10 Curious Places To Go In Saint Petersburg

10 Curious Places To Go In Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg is rich and famous with its architecture masterpieces spread around the town. One of the foreign guests after a short tour around the city center and observing a parade of palaces, castles, mansions and gold-topped cathedrals exclaimed: “Now I do understand why revolution raised in this town!” Yes, exteriors are no less luxury than interiors, magnificent bronze and granite monuments, and facades capturing you with unforgettable look – this is daily routine for the eyes of the locals, who can recommend by far more interesting places to visit and see, which are not always on the tourist guide. Traditionally, PulpoLocal has taken a research and we are pleased to offer you a list of 10 curious local places of interest to see and visit in Saint Petersburg. Let’s take off!

Eliseev Golden Chandelier 1. Legend Of The Golden Chandelier
Once you are at Nevsky prospect, amazed by the bridge with the horses over the Fontakna river, and then by the monument of Catherine the Great in the roundelay of her loveable favorites cross the road and meet admirable shopping stained-glass window decorated with huge bronze statues. Yes, this is just … grocery store. This is famous Store of Eliseev Merchant Dinasty which start its history in early 19th century, when the elder brother came to saint Petersburg with a sack or oranges, bought a tray and started his commerce right at Nevsky prospect. Now you can see with your own eyes what his legacy look like. Even in Soviet times it was the most beautiful and rich grocery store in town. When you are inside the shopping area look up and find beautiful chandelier. The legend said that when revolution struck family escaped abroad, and Bolsheviks failed to find any trace of unspeakable treasures of Eliseev family. They investigated every square centimeter of the store, but found nothing but dusty rags. Long time after when the first restoration works began the treasury was found – it was the chandelier made of solid gold. The legend says that elder brother of Eliseev had foreseen the immigration and decided not to carry all the family fortune on the backs abroad but turned it into gold and asked the craftsmen to make a chandelier of it. And it was hanging safe and sound above the heads of the seekers for the Eliseev treasures. Eliseevs hoped to return back from immigration when the revolution is over and monarchy is restored, but as you already know, it never happened. But the legend is there… on the second floor.
Address: 56, Nevsky Prospect, Saint-Petersburg

House With Roosters in Saint Petersburg 2. Very Russian Tradition
Another legendary and beautiful piece of architecture is on your way back to Alexandrinsky theatre, a bit further than the monument of Catherine the Great on the same side with the Public Library. It is the House With Roosters, all Russians call it ‘Teremok’. Decorated with pink brick stones and traditional Russian tiles, it sticks up in the architecture harmony of Nevsky prospect and opposites the classic building of the Alexandrinsky theatre. This neorussian style is not yet accepted by the conservative architecture bureau of Saint Petersburg, and, what is most Russian about this house, it is still … under construction according to the documents. But once you look at it you will be amazed with its Russian fairy tale look.
Address: 5, Ostrovskogo Square, Saint-Petersburg

Don’t forget to get lunch at Abrikosoff Restaurant right at the heart of Nevsky Prospect!

House With Rotunda in Saint Petersburg 3. Bits Of Mystics
Moving away from Nevsky prospect deeper into the bystreets you will come to Gorokhovaya street, where nearly every second building is the legend. That mansion is where Rasputin lived, another over the Red Bridge is full of ghosts of Yusupov family, and there is one more closer to the Fontanka river – the famous mystic place of saint Petersburg – the House With Rotunda. Inside the building there’s very elegant pavilion with 6 columns with two stairs running up to the platform with some decorations. But not the decorations and columns this house is famous with. A lot of mystic stories grew up around the place. Some people say you can meet a underworld creatures there, or go through the doors of times and get lost in the Universe and may other. But what we know for sure, if you sit on the platform upstairs facing 6 columns in the sunny day, you will see the shade … of the 7th column.
Location: 57 Gorokhovaya Street / 81 The Fontanka River Embankment

Drugstore of Doctor Pel - Griffins’ Tower 4. Doctor And The Griffins
Let’s move on to Vasilievskiy Island. The legend itself it has a lot of gripping tourist spots to share. One of them is the Drugstore of Doctor Pel’ and sons. And, to keep the hook, Pel’ family is a legend itself too. A lot of landmarks of Saint Petersburg are connected with this name. But the drugstore is one of the most famous. It’s operating pharmacy where you can get aspirin or digestive mixture. But the whole story is not about the drugstore but about the tower in the back yard of it. The round cylinder shaped tower with pointed roof is called Griffins’ Tower as old time legend says that Saint Petersburg Griffins (see 10 Odd Things To Do in Saint Petersburg) come there for night rest. Others believe there are treasures under it, or even a bomb shelter. A lot of rumors are connected with Doctor Pel’, who, by the rumors, was fond of alchemy and magic. It’s all because of the tower weird decorations: each brick of the tower had a digit encrypted on it. But in the communist time it was colored brown, and only some bricks keep the traces of former Pel’ mystery. But people keep coming to look at the Griffins’ Tower hoping to unveil its secrets once.
Location: 16-18 7th line of Vasilievskiy Island

Ice Boat ‘Krasin’ moored in the Neva harbor5. The Big Boat
Take a walk deeper into Vasilievsky Island up to the Mining Institute along the Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment and you will face impressive ice boat ‘Krasin’. Not an imitation but real arctic boat moored in the Neva harbor. It was pulled on water in early years of XX century right before the October Revolt. It had another name, but it did not save it from the ‘red terror’, and the boat was intentionally sunk in the White Sea, but was miraculously rescued by the British who sent it on patrol to Norway coasts, and shortly after resold back to Bolsheviks. It was floating in the Arctic and in the White Sea, and now it stands as marine colossus by the granite embankment of the Neva. Take tour through all the decks and cockpits of the boat, and feel its history.
Location: Cross of Lieutenant Schmidt Embankment and 23d line of Vasilievskiy Island

6. Water Supply Evolution
museum “The Universe of Water” at Shpalernaya street. Leaving Vasilievskiy Island behind move towards Smolniy Cathedral. And on your way drop by the museum “The Universe of Water” at Shpalernaya street. This is worth seeing even if you are far away from the school age. This museum is fairly the best cognitive and interactive museum in Saint Petersburg. You may learn a lot about fountains of Peterhof, about water supply system of the town through ages, about pipe evolution, filtering system, flood protection system of St. Petes and much more. It’s settled in old timed water tower. You’ll hear a lot of eye-opening facts about water supply, and can pick which are just legends.
Address: 56, Shpalernaya Street, Saint-Petersburg

The Tear of Socialism  at Rubinstein Street7. Ugly Brother In The Family
In the opposition to elegant architecture of Saint Petersburg there is a couple of exceptions, which just simply prove the rule, of course. And the building at Rubinstein Street, called ‘The Tear of Socialism’ is absolute exception, ugly brother in the family. But one of the town legends says, that right after the revolution when this building was set up, it was experimental project of…the future. Architects believed that soon after the World Revolution all the living buildings will be like this one. There will be no private apartments, but just huge common rooms, with one or two private chambers, where socialists of the new age can reserve time for themselves once in a week. This dystopia house is really worth seeing on the way from one palace to another.
Address: 5, Rubinstein Street, Saint-Petersburg

House-ring (Circle-house), Saint-Petersburg, Russia 8. Geometry and Architecture
Another stunning piece of architecture that deserves your attention is so called ‘House-ring’, if literary translated from Russian. But the idea is put in the word combination, this is round house, and it is absolutely rounded, geometrically correct circle. No other words needed to describe it, just find this building at the Fontanka River embankment, and see it yourself.
Address: 92 the Fontanka River Embankment

Take a French lunch in Kyhnya restaurant next door!

Railway (Puffing ) Museum in Saint Petersburg 9. Puffing Museum
Leaving the tricky architecture behind travel to one more embankment of Saint Petersburg, next door to the former Varshavskiy (Warsaw) Train Station. There you will find open air Railway Museum of October Railway. Real puffers from the Tsar times, first locomotive travelled from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. October railway is the oldest in Russia and it was build to connect two capital cities and was called differently that time – Nikolaevskaya. It started long before the idea Moscow-St.Petersburg transit route, and was connecting three Tsar’s residences: Saint Petersburg, Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk (check ‘10 Places To See In The Suburbs Of Saint Petersburg’). The legend says that when railway planners came up to the Tsar to get approve of the project he was not very happy to see the winding railroad on the plan, so he took a pencil and a ruler and put a strait line on the map connecting two points: Moscow and Saint Petersburg. And the planners had nothing to do but to implement Tsars idea. And then first loco travelled from Saint Petersburg to Moscow, then it was times of World War and the first loco came in town after the siege is also a big and truly long-expected puffing engine.
Location: 114 the Obvodniy Canal Embankment

San-Gali Mansion at Ligovskiy prospect 10. Fairy Tale Windows
To top up the legendary tour, you should see the San-Galli Mansion at Ligovskiy prospect to the right from Moskovckiy (Moscow) Railway Station. At first glance you will notice unexpectedly elegant exterior decorations, and after getting in you will be definitely much more amazed. There is exclusive collection of stained-glass windows and each window is illustrating one of the fairy tales of Grimm Brothers: Snow-white, Seven Crows, Sleeping Beauty, and Puss in Boots. Pick the sunny day for a visit and you will be amazed with the sun dancing in the rooms of the mansion.
Address: 62, Ligovsky Prospect, Saint-Petersburg

Welcome to Saint Petersburg! Don’t forget about lunches and dinners, find where to eat with PulpoLocal.com!

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One Comment

  • Jason says:

    I might be a descendent of the San-Galli family. Can I stay at the mansion for free?

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