectly clean, quiet, solid and well-disciplined. After 3-4 years of unpleasant heat waves - summer 2015 shined with comfortable temperatures and all-around polite, kind and welcoming locals. Even the prices were very convenient for us. In contrary to Moscow the signage, in St. Petersburg, is bi-lingual and also in English. Another big difference is that Nevsky Prospekt and SPB city centre retained their uniqueness and were not blighted with towering characterless skyscrapers as Moscow had been.
Elegant city and street. This is one of the most beautiful city roads in the world. All the buildings are very impressive and no wonder that UNESCO has granted the city center as World Heritage. Very nice and lively at all times of day and night. I recommend spending 2-3 hours along the avenue during the night hours. Rich in history, architecture is magnificent and beauty all the way down. Every building, along Nevsky Prospect is unique. Amazing combination of modern extravagance mixed with historical flavor. You can walk for hours and never be bored. It is neat and clean all around and it actually motivates you to walk and keep walking. The only downside - be careful of pickpockets.
Alexander Nevsky Monastery (Lavra) - Russian Orthodoxy with great devotion: the word lavra in Russian is reserved for a monastery of the highest order, of which there are just four in all of Russia and Ukraine. The Alexander Nevsky Lavra is situated at the eastern end of the Nevsky Prospect and can be easily reached by underground (station opposite the monastery) or bus.
Who was Alexander Nevsky: Alexander Nevsky was a 13th century Russian national hero who was given credit for defeating the separate Swedish and German invading armies. He was later canonized and lies buried in the monastery (Lavra), which is named after him by Peter the Great on the (wrongly) purported 1240 battle site against the Swedes. (That battle actually took place some 30 km distant at Ust-Izhora in what is now Kolpinsky District). His victorious battle against the invading Swedish army on the banks of the Neva river at its junction with the Izhora, earned him the nickname of Nevsky (meaning of the Neva), which became the name history remembers him by. Just over a year later in 1242 saw Nevsky gain greater fame in another battle, by leading the Russian army to victory against the invading steel clad German Teutons at Lake Chudskoye. Recognition that Nevsky is Russia’s greatest ever hero comes in a poll conducted by one of its country’s biggest TV stations, Rossiya. Over 50 million people voted by text, phone, or on the Internet during a six month period and the result was announced in late December 2008.
Short history of Monastery:
The monastery was founded in July 1710, seven years after the foundation of Petersburg - by Peter the Great - supposing that that was the site of the Neva Battle in 1240 when Alexander Nevsky, a prince, defeated the Swedes. After Peter I's armies defeated the Swedes at Poltava in 1709 and seized Viborg, Riga and Reval in 1710, St. Petersburg was considered secure. In 1712 on the left bank of the Black River the first wooden church was constructed on the site of the future monastery. The monastery began working shortly afterward. In 1724, a new church, designed by Italian architect Domenico Trezzini, was consecrated. The new church was named for Alexander Nevsky - considered a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church - whose remains were brought to the church from the ancient city of Vladimir, in a journey that took several months. When Peter I decided to move the holy remains of St. Alexander Nevsky to St. Petersburg, he himself marked the spot where the remains were to be preserved. The day the remains were moved into the new church is celebrated each year as a Russian holiday. In 1750 Empress Elizabeth ordered that a silver shrine will be built to shelter the holy remains. The shrine - using an incredible one and a half tons of pure silver - was decorated with symbols of the famous Battle on the Ice fought on Lake Peipus in 1242 and other of Alexander's victories. The shrine was moved to the new cathedral in 1790, and in 1797 Emperor Paul gave the monastery its current rank - the highest in the Orthodox hierarchy - and name: the Alexander Nevsky Monastery of the Holy Spirit. By the beginning of the 20th century the territory of the monastery complex was home to impressive 16 churches. Today, only five survive: the Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Church of the Annunciation, the Church of St. Lazarus, the Church of St. Nicholas, and the Church of the Holy Mother of God and the Joy of All Those who Mourn, which is over the monastery gates. The monastery and churches within the complex suffered the tragic destruction of most churches in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution but have gradually been revived with the end of the communist state. In January 1918, the Bolsheviks attempted to seize the monastery and its valuables, but were driven off by determined church-goers, summoned by the ringing of the monastery's bells. However, the monastery was closed shortly afterward, and robbed and looted of its valuables. Happily, though, much has survived, and restoration work has been ongoing in recent years. From 1931-36 all of the churches and cathedrals within the monastery were closed, and in 1932 the Museum of City Sculpture was organized on part of the monastery's territory. The remaining space was turned over to the city government, which soon distributed it to various different institutes, offices and warehouses. After a number of petitions from local believers, Holy Trinity Cathedral was returned to the Orthodox Church in 1955. However, the destruction of church buildings and monastery graveyards continued, and trading in graves continued well after 1959, when it was officially banned. Services began in the Church of St. Nicholas - located in the graveyard behind Holy Trinity Cathedral - in 1985. On June 3, 1989, the remains of Alexander Nevsky were moved back to the Cathedral from the Museum of Atheism which had been opened in Kazan Cathedral, and in the early 1990s the monastery was the center of celebrations of Alexander's life and heroic deeds.
Opening Hours: Grounds daily 06.00 - 20.00. Cathedrals SAT-FRI 06.00 - 18.00, SUN 08.00 - 18.00.
Prices: You can wander freely around most of the grounds, but you must buy tickets from the kiosk on your right after entering the main gates to enter the most important two graveyards (Tikhvin and Lazarus - see below) - 200 RUB. Museum of City Sculpture - 60R.
What to See at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery:
Entrance Gate: entrance is through the archway of the elegant Gate Church (Tserkovnyye Vorota), built 1783-85. The walled pathway is flanked by two cemeteries whose entrances are a short walk down the path. Note: even if there is an open payment booth in the entrance gate - formally, no payment is needed ! The only mandatory payment is for Tikhvin and Lazarus cemeteries.
Mosaic above the gate leading to the monastery:
Alexander Nevsky Monastery and the Entrance Gate:
The Monastery grounds: The monastery and the cemeteries are certainly worth visiting. There is a great, sombre, gloomy atmosphere around. Note this is a Russian Orthodox Church, so no shorts for men and women should cover their heads. Place to witness Russian Orthodox Christianity. Nice grounds with blooming flowers all around. Expect to meet plenty of worshipers activity. The grounds of the Monastery are equally impressive to the compound's buildings:
Holy Trinity Cathedral: The monastery is dominated by the centrally located Holy Trinity Cathedral, built in 1790 by the renowned Russian architect Ivan Starov. The neo-classical domed church is best known for its interior, where you'll find a magnificent iconostasis with gilded bronze gates. Near the iconostasis is the reliquary of Alexander Nevsky. His remains were brought to the earlier built church in 1724. Alexander Nevsky is considered a Russian Saint since the sixteenth century and is also the patron saint of St. Petersburg. One of the few churches in St. Petersburg allowed to function during the Soviet era, the cathedral's Neoclassical design stands out among the monastery's predominantly Baroque architecture. Near the cathedral is a millennial monument celebrating 2,000 years of Christianity. No photos allowed. Do not miss the services held inside, which are deeply moving, regardless of your religious affiliation:
Holy Trinity Cathedral from the southern internal cemetery:
Entrance to the Holy Trinity Cathedral:
Holy Trinity Cathedral Interiors:
The Orthodox Russian praying and devotion are VERY MOVING !!!
Alexander Nevsky Monastery with the Assumption Church:
The Cemetries: In a relatively small area around the Alexander Nevsky Monastery are four historic cemeteries - Lazarevskoe (Lazarus), Tikhvinskoe (Tikhvin), Nikolskoe, and Kazache (Cossack), as well as the Church of the Annunciation - the first stone temple and mausoleum of St. Petersburg and the first resting place for the Tsarist family. Today, all the cemeteries of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery are part of the State Museum of Urban Sculpture. In the 20th century, the graves of many prominent St. Petersburg residents that were deteriorating in dilapidated cemeteries were moved here. The monastery contains the graves of the writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, famous composers Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Modest Mussorgsky, and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, and numerous other luminaries. For many visitors one of the major attractions is the monastery's graveyards, home to the final resting places of many of the great names of Russian culture. The nearby cemeteries are worth and two hours or three of time. Especially the pay for entry Tikhvin cemetery where so many great and world-renowned Russian composers, musicians, writers and artists are laid to rest. The burial vault of St Lazarus is a must visit also. Note this is a Russian Orthodox Church, so no shorts for men and women should cover their heads. The Tikhvin Cemetery (admission fee !) (on your right - with your back to the entrance gate and your face ahead to the Monastery courtyards) contains many of the most famous graves: In the far right-hand corner from the gate is an impressive bust of Tchaikovsky over his grave. When you go through the entrance turn right and follow the path in an anti-clockwise direction . You very quickly come to Dostoyevsky (his grave is surrounded by low railings and his bearded bust is fairly obvious). Continue anti-clockwise following the outside wall of the cemetery. The four big composers are pretty much in a row, along the edge of the cemetery – first you come to Rimsky-Korsakov (a pale-coloured medieval cross inset with religious icons, with a low circular of stones surrounding it), next is Mussorgsky (a simple stone showing his head surrounded by a wreath and with a star above it), then Borodin (music from Prince Igor is written on a gilded mosaic behind his bust) and lastly Tchaikovsky (the largest, with an angel with tall wings, a tall cross above his bust and someone seated reading beside him). If you then turn your back on all those and walk a little way towards the centre you will find Glinka’s grave (with Mrs Glinka’s matching one beside it!).
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov tomb:
Alexander Borodin tomb:
Go get immersed in history!
The other main cemetery, the Lazarus Cemetery, (on your left, when you enter the complex) is the resting place of several of the great architects who left their indelible mark on the city, including Starov, Quarenghi and Rossi. Mainly prominent people were buried here, and there are many different tombstones, sarcophagi, columns, stelae, and obelisks. All are striking in their artistic appearance and allegorical symbolism. Today the cemetery is called the Necropolis of the 18th Century and well known graves include the great Swiss-born mathematician and physicist Leonhard Euler; architects Andrey Voronikhin, Giacomo Quarenghi, Thomas de Tomona, and Carlo Rossi; Pushkin’s widow Nathalie Pushkina-Lanskaya; and many others. More than 1 000 gravestones from the 18th – 20th centuries can be found here.
Communist Section at the Lazarus cemetery of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery:
In front of, south to the Holy Trinity Cathedral there is a simple, a bit neglected cemetery with old, no-frills tombs - the Kazache (Cossack) Cemetery:
East of the Monastery - there is a fourth Cemetery Nikolskoe Cemetery with many tombs of Russian famed war heroes. This is a tomb of a Jewish Pilot, Hero of the Russian Nation - Barsht (and his wife):
Alexandra Nevskogo Square (Ploschad) (Плóщадь Алексáндра Нéвского): a tribute immortalizing this remarkable man, is the new monument in the center of the traffic island at Ploschad Alexander Nevskogo, which is just outside the entrance to the Lavra where his remains are buried. This statue was unveiled in May 2002. At the front of the monument is a plaque with an inscription which translates as "Whoever will come to us with sword, from sword will perish":
Alexandra Nevskogo Bridge (most) (мост Александра Невского) - the first, and the most eastern bridge of 4 bridges along Nevsky Prospect. It is also the newest bridge, located at the south eastern end of the Prospekt. It is the longest in the city (905.7 metres) and was built in the early 1960's. It connects Ploshchad' Aleksandra Nevskogo with Zanevskii Prospekt. The bridge provides a solution for the need for high-speed links between new developments on the right bank of the river Neva and the city center. The city's longest bridge was opened amid pomp and circumstance in late 1965. It is not really much of a beauty but is remarkable, at least for its impressive dimensions:
Tip 2: Morning - Northern (sunny) side - from east to west:
To experience the breadth of Nevsky Prospect, it’s best to walk. Although Nevsky has several metro stops, bypassing the street means missing out on some first-rate people watching. The streets are stuffed with passersby: artists sketching the spires of a cathedral, their drawings spread on the sidewalk for sale; businesspeople chattering into their cell phones; even a wedding party, tottering in heels across the cobblestones. To really explore the sights on this tour you should devote a full day to it. Your best bet is TO WALK ON FOOT to avoid the crowds that pack the trolleys and the metro. Try to start this tour EARLY in the morning. YOU SPEND A LOT OF TIME CROSSING THE AVENUE FROM SIDE TO SIDE. THEREFORE - WE RECOMMEND WALKING THE 4.7 km - A COUPLE OF TIMES. Tip 2:START IN THE EASTERN SIDE AND WALK THE NORTHERN SIDE OF THE AVENUE. Tip 3: DURING THE AFTERNOON, WHEN THE SUN IS IN YOUR BACK - REVERSE DIRECTION AND WALK THE WHOLE AVENUE, AGAIN, FROM WEST TO EAST.
To explore the most famous avenue, Nevsky Prospect, start at the relatively peaceful monastery of Alexander Nevsky Lavra, at the southeastern end of Nevsky prospect (see, above, Tip 1). You can reach the monastery by taking the metro to the Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskovo station, which comes out at the foot of the gargantuan Moskva hotel. The entrance to the Lavra is across Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskovo (Alexander Nevsky Square) from the metro exit.
After visiting the monastery, we return to the Alexander Nevsky square. Heading to the west along Nevsky Avenue - the bridge to your right, also named for Alexander Nevsky (see Tip 1). It is the city's longest bridge. Walk 1.7 km. westward or take the metro one stop north to the Mayakovskaya Metro station:
At that Metro stop (Green line #2), follow the signs for the adjacent Vosstaniya exit.
From the Monastery to the next landmark (Vosstaniya Square and Metro station) we walk 1.7 km. The section of Nevsky Prospect which extends between the beyond the Alexander Nevsky Lavra (Monastery) and Vosstaniya Square with its obelisk is called Staro Nevsky Prospekt (Old Nevsky Prospect).
Just before we arrive to Vosstaniya Square and the wide Ligovsky Avenue, you will see, on your right the popular shopping mall Galeria, one of the largest in Europe:
It is at this point that the Nevsky Avenue's most interesting architecture begins, starting at Ploshchad Vosstaniya, or Insurrection Square. There is an obelisk in the center of the square , it was placed here in 1985, in honor of the fortieth anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War (WW2). Leningrad/St.Petersburg was awarded the title of “City- Hero” in 1945. On May 8, 1965 there was issued a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, in which all the “Heroes Cities” of the country were obliged to install this kind of obelisks, confirming this high rank. The base of five-fold trunk is decorated with bronze wreath of Glory and high reliefs, which depict the events of the war years. The obelisk is crowned with a gold star. Earlier there was a monument to Alexander 3 – one of the Russian emperors.
Vosstaniya Metro Station:
On the north side of the square there is a large self-service cafeteria "Shlakunchik" “Щелкунчик” – if you are looking for something inexpensive and nutritious in the city center that is close to the train station. I highly recommend this restaurant !!! Better, enter this restaurant in the end of your daily route, when you finalize this itinerary. We have another recommendation for a budget restaurant - nearly in the middle of this route.
Immediately ahead (westward) from Vosstaniya Metro station, there is another shopping center at the corner of Nevsky Prospect and Vosstaniya road (the first road on your right) – Stockmann (the complex is called the Nevsky Center). As well as in Galeria, here you can take a free city map and coupons (they can be available in Russian and English) and use a free public restroom. The Stockmann department store is not cheap. On the -1 floor there is a big deli shop Stockmann with imported and domestic products. With a large selection, its prices are above average. There are also cafes and restaurants on different floors of the shopping mall. The next couple of roads you pass, on your right, are Mayakovskaya and Liteyniy Prospekt roads. After passing the Mayakovskaya road, on your right, and before passing the Liteniy Avenue - note Nevsky Prospect number 86. Dom Actera. The 'Actors House'. A former home of Princess Tatiana Vassillievna Yusupova. This imposing classical building was rebuilt from its original form in the 1830's by architects Gaspare Fossati and M. A. Ovsyannikov. This is the last true palace along Nevsky Prospect, albeit it has not been used as a palace for about 150 years. The overly priced Magrib cafe and club restaurant can now be found here - having a Moroccan cuisine with a choice of European or Oriental portions:
Head further west and you'll reach the Fontanka River and one of the city's most beautiful bridges, the Anichkov most; over the river, on the opposite side (the southern side - Tip 3), stands the palatial Anichkov Dvorets (Palace):
Of Nevsky's four bridges, the handsome Anichkov Most (Bridge), Nevsky Prospekt over the Fontanka (Фонтанка) river. Morphology of this word determines a connection between the river and fountains: earlier the river watered fountains of the Summer Garden, located along the river. After one of the flooding of the city it stopped functioning in a similar way, but the name did not change. Anichkov Bridge along Nevsky Prospect is one of the most famous bridges in the city. The Anichkov Bridge is the first and most famous bridge across the Fontanka River in Saint Petersburg. Its most distinct feature is a figure of four horses with men trying to tame them designed by Baron Peter von Klodt. These horse tamers having been installed on the bridge in 1851 were removed during World War II and buried in the grounds of Anichkov Palace for safety. The four legendary statues did not reappear on the bridge until the summer of 2001, after they had been fully restored using laser technology and a cocktail of chemicals. During the work it was newly discovered that each horse has a secret hatch on its back. The sculptures represent four stages of conquest of a horse by people, each of which, of course, looks different. The Anichkov Bridge is mentioned in the works of Pushkin, Gogol, and Dostoevsky. During the siege of Leningrad bridge was damaged by artillery attack. Were damaged granite parapets and railing sections. Crossing became blockade monument: on granite pedestal horses intentionally decided not to restore the trail from German artillery shell fragments:
Nevsky Prospect #66. Among the famous residents of this building were writers Alexander Kuprin and Andrei Bely. Tchaikovsky was one of many composers who frequently visited here, when it was known as a music publisher's house:
Keep moving along Nevsky Prospekt. The next street, which branches off from it to the right, is called Karavannaya. It has a large number of restaurants including folklore shows. Street runs past beautiful buildings of Circus and the Cinema House – the place, where you can watch the film festivals, films, including not translated ones (those movies always include subtitles).
Further, on the right, on Nevsky Prospect # 60 you can see the “Aurora” Cinema (an arch with the word “Aurora”). The first cinema was opened in St. Petersburg more than 100 years ago in 1913. At that time it was called “cinematheater” or “big theater of light pictures”-“Pikadilly”. In 1932, under USSR government, the cinema was rebuilt and given its present name “Aurora”. This place has hosted “silent” and modern movies, music meetings and popular concerts. Even the well-known pianist Dmitry Shostakovich and Claudia Shulzhenko, a singer, worked there together. In 1998 Aurora cinema was modernized and reestablished and became the first cinema in the city with Dolby Digital and Dolby Surround acoustic equipment. Aurora is still a multi-purpose venue. It screens blockbusters, holds concerts, artistic meetings, theater and opera performances. Aurora is a unique place to watch world premieres and top-grossing movies as well as meet actors and producers. The cinema offers two halls: a large multi-seated hall and a 100 seater VIP zone:
Yeliseyevsky Food Emporium or Elisseeff Emporium in #56 Nevsky Prospect is a large retail and entertainment complex, including a famous food hall, constructed in 1902–1903 for the Elisseeff Brothers. The complex consists of three buildings, although the corner one is the structure that is referred to as Elisseeff’s store or shop (Елисеевский магазин). Designed by architect Gabriel Baranovskii (Baranovsky, Baranowski, Гавриил Васильевич Барановский), it is one of most striking examples of St. Petersburg Art Nouveau architecture, although at the time of its construction the building was considered controversial. You will definitely notice large windows with moving figures of rats (their author is a world known Michael Shemyakin). The interior is only partially available for viewing from the windows. DO NOT MISS THIS EMPORIUM INTERIORS !!! A MAGNIFICENT WONDERLAND !!! Go inside and feel like a part of the Belle Époque of the early 20th century. The prices of the goods (masterpieces !) are not cheap - but, surprisingly, the prices of products offered are not as high as might be expected. With a multilingual staff you can choose a delicacy or souvenir to take with you or to eat in a luxurious ambiance of this luxury store. Unforgettable experience !!!
Coming out of the magical atmosphere of the 20th century, immediately around the building, you pass, on your right, the Malaya Sadovaya (Малая Садовая) street, full with sculptures, posters, blooming containers, fountains and... restaurants. Right in the center there is a granite ball- fountain, a popular place of tourists and locals for photographing. The ball is rotated due to water pressure (at the period of time when the fountains work). To make your wish come true, you just need to go to the fountain and touch it. To fulfill your wish you should throw a coin to the pedestal so that it can stay there.
Among other original sculptures pay attention to the sculpture of Cats Elisey and Vasilisa:
A little further on the left side of the street you will notice a sculpture of photographer with a dog:
Next, you cross Sadovaya Street with a subway (underpass).
The Passage, Nevsky prospect 48 is an elite department store on Nevsky prospekt. "Passage" today is not only a part of St.Petersburg's historical heritage, but also a prosperous contemporary business enterprise. More than 10,000 customers visit "Passage" daily, and during the holiday season, the customers flow triples. Currently, Joint-Stock Company "Passage" is the largest center of boutique trade with an established professional team of likeminded people who value traditions and the reputation of the firm. Customer service has been steadily growing, collections are updated, and product lines of goods are expanding. In the future, a multi-functional shopping complex is planned to be built on the area adjacent to "Passage" on Italianskaya Street. 17. It is, actually, 2-floored covered road with luxury shops and boutiques. Several bridges connect between the road sides. Note the "Museum of Chocolate" shop:
In the next building westward, Nevsky Prospect, 46, there is a major bookstore Bukvoyed (Буквоед). Here you can find souvenirs, books in various languages, maps, guides. A little further you’ll see the shop "Cever" (Север0 – one of the first confectionery cafés of this city chain. There you can find not only delicious desserts, but also hot meals as well.
Armenian Church, Nevski Prospect 40-42. Subway: Gostinyy Dvor. Open: 09.00 - 21.00. A picturesque blue and white structure built in 1780:
At the corner of Mikhailovskaya ulitsa is the Belmont Grand Hotel Europe, Mikhaylovskaya ulitsa 1/7. Subway: Nevsky Prospect, Gostinyy Dvor. Mikhailovskaya ulitsa is leading northward (to your right) to an impressive collection of attractions: the Russian Museum, Mikhailovsky Theatre and Opera, the Arts Square and the famous monument to the great Russian poet and writer Alexander Pushkin in the square. By the way, the same sculptor (Michael Anikushin) created another monument of Pushkin, it stands at the Pushkinskaya station of the first line of the St. Petersburg subway. Russia's oldest hotel, the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe is something of a legend. Arguably the best hotel in Russia ! A bastion of European culture throughout the years of Communism, There has been a hotel on this site since 1830, but this one first opened its doors in 1875 and in the time of the Tsars, it was known as the Hotel de l'Europe. Because of the rising popularity of the hotel and the demand for rooms, a 5th floor was added in 1908. Completely refurbished between 1989 & 1991, it was reopened with its present name of the Grand Hotel Europe. It has over 300 rooms and suites, many of which have provided plush accommodation for foreign monarchs and several international dignitaries. The hotel is located on Nevsky Prospect, opposite the Gostiny Dvor luxury market (see Tip 3). The shaded part of the building is actually the front entrance and has the address of 1/7 Mikhailovskaya Ulitsa. Visited by Tchaikovsky and his wife for their honeymoon. A musical quartet plays every Friday evening in the restaurant. Bear in mind that when you are crossing Mikhailovskaya street there is an underground subway that leads to the “Nevsky Prospekt” Metro station:
No. 34 is another recessed church, the Church of St. Catherine (Католическая церковь Святой Екатерины). In 1738 Empress Anna granted permission for the church to erect a structure on Nevsky Prospekt, the main street of St. Petersburg. The project, however, met continued problems. The initial designs were based on work by Domenico Trezzini, the architect who designed the Peter and Paul Cathedral and was then deceased. His designs, however, were abandoned in 1751. In the 1760s, the French architect Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe drew designs for the church, but he returned to France in 1775 and it fell to the Italian architect Antonio Rinaldi to complete the church. On October 7, 1783, the church was completed. Because the Empress at the time was Catherine II of Russia (also known as Catherine the Great), the church was named after St. Catherine of Alexandria. Under the Soviets, the activities of the church were repressed. The church, however, remained open until 1938. In 1938 the church was closed. Artifacts, icons and books from the church's splendid library were thrown out to the street. The church was further damaged by a fire in 1947, that destroyed the internal decorations of the church and its organ. For 30 years, the building was used only as storage space for the nearby "Museum of History of Religion and of Atheism" located in former Our Lady of Kazan Church. In late 1970s plans were made to rebuild the church as an organ hall for the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. These plans were never completed, however, as the building was again ravaged by fire in 1984. Instead the government used the building as offices and apartments. In February 1992, city authorities decided to return the building to the Catholic Church. That same year, the church began rebuilding. The restoration of most of the church was completed in 2003, and the central gates were opened. Restoration of the interior of the church is ongoing:
Cross the Griboyedov Canal over the Kazanskiy Most (Bridge). One of the most beautiful spots in SPB. Cross a small road ahead and stop at the bridge. In front of you stands the jewel of SPB cathedrals – the Savior on the Spilled Blood. Unforgettable sight. We devote a whole Tipter blog to this cathedral:
Griboyedov Canal Embankment on the way to the Savior on the Spilled Blood Cathedral:
# 28, is the old HQ of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, which is now Dom Knigi, the largest book store in town. The building was designed by architect Pavel Suzor for the Russian branch of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. The management of the Singer Company initially intended to construct a skyscraper, similar to the Singer Building, the company headquarters being built at that time in New York, but the Saint Petersburg building code did not allow structures taller than the Winter Palace, residence of the emperor. According to the decree of Tsar Nicholas 1 it was not allowed to build buildings and houses higher than the Hermitage (22.5 meters). The architect found an elegant solution to the 23.5 meter height limit: the six-story Art Nouveau building is crowned with a glass tower, which in turn is topped by a glass globe sculpture created by Estonian artist Amandus Adamson. This tower creates the impression of a substantial elevation, but is subtle enough not to overshadow either the Kazan Cathedral or the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood... In 1919, not long after the October Revolution, the building was given to the Petrograd State Publishing House. It quickly became the city's largest bookstore, and was subsequently named "The House of Books" in 1938. The bookstore remained functioning during the Siege of Leningrad until November 1942, reopening again in 1948. The building closed for reconstruction from 2004-2006, reopening as the home of several businesses, including the familiar House of Books and Café Singer:
Continue following the designated route westward. A pedestrian Malaya Konyushennaya Street branches to the right of Nevsky Prospekt. It has a monument to Nikolai Gogol (one of Russian literature classics).
Lutheran Church, Nevskiy Prospekt 22- 24. Subway: Nevskiy Prospekt. The Lutheran church has a classical, twin-towered facade.
Next on the right side of the Prospekt you will see a wide Bolshaya Konyushennaya Street, which has a VERY NICE road for pedestrians in the center. There is the Finnish church of St. Mary on this street church-of-Maria, as well as modern sculptural fountains with Pegasus:
We cross the Moyka river - over the Zelenyy Most (bridge).
Kotomin House, in 18 Nevsky Prospect, is an architectural monument of classical style. It was constructed in the middle of the 18th century, in 1812-14 rebuilt in an apartment house for merchant K.B. Kotomin (architect V.P. Stasov). The centre of the main facade was adorned with a Doric portico of eight semi-columns (which have not survived), side corbels boasted four-columned loggias with moulded panels. The building is crowned with a cornice and a frieze of rosettes and masks. In the first half of the 19th century the south wing housed the confectionery of Wolf and Beranger - the most popular meeting point of Petersburg literary men. In 1858-2001, on the ground floor there was a bookshop (later a second-hand bookshop), well-known far beyond the boundaries of St. Petersburg. In 1978-81, the house of Kotomin was totally reconstructed. In 1985 in its premises the Literary Cafe (architect Z.B. Tomashevskaya) was opened (see below). Other premises of the ground floor are occupied with various boutiques, Shokoladnitza Cafe' and Burger King:
Literary Cafe, Nevsky Prospect 18. Open: 11.00 - 23.00. Subway: Nevsky Prospect. The quaint Literaturnaya Cafe has a delightful interior reminiscent of pre-Revolutionary St. Petersburg. Literary Cafe on Nevskiy Prospekt is famous for its role in history of Russian literature. It was a popular meeting place for Russians poets, writers and critiques and others in informal setting to socialize and discuss various subjects. The nationally acclaimed poet and political rebel Alexander Pushkin was a frequent visitor to the 19th Century confectionery company housed here since he lived close by (Moika 12) and it was here where he had his last meal prior to his fatal duel with Georges D'Anthes in 1837. It was here he met his sekundant (witness in the duel) Konstantin Danzas on the morning of a duel with French aristocrat Baron d'Anthes. Pushkin was mortally wounded at that duel and died later at home. Some of the cafés authentic furnishings were provided by the Pushkin Museum. However Literary Cafe didn't loose popularity. Fyodor Dostoevsky, poet Mikhail Lermontov, Nekrasov and many other authors visited this cafe. The historic name of the Literary Cafe is Cafe Wulf et Beranger after its previous owner. The building itself was constructed in 1815 under supervision of the architect Vasiliy Stasov. It is still a popular destination with fans of Russian literature, but keep in mind that the prices are unjustly high.
We cross the Bolshaya Morskaya street - on our right.
The school house at #14, upon which is a simple memorial recalling the days of the horrific German siege between 1941-44. A plain blue sign 2m from the ground has the words "Citizens! This side of the street is the most dangerous during artillery bombardment" stencilled in white. This grey building was built in the late 1930's (architect Boris Rubanenko), and was known as school No. 210. The 18th century house that previously stood on this site was demolished in 1915 to make way for yet another bank, but the project was never started:
Keep going, in 20-30 meters you will see the beautiful arch of the General Staff Building (1819-1829) on the right, go through it to have a glance of the mighty, grandiose Palace Square. It was erected in honor of the victory in the Russian-French War of 1812, the face of angel that stands on it has facial features of Alexander 1 – Emperor, who won the war. Turn to the side through which you entered: the right part of General Staff building hosts the command of the Western Military District, the left side is a part of Hermitage Museum. You can see there wonderful collection of paintings of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, who had been previously displayed on the third floor of the Winter Palace/Hermitage. The entrance to the museum is in the Arch. On the arch connecting the east and west wings of the building stands the chariot with the goddess of victory. Alexandrovskaya triumphal column stands in the center of the Palace Square. We devoted a special blog to the Winter palace and the Hermitage including the Palace Square:
We complted our itinerary of Nevsky Prospect northside. It is time to skip to Tip 3 below.
Tip 3: Afternoon - The Southern side from west to east:
At the point where the Palace Square changes to Nevsky Prospect, on your right is the Alexandrovsky Garden. The Alexander Garden lies along the south and west facades of the Russian Admiralty in St. Petersburg, parallel to the Neva River and Admiralty Quay, extending from Palace Square in the east to St. Isaac's Cathedral in the west. The English park is named after Alexander II of Russia who ordered some 52 species of trees to be planted there. It was formerly known as the Admiralty Boulevard, the Admiralty Gardens, and the Labourers Garden. The garden was designed by Luigi Rusca in 1805. The main fountain has original arrangement of tubes:
There is a monument to Russian traveler and naturalist, Nikolay Przhevalsky. Notea camel at the foot of a bronze bust of the traveler:
Other monuments, in the Alexander Garden are to Mikhail Lermontov,
Mikhail Glinka (the world-famous Russian composer),
and other celebrities and themes.
Starting at the Admiralty, the first building at Nevsky Prospect no. 1 is a magnificent YELLOW Art Nouveau Building. During the reign of Peter the Great, the Tsar was obsessed with forming a strong navy. Because Russia only had one seaport in the far north, he believed it necessary to build another. Thus the Admiralty began its life as a fortified shipyard in 1704. When the shipyard was opened, it employed some ten thousand men whose goal it was to produce an abundance of ships. It wasn't unusual to see Peter himself at the shipyard on various occasions as he was considered a master shipbuilder, carpenter, and designer. The Admiralty began with four bastions at its corners and a moat. A tower and spire were added in 1711 and, in 1730, architect Ivan Korobov designed a new central gate and replaced the wooden structure with a new stone building. However, what visitors see today is the result of a design by noted Russian architect Adrian Zakharov, who was a professor at the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Zakharov's neo-classical re-design of the Admiralty took place between 1806 and 1823. While staying true to the original design, his Russian Empire design reflected the new pride of Russia. Rows of white columns and numerous statues, such as those of great military leaders, were part of the plan. A frieze portrays Neptune handing his mighty triton to Peter. Other decorative features bore naval themes as well. A visitor to today's Admiralty, unfortunately, won't see much of Zakharov's re-designed building and its decorative pieces. Many of the early statues were destroyed in 1860 when they were deemed "pagan" by the Orthodox clergy. At that time, the Admiralty was home to the Ministry of the Navy and the Naval Museum. In 1925 the building became home to a shipbuilding school. The structure also sustained much damage during the blockade of Leningrad and was continually bombarded by the Germans during World War II. The Admiralty building is still decorated with plenty of sculptures and reliefs. And its 73 meter golden spire, and its weathervane "little ship" that sits atop it, remain one of St. Petersburg's most recognizable landmarks. The weathervane, a replica of Peter's personal ship, is now a reproduction. The original is housed in the Naval Museum of SPB. The tower with the spire is 72,5 meters high. Its gilded needle with the weather vane in form of a caravel is one of the landmarks of St. Petersburg. The Admiralty tower offers one of the most beautiful views over St. Petersburg:
If you are facing the Admiralty, there will be an interesting statue “Peter the 1st – the carpenter” on the right. In 1909, the last Russian Emperor Nicholas II in honor of the bicentennial of the great Russian Naval victory at Poltava presented the city of St. Petersburg with a monument completed by sculptor Leopold Bernshtam. The monument was titled "Peter the Great learning the craft of ship building in the city of Zaandam." And in the following year a copy of the monument to Peter the Great was also presented to the city of Zaandam, which remembers Peter the Great till this day:
View of the Admirality from Nevsky Prospect:
Wawelberg Building at # 7-9 is one of the most unusual buildings on Nevsky Prospect. Locals call it "former Aeroflot" building. It is a bizarre fortress-like building. the Wawelberg Building was compared on its completion to the Doge's Palace in Venice and the Banco di Santo Spirito in Rome, although the dark, rough granite used to face the building gives it an earlier medieval appearance. The Wawelbergs were a Polish-Jewish family who settled in St. Petersburg in the 1840s. In 1869, Hyppolite Wawelberg founded the Wawelberg Bank, which operated in Russia and Poland and gained rapid success as the main lender to the government of Congress Poland. Hyppolite's son, Michael Wawelberg, took over his father's company in 1903, and in 1912 it was renamed the St. Petersburg Commercial Bank, an accurate reflection of the company's stature and wealth. Although the company was nationalized in Russia by the Bolsheviks, and the Wawelberg family consequently lost their control, its Polish subsidiary Bank Zachodni ("Western Bank") is still one of the country's main banks today. In 1910, Michael Wawelberg bought the buildings and land at 7-9, Nevsky Prospekt. The competition for designs for a new building was won by Marian Peretyatkovich, a young architect of Polish ancestry, whose plans incorporated the latest in reinforced concrete technology and drew on Italian renaissance themes as a homage to the birthplace of modern banking. The sculptural decorations on the building were provided by Vasily Kozlov and Leopold Dietrich, who would later become famous for pioneering the monumental public monuments of Socialist Realism. For most of the Soviet period, the Wawelberg Building was used as St. Petersburg's Airstation, Leningrad citizens could buy air tickets and catch buses to the airport. Many locals still refer to it as the "Aeroflot Building", although the ground floor is now occupied by cafes, and there are plans to turn the whole building into a boutique hotel:
Further east, at no. 15, is the Barrikada Cinema, known simply as the 'house with columns' for its colonnaded facade. It is opposite the Kotomin house. It was the former mansion of the St. Petersburg Chief of Police Nikolay Chicherin. Note its two tiers of columns wrapped around the street corner. Stretching along Bolshaya Morskaya Street and the Moika Embankment, this palatial house became home to a variety of leading entertainment clubs and artistic institutions before and after the revolution. Now it hosts the Taleon Imperial Hotel:
Now we cross the River Moika by the (Zelenyy) Green (or Police) Bridge (see Tip 2). Carrying Nevsky Prospekt across the Moika River, the Green Bridge has been renamed several times since the first bridge was built here in 1716, including Politseisky (Police) and, from 1918 to 1998, Narodny (People's). The bridge has been reconstructed almost as many times, and the current structure, a single cast-iron arched span, dates from 1806, but has been significantly altered since, including the addition of sidewalks on brackets in 1847, an extension in 1904, and the addition of ornate lampposts in 1908. The bridge was fully restored in 1967:
Upon crossing the Moika river you will see the recently restored orangey-pink and white Baroque style Stroganoff Palace at # 17. Open: daily 10.00 - 18.00 (10.00 - 17.00 on Monday). Closed: Tuesday. Stroganov/Stroganoff Palace is one of the best examples of Russian Baroque architecture. Completed in 1760 on the site of an earlier palace. Designed by the famous architect Rastrelli - who was also responsible for the Winter Palace. Facade of this large white and pink building is covered by beautiful moldings and statues. Stroganov Palace has over 50 rooms, a central hall and a gallery with high mirrors and sculptures. The entrance to its magnificent residence is decorated with coats of arms of Stroganov (Stroganoff) family. New owners of Stroganov Palace were so famous, they paid a large sum as well as a portrait painted by artist Rotary. The interior of Stroganov Palace hasn't change through time, yet the exterior have changed several times. At various times it was painted pink, brick- red, green. In the end of the 20th century Stroganov Palace was turned into a part of a Russian Museum. Today it holds a gallery of wax figures of the people who often visited the estate. Additionally exhibits from the Russian Museum are commonly held in Stroganov Palace. This is where the internationally known beef dish was allegedly created in 1891 by Charles Briere, chef to Count Pavel Alexandrovich Stroganov. The Great Hall is open for the visitors – the only interior in St. Petersburg which has an authentic decoration of Rastrelli and unique ceiling of Giuseppe Valeriani “Triumph of the Hero". Two state rooms of the second floor are restored, they are decorated by the most famous Russian architects of 18th-19th centuries:
In number 21 - the former Mertens Fur Trade House. This Neo-Renaissance building has glass walls set in three arches mounted between slim rustic stone piers.
Directly opposite the Kazan Restaurant and Dom Knigi (number 28) you cannot fail to see the monumental Kazan Cathedral (Kazansky Cathedral), Nevsky Prospect 25 or Kazansky Ploshchad 2 , Subway: Nevsky Prospect. Bus: 3, 7. Trolleybus: 1, 5, 7, 10, 22. Metro: Nevsky Prospekt. MON -FRI masses 10.00, 18.00, SUN 7.00, 10.00, 18.00. Free entry. Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan was commissioned by Emperor Paul I in 1801 and built during reign of Alexander I who took the throne after his father was assassinated. Designed, in the years 1801-1811, by Andrey Voronikhin, who was inspired by Cathedral of Saint Paul in Rome, and built the church in a semicircle with 96 towering columns. Strangely this awesome façade is at the rear of the building. The reason being that the altar of an Orthodox church must face towards the west. After the Revolution this stately cathedral was the home of the Museum of Religion and Atheism for many years. Its most distinct feature is a curved colonnade (111 m or 364 feet) that runs parallel to Nevskiy Prospekt. Church was completed in 1811, just a year before invasion of Napoleon and his twelfth nation army. This coincidence tied Kazan Cathedral with the Patriotic War of 1812 and its heroes. Both ends of the external colonnade have two statues by Boris Orlovsky. One is that of Mikhail Barclay de Tolly (1761- 1818) and the other of Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov (1745- 1813). Kutuzov who was described in Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace is also buried here. During Communist period Kazan Cathedral was taken from Russian Orthodox Church and turned into Museum of Atheism. Now the museum moved into the building on Post Office Street, and once again this is a cathedral church:
The park and fountain in front of the Cathedral. Opposite: Singer Building:
Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov Statue:
Kazan Cathedral was dedicated to the miracle working icon of Our Lady of Kazan. It is one of four most revered icons in Russia. Today it is kept inside, although its survival is a miracle of its own. Icon of Kazan was preserved for its historic value. Fortunately in 1999 the church was returned back to its rightful owners and today it is open for believers and tourists alike. The interior of the Kazan Cathedral is similar to pagan Greek and Roman temples of antiquity. Pink granite columns surround the central main room of the church:
Here you cross the Griboyedov Canal over the Kazan Bridge. If you turn right (southward) along the Griboyedov Canal Embankment you will see the Bankovskiy Mostik (the Bank bridge), which has magical griffins. They look great on photos!
After crossing the Griboyedov Canal - further eastward, you cross the Dumskaya Street (between Gostiniy Dvor and the tower of Duma) you can see a lot of buses for sightseeing the city, it’s suburbs and other Russian cities. Ticket offices are located near Dumskaya street, you can book a tour in a foreign language. Next, you pass, on your right, the Perinnaya road.
Saint Petersburg City Duma, Nevsky prospect, 33 (in front of Nevsky Prospect Metro station on the southern side of the Nevsky Avenue). The City Duma was established in 1785 in the course of Catherine the Great's municipal reform. Emperor Paul replaced it by the so-called Ratusha, but his son, Alexander I, had the Duma restored four years later. The next emperor, Nicholas I, expanded the institution from six to twelve members in 1846. Alexander II of Russia reorganized it once again during the Zemstvo reform of the 1870s. In September 1918 the Duma was abolished and its functions devolved on the Petrograd Soviet. The Neoclassical headquarters of the Duma were erected on the main city avenue, Nevsky Prospect, between 1784 and 1787. The famous Italianate tower was added in 1799–1804 to a design by Giacomo Ferrari. In 1847–52, the edifice was rebuilt in the Neo-Renaissance style, favoured by Nicholas I. Two more floors were added to the building in 1913–14. A spacious central hall of the City Duma was frequently let to host high-profile social events. The structure is located at the corner of the Nevsky Avenue and Dumskaya Street, opposite the Merchant Court and Grand Hotel Europe. Its distinctive tower, formerly used for fire observation, can still be seen the whole length of Nevsky Prospekt after the crossing with Fontanka River. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Legislative Assembly made this palace its headquarters. Now the building houses the Children’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Music School of Rimsky-Korsakov, the Institute of St. Petersburg, and since 1998 – the North-West and Saint-Petersburg branch of Sberbank of Russia:
Gostiny Dvor, Nevsky Prospect 35, Subway: Gostinyy Dvor. Open: 10.00 - 18.00 WED- SUN, 10.00 - 17.00 MON. Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor is a vast department store on Nevsky prospect. This Gostiny Dvor is not only the city's oldest shopping centre, but also one of the first shopping arcades in the world. Sprawling at the intersection of Nevsky prospekt and Sadovaya street for over one kilometer and embracing the area of 53,000 m2, the indoor complex of more than 100 shops took twenty-eight years to construct. Building works commenced in 1757 to an elaborate design by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, but that subsequently was discarded in favour of a less expensive and more functional Neoclassical design submitted by Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe (1729–1800). Throughout the following century, Gostiny Dvor was continuously augmented, resulting in ten indoor streets and as many as 178 shops by the 20th century. By that time, the Gostiny Dvor had lost its popularity to the more fashionable Passage and New Passage, situated on the Nevsky prospekt nearby (see the northern side of the Nevsky Avenue - Tip above). During the post-World War II reconstructions, its inner walls were demolished and a huge shopping mall came into being. This massive 18th-century structure got a face-lift recently and entered the 21st century as one of the most fashionable shopping centres in Eastern Europe. A nearby station of SPB metro takes its name from Gostiny Dvor. Nowadays over three thousand Russian and foreign enterprises offer their products in the various shops with total length of 2 kilometers. The building also has a free public restroom, it is situated in the part of the building, facing Sadovaya Street (behind the Lego store):
Immediately, following the the shopping complex is the Gostiny Dvor Metro station.
On your right, you pass the Sadovaya street.
National Library of Russia is in the SE side of Ostrovsky Square, pl. Ostrovskogo, 1/3. The National Library of Russia is the first national library in the country. The NLR is currently ranked among the world’s major libraries. It has the second richest library collection in the Russian Federation, a treasury of national heritage, and is the All-Russian Information, Research and Cultural Center. Over the course of its history, the Library has aimed for comprehensive acquisition of the national printed output and has provided free access to its collections. It should not be confused with the Russian State Library, located in Moscow. The Imperial Public Library was established in 1795 by Catherine the Great, whose private collections included the domestic libraries of Voltaire and Diderot, which she had purchased from their heirs. Voltaire's personal library is still one of the highlights of the collection. The idea of a public library in Russia emerged in the early 18th century but did not take shape until the arrival of the Russian Enlightenment. The plan of a Russian public library was submitted to Catherine in 1766 but the Empress did not approve the project for the imperial library until 27 May [O.S. 16 May] 1795, eighteen months before her death. A site for the building was found at the corner of Nevsky Avenue and Sadovaya Street, right in the center of the Russian Imperial capital. The construction work began immediately and lasted for almost fifteen years. The building was designed in a Neoclassical style by architect Yegor Sokolov (built between 1796–1801). The cornerstone of the foreign-language department came from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the form of Załuski's Library (420,000 volumes), nationalized by the Russian government at the time of the partitions. The Polish-language books from the library (numbering some 55,000 titles) were returned to Poland by the Russian SFSR in 1921. For five years after its foundation, the library was run by Comte Marie-Gabriel-Florent-Auguste de Choiseul-Gouffier. The stocks were arranged according to a specially compiled manual of library classification. In 1810, EmperorAlexander I approved Russia’s first library law stipulating, among other things, that two legal copies of all printed matter in Russia be deposited in the Library. The Library was to be opened for the public in 1812 but, as the more valuable collections had to be evacuated because of Napoleon’s invasion, the inauguration was postponed for two years. Under Count Alexander Stroganov, who managed the library during the first decade of the 19th century, the Rossicaproject was inaugurated, a vast collection of foreign books touching on Russia. It was Stroganov who secured for the library some of its most invaluable treasures, namely the Ostromir Gospel, the earliest book written in Russian language, and the Hypatian Codex of the Russian Primary Chronicle. Currently, in addition to rooms with reference services and electronic resources, several library halls, there is an office of Faust or Gothic hall. The office was built and equipped in medieval style in 1857. In it’s center there is a statue of Gutenberg – the first European book-printer. Also this room has books published before 1501:
Carlo Rossi's Russian National Library building on Ploshchad Ostrovskogo:
On the south side of the Nevsky Prospect (still, number 39) is ALSO the Ploshchad Ostrovskogo or Ostrovsky Square during Soviet times. Aleksandr Ostrovsky was a famous Russian play-writer. The square is, actually, a small park (Yekaterinskiy sad, Katrkin garden, площадь Островского, Ploshchad Ostrovskogo, площадь Островского) with the bronze monument to Catherine the Great in its centre. SPB metro line3 arrives close to the square (Gostinyy Dvor station). Its centerpiece is a famous monument to Catherine II, designed by the famous sculptor Michael Mikeshin. An enormous statue of Catherine the Great stands amid the chess, backgammon and sometimes even mahjong players that crowd the benches here. At the feet of the Empress shows nine sculptural portraits of nobles: generals Pyotr Rumyantsev, Grigory Potemkin, Alexander Suvorov, dignitaries Alexander Bezborodko, Ivan Betskoy, naval Basil Chichagov, Alexei Orlov and artists Gavriil Derzhavin and Yekaterina Dashkova. There is one woman among them – Princess Dashkova known by helping Catherine the Great to ascend to the throne in a coup; later she was a director of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. The monument is made of 600 blocks Serdobol granite, brought from the island of Valaam archipelago. The monument was dedicated in 1873. The Catherine garden (or park) is a part of the Ostrovskiy Square complex, on the territory of the Anichkov Palace manor (see above). Near the garden many St-Petersburg artists exhibit and sell their pictures:
Also here is the Alexandrinsky Theatre (Александринский театр) or Russian State Pushkin Academy Drama Theater (Российский государственный академический театр драмы им. А. С. Пушкина). It was established in 1820-es under the project of architect K. Rossi. The building of Alexandrinskiy Theatre is dominating in the square's view and decorated with a chariot on the top:
Behind the theatre - there is one of the most beautiful streets of St. Petersburg - the Architect Rossi Street (ul. Zodchego Rossi). The street is famous for being symmetrical and proportional: it’s width equal to the height of buildings forming the street (22 meters), and the length is exactly ten times more – 220 meters:
The marvelous Zodchego Rossi road terminates at Lomonosova Square. Harmonious Lomonosov Square, surrounded by Neoclassical buildings, is part of a architectural complex composed of two squares: this one, the Lomonosov Square and the Ostrovsky Square (see above) - connected by the Zodchego Ross street named after Carlo Rossi, who created the complex. The best view of this perfectly proportioned street, closed off by the Alexandrinsky Theatre, is from this spot. The large semi-circular building lining the square once housed the Ministry of Education. In its centre stands a bust of Mikhail Lomonosov created by P. Zabello and placed here in 1892. The square is packed with parking lots and cars and loses its lustre. On the southern side of the square flows Fontanka river and in its east side stands Rossi Spa Hotel:
If you rounded the corner behind Alexandrinsky Theatre and behind the National Library - you are met by huge buildings described, formally, as neoclassical Russian architecture, but I dubbed them as wedding cake architecture (per. Krylova road). Floors and floors of buildings look like layers of cakes, decorated by multiple arches and curlicues. I've asked people - what are these wonderful buildings ? I got the answer: “Offices, Administrative building. Business”. Nothing out of the ordinary happening there, yet stunningly beautiful constructions !!!
Anichkov Palace, 39, Nevsky Prospect. Subway: Nevsky Prospekt, Gostiny Dvor. Closed to the public. Anichkov Palace (Аничков дворец, Санкт-Петербургский городской Дворец творчества юных), At the intersection of Nevsky Avenue and the Fontanka. Formerly owned by Antonio de Vieira, takes its name from the nearby Anichkov Bridge across the Fontanka. Designed for the Empress Elizabeth of Russia in a dazzling Baroque style, the bright palace came to be known as the most imposing private residence of the Elizabethan era. It was commissioned in 1741 to architect Mikhail Zemtsov. At the time of its construction this palace was located at the outskirts of the old Saint Petersburg. The privacy was a must, since the new owner of the palace was Aleksey Razumovsky, secret husband of the empress. Elizabeth and Razumovsky or "Night Emperor" as he was known even had a child together, Duchness Tarakanova. Built in 1754. New Empress Catherine II the Great gave Anichkov Palace to a new lover Grigoriy Potemkin who ordered its reconstruction in 1776- 78 under supervision of architect Ivan Starov. The whole building got a face life a new neo- classical facade that was quiet popular in a Russian capital at the time. The facade is turned to the the river, not to Nevsky Prospekt as the entrance planned to be from the water. After the erection in 1753 the palace was the Imperial, passing from one royal family member to another as a wedding gift. The decorations of the palaces were completed by famous Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli who added Baroque decorations to the facade of the buildings. Simultaneously a regular park was laid out by an English garden architect, William Hould. After 1917, this was nationalized and designated the St. Petersburg City Museum. Since 1934, when it was converted into the Young Pioneer Palace, the palace has housed over hundred after-school clubs for more than 10,000 children. While a small museum inside is open to the public at selected times, the edifice is normally not accessible to tourists. Now it is named Palace of Youth Creativity and one of its wings holds Anichkov Lycee - institution of additional education.
You may want to cross Nevsky at this point to peek inside the Yeliseyevsky Food Emporium (see Northern side of Nevsky Prospect - Tip # 2).
With your face to the east, as you cross the Fontanks River on the Anichkov Bridge (see Tip 2) - you arrive to the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace (Dvorets Beloselskikh-Belozerskikh), Nevsky Prospect, 41. Subway: Nevsky Prospekt/Gostiny Dvor or Dostoevskaya/Vladimirskaya. Open for concerts. Beloselsky- Belozersky Palace or Serievsky Palace stands on the corner of Nevsky Prospect and Fontanka River almost opposite Anichkov Bridge. It was constructed in 1847- 48 by architect A. Stakenschneider on a place of an older palace. Construction was commissioned by Duke K.E. Beloselky- Belozersky and thus the buildings carries his name today. Sculptures that make the distinguished feature of this former private residence was constructed by D.I. Jensen. Belosselsky Belozersky Palace is a Neo-Baroque palace at the intersection of the Fontanka River and Nevsky Prospect. The palace belonged to the Princes Beloselskiy, a family who claimed descent from Yuri Dolgorukiy, the founder of Moscow. Their first palace was built on the same site by the Fontanka River in 1747, but it was a much more modest affair. The family's fortunes increased thanks to the close relationship between Prince Alexander Mikhailovich Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy and Emperor Paul I, and through marriage to two heiresses to Urals mining fortunes. It was one of those heiresses, the widowed Princess Elena Pavlovna Beloselskaya-Belozerskaya, who commissioned the present palace, petitioning Emperor Nicholas I to allow his court architect, Andrey Stackensneider, to design the building (his only civil commission in the city). The palace was built 1847-1848, and became renowned for the lavish parties thrown there by Elena Pavlovna. A few decades later, however, the family found the palace too expensive to maintain, and it was sold to Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich, brother of Emperor Alexander III, in 1884. He had part of the interiors redesigned in 1888, and in 1897 the facades were restored and first painted in the deep pink that can be seen today. Nationalised after the October Revolution, the Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy Palace became the headquarters of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party for the centre of Leningrad. In this role, its historic interiors were carefully maintained during the 20th century, despite significant damage in the Second World War, and the original rococo decorations have largely survived intact. The building is now home to a Municipal Cultural Centre (along with several smaller institutions), and hosts regular concerts of chamber music as well as offering occasional guided tours of the state rooms (three or four times per month or by appointment):
The next street that branches from Nevsky Prospekt, on your right, is Rubinstein Street (Улица Рубинштейна). It is considered to be one of the most restaurants-saturated streets of the city (almost every other space is a cafe, a pub or a restaurant). The street ends with a unique “Five Corners” square – the only place in St. Petersburg, where five corners of buildings are facing the square:
Next road, on your right, is Vladimirsky Prospekt. Vladimirsky Prospekt ends with Vladimirskaya Square with Vladimirsky Cathedral. In the upper church there is an iconostasis of the 18th century.
Nevsky Prospect #63:
Note the building (Russian Post) in number 65. It was remodeled, with its present late eclecticism style, between 1902 and 1904:
Moskovsky railway station, Nevsky prospect, 85 (Moskovsky Vokzal). One of the five largest railway stations in Russia. Moskovsky train station is a complex, multi-industry transport mechanism. It is among the five largest stations in Russia. Here for the first time in Russia appeared in the "Business center", sheds, ticket management center, halls superior. Today the station daily sends 15.4 thousand passengers in long-distance communication and 27.6 thousand passengers in the suburban. The vast majority of trains departs from here to Moscow. The capital has an identical train station, which is called Leningradskiy, which means of Leningrad):