St. Petersburg - Kamenny and Yelagin Islands

JUL 03,2015 - JUL 03,2015 (1 DAYS)

Nature

From Kamenny Island (Stone Island) to Yelagin Island and back to Kamenny Island:

Duration: 1/2 - 3/4 day. Distance of Walking: 8-10 km.

Start and End: Chyornaya Rechka (Чёрная рéчка) (Blue Line No. 2). is a station of the Saint Petersburg Metro which opened on 4 November 1982. Chyornaya Rechka is the name of the place of the last duel of Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

Main Attractions: Chyornaya Rechka Metro station, Ushakovsky Bridge, Church of the Birth of St. John the Baptist, Kamennoostrovsky Bridge, Sphinxes on the Little Neva Embankment, Dolgorukov-Oldenburg Estate House, Kugusheva Mansion, Guadze House, Chaev Mansion, Vurgaft house, Kleinmikhel Mansion, Teatr Kamennoostrovskiy, First Yelagin Bridge, Kirov Central Culture and Leisure Park, Yelagin Palace, Polovtsov Mansion, Vollenweider Mansion, Gausvald Dacha, the Oncological Hospital, Chyornaya Rechka pavilion and Metro station.

Weather: only bright and sunny day !  No shelter in case of rain or winds.

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Introduction: Kamenny Island is hardly and rarely visited by tourists. During our 6 hours of walking there - we saw only a couple of tourists. The locals flood this island - BUT, only during the weekends (when they pay for the entry of their cars and for the parking...). But, for the St. Peter's experienced visitor - the island is an oasis of architectural treasures, the grandest of which is the Kamennoostrovskiy Palace, a royal residence built by Catherine the Great for her son, the future Paul I and of lush-green sights and picturesque landscape all around. The island is a delight to explore, with overgrown pathways that hide some truly beautiful, if rundown, buildings. Kamenny Island translates as Stone Island.

History: The island was originally granted by Peter the Great to Count Gavriil Golovkin, his friend since childhood. During the reign of Empress Elizabeth, Kamenny Island was passed to Count Alexei Bestuzhev-Ryumin, who brought several thousand vassals from his Ukrainian estates to drain the marshy island and build its embankments. Later, Tsaritsa Elizabeth passed the island to her son, the future Peter III.

By the end of the 18th century, Kamenny Island had become the sought-for site by royal and aristocratic ranks. It was the playground of the SPB elite for nearly three hundred years. Several of Russia's greatest noble families built Dachas (summer-houses) there.  Even in the Soviet Union era, Kamenny Island continued to be restricted to the St. Petersburg high society, with top-ranking government and military officials granted Dachas on the island. Nowadays, Kamenny Island remains a peaceful wilderness, and one of the nicest places in the city to stroll.

Chyornaya Rechka Metro station resides in a nice pavilion surrounded by  a splendid square and buildings:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

From the Metro station we take the ul. Akademika Krylova (ул. Академика Крылова) SOUTHWARD (passing through two subways, ascending and descending staircases). It is , approx. 500 m. walk from the Metro station until you arrive the Ushakovsky Bridge (most) (УШАКОВСКИЙ мост) over the Bolshaya Nevka (Neva) river. It connects Academician Krylov Street in SPB mainland and Kamenoostrovsky avenue in Kamenny Island. The Ushakovsky bridge  was earlier known as the Stroganov or 2nd Stone Island Bridge. The modern name of the bridge was awarded in memory of Admiral Fyodor Fyodorovich Ushakov (Фёдор Фёдорович Ушако́в) (1745-1817), Tambov Governorate) a famous Russian naval commander and admiral of the 18th century. The bridge piers are faced with granite. The iron railings of the bridge are decorated with ornaments with the composition of anchors, stars, oak and laurel wreaths, made in the style of "Stalinist" classicism. Decorated columns, in the same style, stand in pairs at each of the bridge entrances:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

After you crossed the Bolshaya Nevka - you are in Kamenny Island, in the wide and bustling Kamenoostrovsky Avenue. Immediately on your LEFT, into a small garden stands the red-roofed  Church of the Birth of St. John the Baptist. When Kammeny Island was bought by Catherine II in 1765, as a gift for her son Pavel, the church was one of the first buildings to appear. In 1766, a home for injured sailors and veterans of the Battle of Chesme was established on the island by Pavel, who commissioned the church for their use. It was under restoration in summer 2015:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Continue walking SOUTHWARD along Kamenoostrovsky avenue in Kamenny Island - until you face water again - this is the Krestovka river or the Malaya Neva (Little Neva). On your right and left is the nab. reki Maloy Nevki street. DD NOT CROSS THE BRIDGE (Kamennoostrovsky Bridge) OVER THE Malay Neva. You can walk over the beautiful bridge and enjoy the river sights around:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Instead of crossing the bridge we turn RIGHT (WEST) and walk along the Krestovka river, along nab. reki Maloy Nevki (the river on our left, south) and hit, immediately, on a small piece of grass, a couple of green Sphinxes on the Small Neva Embankment- Malaya Neva (Little Neva):

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Behind the Sphinxes (north of them) stands the impressive Dolgorukov-Oldenburg Estate House, nab. Reki Maloy Nevki 11, was built in 1831-1832 by S. Shustov for Prince Dolgorukov. It is a small wooden building by the very bank of the Krestovka river. Cubic in shape, crowned by a low cupola and adorned by Doric six-columned porticoes supporting three balconies. Originally belonging to Prince Dolgorukov, it passed on to the Danish Prince of Oldenburg, a nephew of Nicholas I, which is why it is often called the Dolgorukov-Oldenburg Villa. The house is one of the few surviving examples of Russian wooden architecture in the age of Classicism. Later, the view of the house has been improved by the construction of a granite ramp leading down to the river with the cast-iron sphinxes set on either side. It is an excellent example of Classicist Russian wooden architecture. The house was also owned by the Prince of Oldenburg, hence its name. Although not open for public visits, the Dolgorukov-Oldenburg House can be admired as you stroll down the Little Nevka Embankment:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

It is a long walk along nab. Reki Maloy Nevki (when you arrive to a T small junction. Look at the Kugusheva Mansion (1896), now Kustodiyev Art School at 1 Bokovaya Alleya:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Take the left (south) leg along the steel fence. It is Zapadnaya alleya that continues, again,  as nab. Reki Maloy Nevki). But, along this shady - you see beautiful mansions. Several of them still built as wood estate-houses.

nab. Reki Maloy Nevki # 12-14:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Note the mansion at number 18 (deep on your left) along the way in nab. Reki Maloy Nevki). This long, shady, splendid road will lead us to the bridge - leading to Yelagin Island.Try to "catch" the mansion at No. 33 A (nab. Reki Maloy Nevki, 33) - Guadze House:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

When you arrive, again, to a T junction - take the RIGHT (north) leg or path. Here,  nab. Reki Maloy Nevki changes its name to nab. Reki Krestovski. WE continue direst, in the same direction (AND DO NOT TURN LEFT). In nab. Reki Krestovski - you'll find the Chaev Mansion - the past residence of Sergey Chaev - the chief engineer of the Trans-Siberian train:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Do not miss the Vurgaft house (still on your left): A famous rich man Dmitry Rubinshtein was its leaser for many years. He initiated merry new year's celebrations and dancing parties with gifts and cheers for kamennoostrovsky children in the house. In 1918 the house was nationalized and was occupied by the Bolsheviks for local children:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We continue walking westward along nab. Reki Krestovski. Note Kleinmikhel Mansion at 12 Naberezhnaya Reki Krestovki:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The Krestovsky canal is on our left with relaxing sights all over:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

nab. Reki Krestovski ends in the pl. Starogo Teatra Square. Take the LEFT (south) leg and surround the white-washed square from its southern side, first:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

A bit further north, still in this square, stands Kamenoostrovskiy Theatre (teatr), pl. Starogo teatra, 13. Teatr Kamennoostrovskiy, is a large neoclassical building designed in wood. Erected in 40 days, the theater was designed to last only seven years, but today it is still standing. The building was started in 1776 under Kamennoostrovsky Yuriy Felten and completed five years later, together with the nearby Church of St. John the Baptist. It was built, again, in 1826 by  Smaragd Shustov as a summer theatre. In 1844 it was demolished and rebuilt again by A. Cavos - the master architect who designed all st. Petersburg theatres. From 1914 - no theatrical action took place in this building. Today, it is used for local TV theatre productions. The surrounding park was designed by the French-born Thomas de Thomon in 1810:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We continue westward and cross the First Yelagin Bridge - on our way to Yelagin Island. On your right, in the western end of the bridge - yo see the Kirov Park and Yelagin Palace (see below):

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

The current name of the island, Yelagin, originates from one of the many owners of this island – Ivan Yelagin, who was famous for his hospitality. He made a free entrance to the park and treated kindly all its guests. Prior to the revolution of 1917, the Imperial family had owned Yelagin Island. The reconstruction of the palace and the park was entrusted to the Italian architect Carlo di Giovanni Rossi. Landscaping was done by the same architect who created the parks of Tsarskoye Selo and Pavlovsk. Yelagin Island is also reputed for its Central Park of Culture and Recreation named after Sergei Kirov (former Leningrad Communist Party boss, who was assassinated in 1934). Yelagin Island as the Krestovsky Island is located in the north-western part of the city on Neva River’s delta, which flows into the Gulf of Finland. it is so quiet area. If you want spending a calm day or having a rest in a park -  it is worth getting to Yelagin island. it's spacious and even though there are many people being actively doing sports (running, cycling, rowing, roller skating, sunbathing on the shore, dancing to the military band or visiting an exhibition, 5 km. running track) . This is a great place for cultural activities and promenades. Yelagin Island is especially good in the summer time with outdoor cafes available for the visitors. However it’s also nice during snowy winter and in the period of autumn leaf falling. In spring this island is full of tulips so you could feel yourself in The Netherlands. This island is stunning in autumn when trees turn yellow and red. In all seasons It has the feel of an English park:

Kirov Central Culture and Leisure Park: The Kirov Central Culture and Leisure Park on Elagin Island is a favorite spot for Petersburgers to spend free time relaxing with family and friends. In the winter there is an ice-rink and you can also hire skis to explore the island, while during the summer there are badmington courts, rides for kids, and boat trips around the city on offer. The centerpiece of the island is the Elagin Palace (see below), which is now a museum holding a wonderful collection of decorative and applied art. Work on the creation of the Park began in 1931. It was based on the Yelagin Palace Park, which was built for the Empress Maria Fyodorovna and contained an Imperial summer residence surrounded by fields and woodland. In 1932, part of the park was opened to the public, and fairground attractions, a children's park and a boat-house were built; in the winter there are skiing, sledding and ice-skating. The park is widely populated with grey squirrels and special food is sold here for them. There are also various birds, ducks and  geese. There is a great opportunity to take photos in Yelagin Palace in some of the rented historical costumes so do not forget to bring your camera. And you can take some pictures of splendid scenery of the park too. Several years ago, the park has been restored to its historic appearance. It has preserved different kinds of centuries-old trees and unique flora. Please note that some lawns with relevant signs are forbidden to walk onto. Very nice, romantic and peaceful park. Lots of water and trees. What is really nice about this place is the quiet atmosphere. During the weekends - music played out on speakers throughout the park, and lots of stalls selling hot drinks, food, and crafts:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Yelagin Palace: The main attraction of Kirov Park is the Yelagin Palace. It is also called “the palace of the doors” – you will not find a single matching pair of doors here. The furniture and even the smallest details of the interior are created after the drawings of the Italian architect Carlo Rossi. The main objects are:  Chariot Stables building (exhibition halls are open to the visitors), Yelagin Palace itself, Kitchen building, Greenhouse building (occupied by the museum of fancy glass). There is the Museum of Russian arts and crafts and interior of XVIII-XX centuries, with a permanent exhibition on the first and second floors, which demonstrates the everyday objects of past eras. In the palace there are conducted tours which offer everyone to learn ballroom etiquette 19th century. Every Wednesda takes place a concerts' series called "Yelagin’s evenings" in the Oval Hall of Yelagin palace. There you can hear the music of all styles - from classical to jazz, from folk to tango, from medieval to avant-garde. In the halls of the Chariot Stables building take place temporary exhibitions. In the only St. Petersburg Museum of Art Glass there is a collection of works by St. Petersburg factory of glass art, as well as works made by masters of glass-making of Russia and abroad, and there is a workshop “Painting on glass”.

Opening hours: Summer season: daily - 06.00 - 24.00 (!), Winter season: daily - 06.00 - 23.00. Tickets office working hours: 10.00 - 22.00. Working hours of museums and exhibition halls: 10.00 - 18.00. Please note: Yelagin Park is closed on Mondays and last Tuesdays of each month. Park entrance is free on weekdays. On weekends and public holidays the Kirov Park admission fares are: Adults – 70 rubles (except for privileged categories of citizens), – Pupils, school and university students, armed forces personnel – 40 rubles. The admission fare of the Yelagin Palace Museum and the Museum of Fancy Glass is from 75 to 150 rubles. All-inclusive tickets: Adults – 260 rubles, students and retirees – 160 rubles:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

General map of Yelagin Island:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

We return to the First Yelagin Bridge and cross it again with our face back to Kamenny Island and our back to Yelagin Island. We return to Starogo Teatra Square and turn left (north) to the Teatralnaya Alleya path or narrow road. Alternatively, you can take, the more northern road - nab. reki Srednaya Neva. We walk from south to north along Teatralnaya Alley - when the green park on our left. After 250 m. we'll see, on our left, (north-west) (on your right, after 300 m. - if you took the nab. reki Srednaya Neva road) the Polovtsov Mansion. It is a nice example of the Russian neoclassical revival of the early 20th century. This majestic, strictly symmetrical building with giant pillars was constructed 1911-1913 by the architect Ivan Fomin. THe entrance is from 6, Naberezhnaya Sredney Nevki:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Walk in either of the two roads (Teatralnaya Alleya or nab. reki Srednaya Neva) and turn right to Bolshaya alleya. If coming from nab. reki Srednaya Neva - cross Teatralnaya Alleya and continue easward. In Bolshaya alleya #13 - you find the Vollenweider Mansion. The house was built by the court architect Roman (Robert-Friedrich) Melzer in 1905 for the Swiss tailor Edward Vollenweider, a supplier of the Imperial Court. Try to catch its view in the river from the south facade:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

You continue walking soutward in Bolshaya alleya (аллея Большая) until it meets the 2-ya-Berezovaya Alleya. In this junction (at 12 Bolshaya Alleya / 32 2-ya Beriozovaya Alleya) stands the the Gausvald Dacha. In Soviet times, the mansion was used as a sanatorium and in the 1990s was home to the Consulate-General of Denmark.

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Change direction, retrace your steps and head northwest on Bolshaya Alleya (аллея Большая) toward 2-ya Beriozovaya Alleya (ал. 2-я Берёзовая), 65 m. Turn right onto 2-ya Beriozovaya Alleya (ал. 2-я Берёзовая), 650 m. In numbers 3-5 stands the Ananyeva Asylum (1905), now Oncological Hospital:

Nature in , , visiting things to do in , Travel Blog, Share my Trip
It happened that the Oncological Hospital is our last station (...) in this route - and we make our way back to our initial Metro station. It is a 1.1 km. walk back to Chyornaya Rechka. Head east on 2-ya Beriozovaya alleya (ал. 2-я Берёзовая) toward Letnyaya alleya (аллея Летняя), 45 m. Turn left onto Letnyaya alleya (аллея Летняя), 190 m. Turn right onto nab. Reki Bolshoy Nevki (наб. реки Большой Невки), 180 m. Cross the Neva over the Ushakovsky Bridge. Continue direct toward Akademika Krylova (ул. Академика Крылова), 260 m. Slight left in  Akademika Krylova (ул. Академика Крылова), 55 m. Turn right in Akademika Krylova  (ул. Академика Крылова), 40 m. Turn left onto Akademika Krylova, 20 m. Slight right to stay on Akademika Krylova, 160 m. Slight right, 35 m. Finally, take the pedestrian tunnel stairs, 90 m. Turn left, 55 m - and we arrived to the Chyornaya Rechka pavilion and Metro station.

Please sign in to start using your backpack.