Walking along Nevsky Prospect

Hello, dear residents and guests of St. Petersburg.

I invite you to walk along my favorite route: along and a little bit  around the Nevsky Prospekt. In this article I have tried to show you the most interesting sights, which make this city  unique.

If you want to  get acquainted  with the beauties of the city  gradually, the best way to start your journey is from the Rebellion Square (Площадь Восстания). The route will be particularly interesting if you arrive to this place by subway. The subway station has the same name as the square –   Ploshad’ Vosstaniya (Площадь Восстания,  which means Rebellion Square).  [1].

The subway line of this station is considered to be the first in terms of age (the first subway line of  St. Petersburg was opened in 1955) and beauty.

Coming out of the station hall, go down the stairs, turn left and walk to Nevsky Prospekt (a wide street which can not be missed). Start looking around. Turn and look at the subway station – a tall, beautiful, long dome and spire resembles a church.  petersburg-subway-lobby-Ploshad Vosstaniy

There is a historical reason for that – earlier there was a church on the same place, called Znamenskaya. The church was demolished  when Stalin was ruler, but  it’s design was approved for the architectural model of  a lobby. The square itself (and a subway station) was called “Rebellion Square” in honor of the October Revolution (it is also called the “Great October Socialist Revolution”, “Red October”, the  “October Uprising” or the “Bolshevik Revolution”)- one of the major political events of the 20th century, occurred in Russia in October 1917. Armed uprising on 25-26 October (7-8 November, New Style)  overthrew Russian Provisional Government (Vladimir Lenin and L.D. Trotsky were  the main organizers).  All-Russian Congress of Soviets became the supreme governing body with the absolute majority of  Bolshevik delegates.

Behind the building  of the subway there is the center of document printing (street Vosstaniya, 1),  here you can not only print documents but also make and print your photos.

Turn to the square. On the right you can see the building of pink color – a Moscow railway station (a vast majority of trains departs from here to Moscow. The capital has an identical train station, which is called Leningradskiy, which means of Leningrad). If you keep moving right along the wide Ligovsky Avenue past a train station, you will see the popular shopping mall Galeria, one of the largest in Europe.shopping-mall-galeria

On the information desk you can see the maps of the city and discount coupons for visiting St. Petersburg attractions. Make sure to take those! in the center you will find cafes and restaurants, a food court and a supermarket  Окей [2] with the average prices for the products.

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. Leningrad  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 “Cities- Heros” of the country were obliged to install the  obelisks, confirming this high rank.

This obelisk is monolith as well as another obelisk on your way (the Alexander Column, which is in front of the Hermitage). The base of five-fold trunk is decorated with bronze wreath of Glory and  high reliefs, which depict the events of the war years. Obelisk is crowned with a gold star. Earlier there was a monument to Alexander 3 – one of the Russian emperors. Now the monument is publicly available for viewing, it stands in front of Marble Palace, located a short walk from the Hermitage. Nevsky Prospect extends beyond the obelisk, but the part that goes further to the ensemble of Alexander Nevsky Lavra is  called StaroNevsky (Old Nesky) Prospekt.

To the left of the obelisk there is a small indoor Information  pavilion  for tourists – here  you can take information booklets, posters, cards, receive a free  advice during the working hours of the pavilion. You will meet a similar pavilion once again on your way – it is on Palace Square.  Next to the first information pavilion there is a large self-service cafeteria “Щелкунчик”  – if you are looking for something inexpensive and nutritious in the city center that is close to the train station, check this site.

 petersburg-view-of-nevskiy-avenue

We turn to the Nevsky Prospekt, the main street of the city, frequently mentioned in the literature about St. Petersburg. The most famous mention of the avenue can be found in the novel of Nikolai Gogol (a dramatist, novelist and short story writer): “There is nothing better than Nevsky Prospect, at least in St. Petersburg; for that city it represents everything – a beauty of our capital!” He also says the following: “The Nevsky Prospekt is St. Petersburg’s universal means of communication”.

Nevsky Prospekt was loved by many for its brilliant appearance and variety of leisure places in the immediate vicinity from the Avenue theaters, palaces, museums, upscale restaurants and  interesting shops. And now the prospect still attracts residents and visitors, especially during city holidays: there you can see military parades and festive processions in honor of the city.

Let’s start the movement. If you do not cross the road, you continue walking on this even side, which is the most sunny, therefore, more popular for walking.

You are passing a  little “Vosstaniya” street. A big Law Center is situated on the  “Vosstaniya” street, 6. There is another shopping center  at the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and this street – Stockmann (the complex is called the Nevsky Center). As well as in  Galeria, there you can take a free city map and coupons (they can be available in  Russian and English) and use a free public restroom.

  map-in-petersburg-city-pass

 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.

Having passed just a few meters from this building to your left you will see the stops of  public transport: trolleys, regular and commercial buses. For the price of a  transport fare you may definitely  have a good independent self-made tour of the city. For this purpose the most suitable trolley numbers are 1, 5, 7, 10, 11, 22; buses 3, 7, 22, 24 [3].  For a  successful planning of your itinerary I would advise to use the websites  wikiroutes  and rusavtobus.

You will see different chains on your way: souvenir shopslacquer-miniatures, book stores, cafes and restaurants. On your right there is a sign “Теремок”, further there is a sign ” Чайная ложка” (their logo is a teaspoon) – two chains, offering food and drinks of traditional Russian cuisine at the price of a bistro. Most of the food is cooked in front of you (starting from pancakes with different fillings, finishing by salads and soups). Also, on the right you will see large elegant windows of cafe-confectionery “Север – Метрополь”. This is one of the oldest pastry shops of that chain[4]

To your left you can see Marata street (Улица Марата). There is the Oceanarium practically  in the end of it. Part of the building on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and the Marata street has a  Mayakovskaya (Маяковская) station lobby [5] , the station of the 2nd line subway. petersburg-subway-mayakovskaya-station-mosaics

There is a Nevsky Atrium shopping mall above the lobby. you can go to the lobby of “Ploshad’ Vosstaniya” (starting point of our route) or to the Moscow station  through the underpass of the station. Anyone who knows about it, saves time and energy.

Continuing walking along the Nevsky Prospekt,   on the right you will see the street Mayakovskaya. There are several grocery stores and café-restaurants on the street.  Also, on your right, after you cross the street,  you will notice large windows of the Imperial Porcelain Factory store. This is not the only store of the chain on your way. imperial-porcelain 

I highly recommend visiting any of those shops.

After passing the shop on the right side you will also see the bright colored windows of a folklore tavern «Трын Трава». During the work days they offer so called “cart” – unlimited offer of traditional Russian salads, appetizers and side dishes (some places of the chain also have the hot meals for  buffet).

On the other side of  Nevsky Prospekt after  “Nevsky Palace” (a noticable building) a little bit further there is  a sign ” Советское кафе квартирка” – one of the places with the Russian / Soviet kitchen.

Next, you will cross a wide street, which, in fact, consists of two streets: there is Liteyniy Prospekt on the right of  Nevsky Prospekt and Vladimirsky Prospekt on the left. Vladimirsky Prospekt ends with Vladimirskaya Square with  Vladimirsky cathedral (according to the official website of the cathedral.  In the upper church there is an  iconostasis of the 18th century, moved to the 1809-10 year, the church Anichkov Palace). Do not forget the rules of visiting the churchs if you want to come in.vladimirskiy-cathedral2  

Also there are the lobbies of two subway stations of different lines on the square: the station of the 1st line «Владимирская» (Vladimirskaya),  the station of the 4th line  – «Достоевская» (Dostoyevskaya). During the weekends the entrance and exit of «Достоевская» is closed, you should use the lobby of «Владимирская» station,  keep that in mind!

Another street that branches from Nevsky Prospekt on the left is a  Rubinstein (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 turned  to the square.five-corners

 While continuing walking along the Nevsky Prospekt,  you will see the pink building  on the left side. This is grand-ducal palace Beloselsky-Belozersky, the last construction of a private palace on the Nevsky Prospect.  palace-beloselskih-beloserskih 

 Another street that branches form Nevsky Prospekt on the left is a  Rubin The  palace of Count A.S. Stroganov, that is also located on Nevsky Prospekt (you will see him on the way),  became  an architectural prototype for this building.   Beloselsky-Belozersky palace was built for the project of Rastrelli in the mid-18th century. In accordance with the baroque facade the building has numerous columns, figures of the Atlanteans,  the facades have elegant coloring. Since the mid-19th century palace Beloselsky-Belozersky was the site of the famous balls and other social events. It still hosts performances and concerts. The gala rooms on the 2nd floor still have decorations of mid-late 19th century.

The bridge, which is on your way, is called Anichkov. According to one version, the etymology of the word is explained by name of lieutenant colonel-engineer Mikhail Anichkov, whose battalion during the time of Peter the Great was behind  Fontanka  river the so-called  Anichkov settlement. sculptures-anichkov-bridge2

 On the bridge you can see four sculptusculptures-anichkov-bridgeral groups, united by the common theme of “Taming of the horse.” The sculptures represent  four stages of conquest of a horse by people, each of which, of course,  looks different. Walking around the city, be sure to look at each of them. Pay attention to the second pedestal during your move: in stone you will see a trail left by a bomb during the Great Patriotic War. A young city with a considerable history cherishes the memory of  events which occurred there.

The bridge was erected over  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. Do not forget to stop and look at grid of the bridge – Petersburg is famous for its original grids, fences and even lanterns.

On the left side of Nevsky Prospekt right after the bridge there is a bright building in the early Baroque – another palace, it has the same name as the bridge. 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. In Soviet times, the palace became the Palace of Youth Creativity, and to this day it  functions as institution of additional education. anichkov-palace-park

 Children from 3 to 18 years old can find a class on their liking from more than 200 and this additional education may determine their further professional development. I myself visited several classes, including excursion education – it was called Petropol  (one of the literary names of Petersburg), we were taught to lead the tours around the palace on our own. Believe me, there is a lot to explore in the city: a unique red glass, invented by the genius Michael Lomonosov, unique chandeliers, winter gardens (in imperial Russia there were only two winter gardens. You can see another one in Winter Palace). Before and after  New Year the palace makes gala events for children with  a festive Christmas tree.

Keep moving along Nevsky Prospekt. The first street, which branches off from it to the right, is called Karavannaya. It has a large number of restaurants, including folklore. 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).

Also, on the right on Nevsky Prospect you can see an arch with the word “Aurora”. In the courtyard of the building there is another theater, which also shows films in foreign languages (all other cinemas of t. Petersburg have Russian postscoring unless stated otherwise). Interior of VIP hall cinema is very similar to the theater’s: comfortable chairs, curtains, sculptures – all these features are ideally suited for viewing movies.anichkov-palace-park3

Passing the palace and the adjoining garden, you will see the square, in the center of which there is a monument to Catherine the Great.catherine-the-great-sculpture

Come closer to see the monument: the Empress is surrounded by her comrades. 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. You can see a beautiful two-tone building in Empire style  Behind the monument, it is decorated by chariot on the top. aleksandrinskiy-theater3

That is the building of Aleksandrinsky theater – the 1st Russian theater, that has always amazed audience with great performances. There is one of the most beautiful streets of St. Petersburg hiding behind the theater – Architect Rossi Street.

famous-proportional-Petersburg-Rossi-street
A must-see street from the right angle.

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). A small park with the Impress and the Theatre are located on Ostrovsky Square (Aleksandr Ostrovsky was a famous Russian playwright), the red double-decker sightseeing bus «City tour» departs from the street that passes the square on  the right (if you look at the square from Nevsky Prospekt). Moreover, from time to time you can see there fairs and festivals.

To the right of the square rises another building with sculptures – it is the Russian National Library. russian-public-library

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.

Turn back to the Nevsky Prospekt. There is an interesting Modernist building  in front of you, called Eliseevsky store. You will definitely notice large windows with moving figures of rats (their author is a world known Michael  Shemyakin) petersburg-exotic-Eliseevsky-shop

The interior is  partially available for viewing from the windows. Interior was recreated, however, I would advise you to go inside and feel like a part of the beau monde, who gets into the shop of the early 20th century. petersburg-exotic-Eliseevsky-shop-on-nevsky-prospect-inside

Surprisingly, the prices of products offered are not as high as might be expected. With a multilingual staff you can choose a delicacy to take with you or to eat in a luxurious ambiance of the store.

Coming out of the atmosphere of the 20th century, going around the building, you will get to Malaya Sadovaya (Малая Садовая) street, saturated by wish-fulfilling sculptures. Magic-fountain-petersburg-on-Konushennaya-street

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. You shouldn’t spin the ball – it spoils the internal mechanisms of the fountain and harms it. Among other original sculptures I can also draw your attention to the sculpture of cat Elisey and lady-cat Vasilisa, petersburg-magic-cats-Elisey-i-Vasilisa

standing at different sides of the street on the second floor facing each other. To fulfill the desire you should throw a coin to the pedestal so that it can stay there. A little further on the left side of the street you will notice a sculpture of photographer with the dog. magic-photographer-on-Malaya-Sadovaya-street

You can take a photo with photographer,  touch the  bulldog’s tongue  – plus two desires are guaranteed!

Continuing walking along Nevsky Prospekt, you cross the underpass with a variety of souvenirs. Some are cheaper than similar items in the shops, some are more expensive, but their quality is about the same.

Underpass is located under Sadovaya street, if you walk along it to the left, you will see the Engineers’ Castle, the Moika River, the Summer Garden.

Not turning in the underpass, continue following your planned path on the avenue. gostiniy-dvor

There will be a long yellow building  on your left – it is a shopping complex Gostiniy Dvor, created in the 18th century as the largest commercial premises in the Russian Empire. By the early twentieth century Gostiniy Dvor continued to be the largest in St. Petersburg, the center of trade of industrial goods. Nowadays over three thousand Russian and foreign companies  offer their products in its salesrooms length of 2 kilometers; there are about 170 thousand varieties of goods  in the assortment, and about two million units for sale (according  to  information on official website of Gostiny Dvor). The building also has a free public toilet [6], it is situated in the part of the building, located on Sadovaya Street (after the Lego store).

A little further from the Gostiny Dvor you can see pinkish gabled tower of the Duma. City Council building-dyma

After construction it was used for optical telegraphy (specular telegraph linked  Winter Palace with Tsarskoye Selo) and as a fire tower. 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.

 On the Dumskaya Street (between Gostiniy Dvor and a tower of Duma) you can see a lot of  buses for  sightseeing the city, it’s suburbs and other Russian cities (if you want to visit several cities, you will have a two- or three-day trip). Ticket offices are located near Dumskaya street, you can book a tour in a foreign language.

Let’s return to our side of Nevsky Prospekt. Face the buildings – one of them has a sign “Пасссаж” (Passage). This is indeed a covered street of boutiques and various shops.

I advise you to look into a little shop hidden on the right side, which is called «Музей шоколада» (“Museum of  Chocolate”). Here you can see and buy multicolored chocolate busts of Lenin, vaious trophies, gifts and souvenirs, other handicrafts.  On the second floor  of the shopping center  there is a bridge, from which you can listen to music with a cup of fragrant drink from the cafe. Passage periodically becomes a venue for fairs with handmade goods. passage-with-exponents

This usually happens during holidays: New Year and Christmas Fair, the fair in honor of February 23 (Defender’s day) and March 8 (Woman’s day), the Fair devoted to the Day of the City.

There is a major bookstore “Буквоед”  in the next building after Passage. Here you can find souvenirs, books in various languages, maps, guides; on the second floor of the store you have different sets for hand-made creations.

A little further you’ll see a ladder leading into the shop “Север” – one of the first confectionery café of this city chain. There you can find not only delicious desserts, but also hot meals as well.

Then you will see several churches of St. Catherine almost one after the other – they were allowed and built during the reign of Catherine the 2nd. The first one is Armenian Church of St. Catherine, built in the classical style with blue and white colors.armenian-church-of-st-catherine5

After construction the church became the center of Armenian culture in St. Petersburg: it opened it’s typography and the Armenian national school.

Next street, blocking your way to the right, called Mikhailovskaya. Not crossing the road, look at the Square and a beautiful bright building located behind it. russian-museum

The building is a grand Mikhailovsky Palace,  opened to public as the Russian Museum  since 1898. It contains paintings and sculptures by the world-famous Russian artists, sculptors.   Be sure to visit it, if you have free time! There is a monument to the great Russian poet and writer Alexander Pushkin (a world-known poet and novelist)  on 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 . petersburg-subway-pushkinskaya-station-Pushkin

Keep in mind – when you are crossing  Mikhailovskaya street there is an underground passage that leads not only to the opposite side of Nevsky Prospekt, but also to the lobby of “Nevsky Prospekt” station  of the second subway line.

Second cathedral on the right side is a Catholic church of St. Catherine. There is usually an exhibition of paintings for sale (artists start coming after 10.30 and stand till late). Catholic Church of St. Catherine2

Even if you do not plan to buy anything, be sure to take a look at modern art.

Let’s keep walking.  A grand Modernist building is standing right in front of you, it is completed with the composition of a globe. petersburg-popular-book-store-Dom knigi

This building is definitely above the ones that you’ve already seen. You probably noticed while walking, that all the establishments were around the same height. This has a historical explanation: due to the decree of Nicholas 1 it was not allowed to build houses higher than the Hermitage (22.5 meters to the eaves). This building fits into the required standards as a decorative globe is not the part of premises for use – it is surprising, that the diameter of the globe of 2.8 meters! People can fit in it!

The building was constructed for the joint stock company Singer (sewing machine manufacturer). Now the first two floors are occupied by a book store, that offers a wide range of diverse literature in several languages, as well as souvenir items. On the second floor there is a panoramic cafe – it is worth visiting as minimum for beautiful pictures of the city! As far as I know, the upper floors of the building belong to the headquarters of the social network “v kontakte”. It is said that the illumination color of the globe (red, blue, green) is determined by the mood of the company’s management!

Cross  a small road ahead and stop at the bridge. view-on-Savior-on-blood

In front of you stands the jewel of the cathedrals – the Savior on the Spilled Blood.

russia-petersburg-cathedral-museum-Savior-on-Blood-2
Amazing Savior-on-Blood

Unfortunately, the creation of this festive decorated cathedral can be explained by the tragedy –  the Emperor Alexander 2, the man who abolished serfdom, was killed at the place where the cathedral was erected (that is why the canal has a slight turn). The cathedral was built on donations. During the Soviet era, when the government was getting rid of religious things, there was a warehouse of costumes for the theater, the cathedral was not maintained properly.  You can understand, that such a use caused considerable damage to the interior.In 1997, the renovated cathedral was open for visits.

Be sure to find time to go to the cathedral, explore it from the outside and see the stunning interior.

petersburg-mosaics-interior-Savior-on-Blood
Breathtaking view from one of the most fabulous Churches!

You will be surprised to know that the mosaic exposition of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the largest collections in Europe, its area is 7065 square meters!щаmosaics-savior-on-blood

At the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and Griboyedov canal embankment there is a lobby of “Nevsky Prospect” station, which has  certain schedule of operations.

If you change the side of the avenue and continue your journey along even side Griboyedov  canal, you will see Bankovskiy Mostik (the Bank bridge), which has magical griffins. petersburg-Griffons-bank-bridge

They look great on photos!

Continue walking along Nevsky Prospekt. On the opposite side of the Book house there is an active cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan (Kazansky sobor). kazanskiy-cathedral

This cathedral is main one of the city, contains a copy  of miraculous  icon of Kazan Mother of God. The cathedral has the burial of Russian general Michael Kutuzov. Over his grave there are the flags of the defeated French regiments, the keys to fortresses and cities of Europe, taken by the Russian army. There are the statues of generals  on the both sides of cathedral: on the right there is Michael Kutuzov, on the left there is Barclay de Tolly. Russia defeated the French in the War of 1812  under their command.

By the way, speaking about the bridge. Have you seen the fence of the bridge on the other side of Nevsky Prospekt? You have crossed one of the widest bridges of St. Petersburg – its width as much as 95 meters [7] ! Moreover, this is the lowest bridge Petersburg.

Continue following the designated route.  A pedestrian Malaya Konyushennaya Street  branches to the right of Nevsky Prospekt. It has a monument to Nikolai Gogol (one of Russian literature classics), at the end of the street there is a monument to a city policeman (generalized image).

As you walk, there will be  the Lutheran Church of Saints Peter and Paul to your right. Lutheran Church-Peter-Paul

 No original items on the church decoration  remained untouched  – under the Soviet regime, this church suffered no less than others: the decoration of the church that had a great art value was confiscated and put in store rooms of museums, the church building was turned into a warehouse of theatrical scenery, then the storage of vegetables, and later they built a swimming pool in the church! In 1990 the church was restored.

Also on the right side of the Prospekt you will see a wide Bolshaya Konyushennaya Street, which has a 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.

 There will be the building of the Stroganov Palace  on Nevsky Prospect  ahead to your left – a prototype of Beloselsky-Belozersky palace, which we passed earlier. This building was built in the Russian baroque style. At the moment it is an affiliate of Russian Museum.

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 XVIII-XIX centuries – F. Demertsov, A. Voronikhin, P. Sadovnikov, I. Kolodin (information was taken from the official website of Russian Museum).

Behind the palace you will see  Moika river. The building on corner of Nevsky Prospekt, 18  and Moika, is very symbolic  for Russian people- there the poet Alexander Pushkin drank a last cup of coffee and went to the fatal duel. Currently there is the same restaurant “Wolff and Berange” on this place, it only takes a smaller area (the part of the ground floor is occupied by a flower shop “Orange”).

Keep going, in 40-50 meters you will see the beautiful arch General Staff Building on the right, go through it to the center of Palace square. general-staff-building-way-to-it 

Look around. You are in the so-called “Golden Triangle” of the city, the architectural ensemble mentioned at the UNESCO World Heritage List. Hermitage-in-the-evening

You see the Winter Palace  ahead  – the residence of the emperors, the palace, which houses part of the Hermitage Museum, with more than 2 million items.

Alexandrovskaya triumphal column  stands in the center of the 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. This monolithic column keeps on the surface with  its own weight.

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 creations of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, who had  been  previously displayed on the third floor of the Winter Palace). 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 Nike.general-staff-building

Next, I suggest walking along Winter Palace  to the right. You will  meet the Atlantes  on your way, who are bravely holding the palace. One of Atlantes makes the wishes come true – for that purpose you should  touch the little finger of one of them. magic-atlantes-of-Hermitage

Stop near the Winter Canal (so called canal in the Central district of St. Petersburg which connects Neva River and Moika near the Winter Palace). You will see the arch-transition  above it  which connects two buildings of the palace: the Hermitage Theatre and the Bolshoi (Old) Hermitage. Further you can see Hermitage Bridge and the main river of the city – Neva.

The Hermitage Bridge is a good place to look around and to enjoy extraordinary views of the Hare Island and Peter and Paul Fortress on it. petropavlovskaya-fortress-night-view

The first stone of the city  was laid here.  The fortress of the island was designed to protect Russian borders from the Swedes (Russia fought against the Swedes since 1700 and won the long lasting war).

 To the right you see the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island (eastern end of Vasilevsky Island in St. Petersburg) with magnificent Stock Exchange building located between the two rostral columns. Spit of Vasilyevsky Island

Rostral columns (“rostra” is a part of boats, which decorate the columns) were functioning as light houses, they lit a fire. Now the fire can be seen only on holidays: Day of  Leningrad’s  liberation from siege (on the photo) and Victory Day (the 9th of May).light-house

Palace Bridge, which is located on your left, is the most recognizable among travelers coming to St. Petersburg – during  navigation period [8]  both of the spans go up (only one span of other bridges  goes up).

Next, I would advise you to go from the left side of English Embankment (you’re located on it) to the right and look around. On the other side of the Neva river you will see blue-turquoise  Kunst kamera or Kunstkammer (that was the first building, which was built specially for the museum. It displays unusual exhibits: rarities and anomalies of nature. The museum also has a large collection of antiquities, revealing the history and life of many nations), the yellow building of the Zoological Museum.

On this side of Neva you will see yellow building – Admiralty. One time they were building shipyards there, and now it is the General Command of  Russian Navy. The building is crowned by spire with a  weather vane in the form of ship. This sign is unofficially included to the list of recognizable symbols of St. Petersburg.

If you are facing the Admiralty, there will be an interesting statue  “Peter the 1st – the carpenter”  on the right. petersburg-Peter-carpenterPeter the Great was an extraordinary man: he knew perfectly more than 20 crafts of his time, was fluent at several languages, always  preferred an active part in the construction of the city. This monument helps to make the wishes come true.

Go back to Nevsky Prospekt, that goes around  Palace Square. You will see the Alexandrovsky Garden on your right,petersburg-wish-place-fountain-Admiralty

there is the fountain with the original arrangement of tubes; a monument to Russian traveler and naturalist, Nikolay Przhevalsky (you can see  a camel  at the foot of a bronze bust of the traveler);

traveler-przhevalskiy-and-camel, 

a monument to Mikhail Lermontov, Mikhail Glinka (the world-famous Russian composer), Aleksandr Gorchakov (head of the Russian Foreign Ministry during the reign of Alexander II,  сomrade of Aleksandr Pushkin), Nikolai Gogol, Vasiliy Zhukovsky (Russian poet, academician), the sculpture “Flora Farnese,” “Hercules  Farnese”, a memorial plaque on the site of the first line of Petersburg tram.

To the left of the park you will see a huge St Isaac’s Cathedral – the biggest Orthodox cathedral in St. Petersburg. st-isaacs-cathedral

This is the handiwork of architect Montferrand, for whom creation of the cathedral became a matter of life and lasted for as much as 40 years! The cathedral is surrounded by 112 monolithic columns, each of which could be hoisted into place in less than 10 minutes by the engineers of the 19th century. How? You can find information about this in museum. The colonnade of the cathedral (there you can explore the city from a bird’s eye view) is available for visiting for an additional fee.

 If you want to take public transport to return to a particular point of the route, I would offer you to go to the bus and trolleybus stop, located close to the houses 7-9 or walk to Malaya Morskaya Street (the first street on your way that branches off from Nevskiy Prospekt to the right), turn there, you will see complex “Admiral” and there will be a subway sign  on the left side of the building. There is an  “Admiralteyskaya”  station  of the  5th subway line .

* You have probably noticed that on Nevsky Prospekt duration of the green light for pedestrians may be 3-5 seconds. By default, pedestrians can complete the movement and reach the opposite side of the street.

 


[1] A fascinating insight into the architecture of Petersburg underground is waiting for you in this article. You will read about the subway stations, listed in the Unified State Register of cultural heritage of regional significance.

[2] You can learn more about the product shops from this article.

 [3] In the nearest future there will be a list of routes of public transport.

[4] The widest choice of pastries and hot dishes you can try at the first cafe of this chain. It is located next to the store Passage.

[6] Free restrooms are also located in the malls Stockmann, Galeria. 

[7] The  widest bridge in St. Petersburg and in the world is 97.3 meters wide.

petersburg view of isaac's cathedral, bridge and gate
gate, Blue bridge and St. Isaac’s Cathedral – a wonderful mix!

This bridge is called the Blue, it is located in the Admiralty district of St. Petersburg, placed across Moika River, connecting  Kazasky and the 2 nd Admiralty Island.

[8] This sight is available from embankments, as well as from excursion boats and ships.

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