ROUTE No. 1
NEVSKIY PROSPECT: VOSSTANIYA SQUARE – BELOSELSKIY-BELOZERSKIY PALACE – ANICHKOV BRIDGE – ANICHKOV PALACE – OSTROVSKIY SQUARE – MALAYA SADOVAYA STREET – PASSAGE DEPARTMENT STORE – GOSTINYY DVOR DEPARTMENT STORE – ARTS SQUARE – ST. CATHERINE CATHOLIC CHURCH – KAZAN CATHEDRAL – FORMER SINGER SEWING MACHINE COMPANY HOUSE – MALAYA KONYUSHENNAYA STREET – LUTHERAN CHURCH OF ST. PETER AND PAUL – STROGANOV PALACE – FORMER DUTCH CHURCH – CAFE WULF ET BERANGER – BOLSHAYA AND MALAYA MORSKAYA STREETS – FORMER COMMERCIAL BANK OWNED BY MERCHANT WAWELBERG
Nevskiy Prospect is St. Petersburg’s main thoroughfare. The prospect was laid out in the earliest days of St. Petersburg as a link between the Admiralty and the Old Novgorod Road (now Ligovskiy Prospect). As it grew it became known as the Great Perspective Road and took its present name after the completion of Alexander Nevskiy Monastery. The most beautiful part of Nevskiy Prospect is from Vosstaniya Square to the Admiralty.
Vosstaniya Square takes its name from the fact that it was the center of the February 1917 uprising against the tsarist government. Earlier the place was called Znamenskaya Square, after the early 19th century Church of Our Lady of the Sign which was demolished in 1940 and replaced by the spired rotunda of Ploshchad Vosstaniya metro station. The square is dominated by the Moscow Railway Station , whose grand pink-and-white facade looks more like a palace than a rail terminal. The Hero City Leningrad Obelisk  in the center of the square was erected in 1985.
Not far away, at No. 86, you will see the Stanislavskiy House of Actors . Before the revolution it was one of the many palaces of Prince Yusupov, patron of arts and collectioner. The Classical building is effective and imposing owing to the high colonnade mounted on the projecting part of the ground floor.
A little further on, Liteynyy Prospect turns right off Nevskiy Prospect while Vladimirskiy Prospect turns to the left. Liteynyy Prospect takes its name from the foundry which was located in this area in the 18th century. The name of Vladimirskiy Prospect originates from the fact that in the early 18th century this area was settled by masons and carpenters from the town of Vladimir.
On the corner of Nevskiy Prospect and Fontanka River comes into view one of the most remarkable buildings on Nevskiy Prospect – the Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy Palace . It was built by architect Andrey Stakenschneider in the mid 19th century. In 1884 the palace became the residence of Grand Duke Sergey Aleksandrovich. After his death the palace belonged to Grand Duke Dmitriy Pavlovich. After the revolution the palace was occupied by the local branch of the Communist Party until 1991, when it was turned into an exhibition and concert venue.
The palace overlooks Anichkov Bridge  across Fontanka River. The original bridge was constructed in early 1700s by Colonel Anichkov’s regiment. Today’s 54-meter bridge was built in 1839-1841. The famous feature of the bridge is the four statues of rearing horses and trainers sculptured by Pyotr Klodt.
The Anichkov Palace  is next to Anichkov Bridge. It was built in the mid 18th century to the order of Empress Elizabeth for Count Razumovsky. After Razumovsky’s death Catherine the Great presented it to her favorite Prince Potyomkin. In the 19th century the palace served as the residence of the Imperial family. The last owner of the palace was the dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna, who stayed on here until the revolution. Today the Anichkov Palace houses amateur societies for schoolchildren.
Further up Nevskiy Prospect the Ostrovskiy Square opens off the prospect to the left. It was laid out by Carlo Rossi in the 1820s and 1830s. On the west side of the square stands the Russian National Library , crowned with a figure of Minerva, goddess of wisdom, and garnished with statues of philosophers. On the east side are two pavilions belonging to the Anichkov Palace. The Monument to Catherine the Great  was set in the center of the square in the second part of the 19th century. The statue is installed on a high pedestal of grey Serdobolsk polished granite. At the foot of the statue are figures of the outstanding personalities of Russia of the second part of the 18th century. In the background stands the Aleksandrinskiy Drama Theater , the oldest professional theater of Russia. The building was constructed to the design of Carlo Rossi in 1832. Rossi’s ensemble continues behind the theater with the Zodchego Rossi Street.
On the other side of Nevskiy Prospect from Ostrovskiy Square is the famous foodstore which used to belong to Eliseev’s . The second floor of the building houses the Comedy Theater.
Behind the Eliseev’s store Malaya Sadovaya Street turns off Nevskiy Prospect. Though only 152 meters long, this pedestrian zone contains lots of establishments, especially eating ones. A special feature of the street are “small statues”. For example, a life-size Monument to Photographer  depicts Karl Bulla (1853-1929), a famous St. Petersburg photographer, whose studio was located on the corner of Nevskiy Prospect and Sadovaya Street.
Cross over Sadovaya Street and head into the Passage Department Store , a long shopping arcade built in the mid 19th century.
Opposite the Passage is the Gostinyy Dvor Department Store . It occupies a whole block, the combined length of the facade being over one kilometer. It was built in the mid 18th century by architect Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe.
Across the road from Gostinyy Dvor stands the Armenian Church , built in the 1770s by architect Yuriy Felten.
Mikhaylovskaya Street to the right forms an approach to Arts Square. The left side of the street is occupied by the Grand Hotel Europe , built in the late 19th century by architect Fyodor Lidval, and refurbished in the late 20th century by a Swedish-Russian joint venture.
The Arts Square is one of the finest examples of town planning. In the center of the oval square stands a Statue of Alexander Pushkin . The poet is depicted reciting his poetry, his hand is outstretched in a free gesture and his head is proudly thrown back. This graceful four-meter high statue was unveiled on June 19, 1957. The north side of the Arts Square is dominated by the neo-classical yellow building of the former Michael’s Palace. It was built by Carlo Rossi between 1819 and 1825 for the Grand Duke Mikhail Pavlovich, younger brother of Alexander I. In 1895 Nicholas II acquired the Michael’s Palace for the crown to house the country’s first public museum of the Russian art. Today the world-famed Russian Museum  houses some 400000 exhibits, reflecting the history of Russian art from the 12th century to the present day. Next to it is the Russian Museum of Ethnography , representing traditional cultures of different ethnoses inhabiting the former Russian Empire. To the left from the Russian Museum stands Mikhaylovskiy Theater . It was built in 1831-1833 by architect Alexander Bryullov. Another classical music venue on the square is the Bolshoy Philharmonic Hall . Erected between 1834 and 1839, the building was originally a gentlemen’s club. It was taken over by the Philharmonic Society in 1921. Dmitriy Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony was performed here for the first time in 1942.
Further on, set back slightly from the street, stands St. Catherine Catholic Church , its steps taken over by street artists. The main facade is this domed church is in the form of a triumphal arch. Statues of the evangelists and of angels holding the cross line the attic.
Right across the bridge over the Griboedov Canal to the left opens into view one of the finest landmarks in St. Petersburg – the Kazan Cathedral . It was built in 1801-1811 by architect Andrey Voronikhin and treasured the “miracle-making” icon of Our Lady of Kazan. This icon appeared miraculously in the town of Kazan in 1579 and was credited with many miracles including freeing Moscow from the Poles in 1612, during the Time of Troubles. The icon was a family relic of the Romanovs and was thought to be a patroness of the royal family and of all Russia. After the victory over Napoleon in 1812 the cathedral was turned into the pantheon of the Russian glory. It became the place for keeping the war trophies, including captured enemy standards, keys to the cities taken by the Russian troops and marshals’ batons. Field Marshal Kutuzov , whose statue may be seen in front of the cathedral, is buried here. Statue of Field Marshal Barclay de Tolly  also adorns the garden in front of the cathedral.
Opposite the Kazan Cathedral stands the building constructed for Singer Sewing Machine Company  in the early 20th century. Its Style Moderne exterior is distinguished by the tower topped by a giant glass globe. Today the building is known as the House of Books, housing the largest bookstore in the city.
Further on Malaya Konyushennaya Street stretches to the right. Not far from its beginning stands the Statue of Nikolay Gogol , unveiled in 1997.
The Lutheran Church of St. Peter and Paul , set back from the avenue, was built by Alexander Bryullov in the mid 19th century. The Bust of Johann Wolfgang Goethe  was unveiled in 1999 in front of the church to mark the 250th anniversary of the great German poet birth.
On the intersection of Nevskiy Prospect and the Moyka River stands the remarkable Stroganov Palace . The Stroganovs were one of the leading Russian families, and Sergey Stroganov commissioned architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli to build this great mansion. Completed in 1752-1754, it is a fine example of Russian Baroque, with elegant window-surrounds and an abundance of moulding. The building’s Doric columns and pediments are emblazoned with the Stroganovs coat-of-arms, featuring a bear’s head flanked by sables (the Stroganovs owned vast tracts of Siberia).
The Stroganovs owned this palace until the revolution and assembled here one of the finest private art collections in Russia. This was later transferred to the Hermitage Museum.
The building of the former Dutch Church  across the prospect from the Stroganov Palace is of interest as its architect Paul Jacquot combined the church itself with a much larger structure. Only the central part under the dome was used for worship, the side wings serving the social needs of the Dutch community. Here were located Dutch stores, college, club, office of the bank, editorial office of the 19th century journal “Notes of the Fatherland”, etc.
Across the bridge from the Dutch Church stands a yellow-and-white building with colonnaded arcades. This is the former Kotomin House, built by architect Vasiliy Stasov in the early 19th century and named after its first owner. During the 19th century the house accommodated Cafe Wulf et Beranger , frequented by Alexander Pushkin, who met his second here en route to his fatal duel with a French military officer D’Anthes on the morning of January 27, 1837. A short distance from here, on Moyka 12, is Alexander Pushkin’s memorial apartment, where the poet met his untimely death at the age of 38, after being mortally wounded in the duel.
Bolshaya and Malaya Morskaya Streets running left off the prospect originate from the early 18th century. The name Morskaya (Marine) derives from the fact that both streets were located in a district were mainly sailors and dockyard workers from the Admiralty used to live.
The massive grey stone building which dominates the corner of Nevskiy Prospect and Malaya Morskaya Street was built in 1911-1912 by architect Marian Peretyatkovich to house the St. Petersburg Commercial Bank owned by Merchant Wawelberg . The ornamentation on the facade, suggestive of the Doge’s Palace in Venice, is quite untypical of St. Petersburg.