Legendary Streets Of St.Petersburg To Walk By

The Griboyedov Canal

One of the most pleasant and relaxing ways to analyze the city and get an impression of it is, perhaps, strolling along its streets. They have faces and remember names of great architects and emperors; one is always welcome to take in the knowledge. In this article you will find what is certainly worth looking at.

Nevsky prospect

Unalterably, you can see Nevsky prospect, the throbbing heart of St. Petersburg, on top of almost any list dedicated to St. Petersburg’s streets.

It was cut through almost 4.5 km of forest land at the very beginning of the eighteenth century as the main road to access the city from south (Moscow and Veliky Novgorod). At first, the Great Perspective Road (Nevsky prospect was called so until 1738) developed very slowly: Peter the Great planned another place to be the center of the city.

Nevsky prospekt, saint peterburg, russia

When the relics of Alexander Nevsky were transferred to Saint Alexander Nevsky Monastery, which stands at one end of Nevsky prospect, a prominent citizen of St. Petersburg made a contribution: he ordered the street lamps to be placed (for the first time in the history of this city) along the Great Perspective Road. The locals were gradually building or buying houses here. Some members of the gentry purchased land along Nevsky prospect at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The city grew fast, its sprawl was hard to control; Nevsky prospect appeared to be the convenient street to establish firms and banks. At the beginning of the twentieth century here appeared the first omnibuses and cinema houses of the country.

Nevsky Prospect,St. Petersburg, Russia
The oldest building of  the contemporary Nevsky prospect, Anichkov Palace, was laid in 1741. A lot of other historical buildings have been reconstructed with the highest possible resemblance to their initial forms.

Cool and aristocratic in the morning, festive and gleaming in the evening, Nevsky prospect is bound to become the place you will want to return to.

Read about the Legend Of The Golden Chandelier from  famous Store of Eliseev Merchant Dinasty at Nevsky prospect. 

Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange

The Old Stock Exchange is sited to fill the majestic sweep of the Spit (in Russian Strelka) of Vasilievsky Island, just opposite the Winter Palace. This part of the island is higher than the rest and less likely to be flooded.
Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange
As Peter the Great planned Vasilievsky Island to be the central part of the city, only the prosperous were allowed to take residence in the vicinity. In 1722 the main administrative and commercial buildings of the city were laid at The Old Stock Exchange along with Kunstkamera; a big commercial port was completed in the northern part of the square slightly later.

Here you will find a famous attraction – The Rostral Columns, designed by an architect called de Tomon at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Their purpose was to serve as beacons. The Doric columns sit on a granite plinth. They are constructed of brick and decorated with bronze anchors and four pairs of bronze ship prows (rostra). The bases of the columns are decorated with marble figures, each of them representing the major rivers of Russia — the Volga and Dnieper at the northern Rostral Column, Neva and Volkhov at the southern one.

Be sure to visit The Old Stock Exchange – a portion of fresh, almost liquid air plus the sights are still there for you.

Universitetskaya Embankment

Universitetskaya Embankment  (Russian: Universitetskaya Naberezhnaya) starts at the Spit of Vasilievsky Island and spans between Palace Bridge and Blagoveshchensky Bridge.

The first stone building of St. Petersburg, Menshikov Palace, was laid here in 1710. In front of the palace a gorgeous landing pier stood out against the background of the plain river bank.
Universitetskaya Embankment Naberezhnaya
Only in 1727 was the first floating bridge built across Neva. Peter the Great, who died in 1725, had been an opponent of this idea: he believed that all the citizens of St. Petersburg should be good sailors. Since the year of 1733 the bridge, called Isaac Bridge, was built every year.

During the second half of the eighteenth the buildings of Academy of Arts and Academy of Sciences were created here. After a landing pier with a stairway was placed in front of the building of Kunstkamera, it was decided to equip the building of Academy of Sciences with the same. However, an architect Ton was against it and made a project of another landing pier, with the bronze street lamps and sculptures of sphinxes.

Universitetskaya Embankment is said to be one of the most beautiful places of the city, as it overlooks the magnificent architecture at the opposite bank of Neva, including the building of the Admiralty and Isaac Church.

The Palace Embankment or Palace Quay

The Palace Embankment or Palace Quay (Russian: Dvortsovaya Naberezhnaya) started to form when the Summer Residence and the Winter Residence of Peter the Great were built. In 1705 the wooden house of General Apraksin, erected 200 meters from The Admiralty, specified the “red line”, along which the other (hardly remarkable) buildings of The Palace Embankment were supposed to stand. The house of General Apraksin was rebuilt two times, resulting in a three-storey stone palace.
The Palace Embankment
In 1716 the construction of Winter Palace of Peter The Great began. To place it very close to Neva, the builders had to strengthen the bank with wooden panels. Later, after Winter Palace had been erected, the banks of Neva were covered in granite. The Palace Embankment became the first quay in St. Petersburg to shine with stone. In the middle of the eighteenth century the embankment was prolonged and supplemented with several bridges of the same architectural style.

Summer used to be a quiet season for this area, as the members of Royal family went away with their suites to return to newly painted and refreshed residences in winter. One may imagine themselves to be a prominent citizen and stroll along The Palace Embankment, observing the residences of their acquaintances.

The Griboyedov Canal Quay

Griboyedov Canal was created since 1766 to 1779 after Catherine the Great had signed the project of clearing and widening the existing  river Krivusha. It bore the name Catherine Canal until 1923.
The Griboyedov Canal
In the second half of the eighteenth century the building of Assignation bank arose, a debtor’s prison functioning by its side. The banks of Griboyedov Canal were soon coated with stone and made safe by placing cast iron railings.

One of the most prominent architectural monuments of this street, The Bridge of Four Lions, was finished in 1826. The four majestic cast-iron sculptures have been watching the passers-by since then.

The Griboyedov Canal Quay saw the assassination of the Russian emperor Alexander II – Church of the Savior on Blood was later erected at that place.

The history of this street is full of other wonders, but they are to be discovered after one had felt the atmosphere of the place.

Malaya Sadovaya Street

Malaya Sadovaya Street (“Small Garden Street”), the shortest one in St. Peterburg – only 175 meters long, runs between the Italyanskaya (Italian) Street and Nevsky prospect. It is pedestrian since 1999, so cafes and terraces abound here. About a hundred years ago a newly built Restoran Fyodorova (Fyodorov’s restaurant) was very popular. Visitor paid 10 kopecks for a sandwich with cold baked pork, taking as many sandwiches as they wanted. They paid on the way out of the restaurant. Not surprisingly, the barman couldn’t keep an eye on each visitor, which was a bonus for them. Some of those hungry and poor people, having improved their financial situations, sent letters containing money to Fyodorov.
Malaya Sadovaya Street
The street’s Nevsky Prospect terminus is at Catherine Square, which features the monument to Catherine the Great. At the Italyanskaya Street terminus is Manege Square, with a view of the portico of the great stables designed by Vincenzo Brenna and Karl Rossi.

This street holds a little challenge for the most attentive visitors – find out how you can Detect The Cats at Malaya Sadovaya Street.

Bolshaya Morskaya Street

Bolshaya Morskaya Street (“Big Sea Street”) has been a part of St. Petersburg ever since the city began. The sailors and workpeople of The Admiralty built their houses along the road, justifying the name.
Bolshaya Morskaya Street (“Big Sea Street”)
To turn the chaotic area into an organized region, an architect Gerbel was hired. He was also in charge of completing Mytnyi Dvor – a big open market that offered a wide range of goods, including products and luxuries. During the regency of Catherine The Great the area in front of Mytnyi Dvor was laid with stone to be the place of public executions.

While Winter Palace was reconstructed, Elisaveta Petrovna and her courtiers moved to a temporary one-storey wooden palace (it existed since 1754 to 1767), built according to the project by Rastrelli. The mansion of Lomonosov was also erected in 1750th, and now remains at the same place.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, several biggest banks of the city, the Central telephone station – this is not the full list of important objects that were located along Bolshaya Morskaya Street. Nowadays, the buildings of Writers’ Union, Composers’ Union and Painters’ Union of Russia can be found here.

Malaya Konushennaya Street

Malaya Konushennaya Street (“Small Horses’Street”) appeared in 1730th as the shortest way from Konushennaya Square to Nevsky prospect (In 1771 a house was built that blocked the way to Konushennaya Square).
Malaya Konushennaya Street (“Small Horses’Street”)
Meteorological pavilionIn 1745 this street became a property of the Swedish community in Russia. The Swedish community built a church here and named it The Church of Saint Catherine. Between 1862 and 1865 an architect Anderson rebuilt it, and people started to call it Swedish Church – it now stands at the same place, well peserved. The Swedish community also built an apartment house and Catherine concert hall.

In 1913 Meteorological pavilion projected by Nikolay Lanceray was installed where Malaya Konushennaya Street connects to Nevsky prospect. It was later transferred to Yelagin island.

Welcome to Saint Petersburg!

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