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Kronverk (The Museum of Artillery, Engineers and signal corps)




Arch. P.Tamanskiy (1849-1860), Alexandrovskiy Park, 7

Displaying an enormous collection of arms and heavy artillery from the Middle Ages to the present day, this museum is located just across a narrow canal from the Peter and Paul Fortress. The museum is a great place to visit with your kids, who will love the open-air exhibition of artillery and missile launchers in the museum»s courtyard. Inside the museum displays a rather old-fashioned collection of military memorabilia, temporary exhibitions, a nice little shop stocked with models of weapons and miniature soldiers and a cafe.

10. Baltiyskiy Dom Theatre. Alexandrovskiy Park, 4

The excursion termination № 1 – M. Gorkovskaya

Walking tour № 2. The excursion beginning – M. Vasileostrovskaya

Food places

Sredniy prospekt, h. 26, McDonald`s 6-7 –ya Linia, h.25, restaurant «BLACK-and-WHITE» (European cuisine)Universitetkaya, nab, h. 13, kafe «BELLINI» (Russian cuisine)

Bolshoy prospekt, h. 41, restaurant «SVAGAT» (Indian cuisine)

Universitetkaya, nab, h. 3 restaurant «Russkiy kitch» (Russian cuisine)

Birgevoy per. h. 1, restaurant «AKADEMIA» (Russian cuisine)

THE SPIT OF VASILYEVSKY ISLAND

Over the years the Neva River has enriched St. Petersburg»s heritage both through its purely practical function as an artery for trade and also as a theme incorporated into outstanding Russian literature. From its source, Lake Ladoga, the Neva flows west seventy-four kilometers to the Gulf of Finland. The city of St. Petersburg has grown up on and around the more than forty islands which form the Neva»s delta. You are currently standing on the eastern tip of one of them, Vasilyevsky (St. Basil»s) Island. At one time this was the focus of Peter the Great»s detailed development scheme for his capital. Since no bridges spanned the Neva in those early days, however, the transportation of construction materials here proved difficult and foiled the plan. Eventually the center of the city was constructed on the side of the Neva where Nevsky Avenue (Prospect) runs.



The spit of land upon which you are now located was formed from stone and sand fill material extending 122 meters (400 ft.) eastward into the Neva from, Vasilyevsky Island. All of the buildings in this area were constructed between 1805-32 to serve the needs of the growing port. In the center of what is now known as the Exchange (Birzhevaya) Square stands the former stock exchange. It currently houses the Central Naval Museum. The architect Jean Thomas de Thomon designed the structure; it was constructed in 1810. On each side of the stock exchange stands a building created by the architect Giovanni Luchini. The port utilized both of them originally as warehouses. Today the structure on the left houses the Zoology Museum. The Soil Science Museum occupies the one to the right.

Flanking the spit, two «rostral columns» rise 32 meters (105 ft.) into the sky. The term conies from the Latin «rostra» meaning «beak.» In ancient times the Romans traditionally decorated triumphal columns with the figure headed prows of defeated ships. In the 19th Century, these columns served as lighthouses for vessels arriving from Lake Ladoga. Now they are used during national festivals. A tire is lit on the top which people can see from all over the river area. At the base of both columns rest sculpted figures which serve as the symbols of four of Russia»s greatest rivers. Viewed from this location, from left to the right, these include the Neva, the Volkhov, the. Volga, and the Dnieper.

St. Peterburg»s prominence as a seaport elates from November of 1703, with the arrival of the first trading ship from Holland. Eager So promote his fledgling port and gain for it further acceptance by the Europeans, Peter the Great rewarded the crew of this first ship with a cash bonus. He promised additional sums for succeeding visitors.

Eventually St. Petersburg became Russia»s most important seaport; the immediate area around the spit became one of the busiest places in the city. One could hear the voices and shouts of numerous foreign languages. Here, before the construction of the elaborate buildings which now front onto the spit, Russian and foreign merchants came So negotiate their deals. Inhabitants of the capital frequently gathered to note the comings and goings of trading vessels from all parts of the world.

The Cathedral of Apostle St. Andrew the First Called Arch.

A. Vist (1764-1780), Vasilievskiy Ostrov, 6-ya liniya, 11

UNIVERSITY EMBANKMENT

Walk down the street which runs along the Senate-Synod ensemble towards the Neva River and cross over to the embankment at the stoplight. Try to find a vantage point which offers you an unobstructed view of the opposite bank, for there are a number of remarkable sites to look at.

Immediately opposite the Senate-Synod ensemble, for instance, lies the Menshikovsky Palace. Alexander Menshikov, a favorite of Peter, built his palace on this site upon being granted ownership of all of Vasilyevsky Island in 1707. Although it now appears rather plain-looking, in the days of Peter the Great, it was one of the most luxurious buildings in all of the city. The czar, who hated official meetings, often arranged for them to be held here.

To the left of Menshikovsky Palace, an extensive stand of trees marks the location of an obelisk, hidden from view, which commemorates a Russian victory over the Turks in a war fought between 1768-74. To the left of this, at the foot of one of the bridges which span the Neva, stands the Academy of Arts. Originally founded in 1757, it has played a crucial role in the training of Russian painters, sculptors, and architects. In our day, it houses not only an art school, but also one of the nation»s oldest art museums.

Directly in front of the academy there are steps leading from street-level down to the Neva. Flanking them lie two sphinxes purchased by Russia in the 19th Century. Discovered in 1820, they probably, date from the 15th Century B. C. Archaeologists believe that the features of Pharoah Amenhotep III are carved on their faces. The Russian writer Andrei Muravyov saw the statues while traveling through Egypt. Much impressed, he lobbied for their purchase by his government. Czar Nicholas I granted his permission and a special ship brought the treasures to St. Petersburg in 1832.

Now look up the Neva in the other direction until you catch sight of one of the orange-colored rostral columns you visited earlier. To the left of it stands the former Kunstkammer, a blue and white building crowned with an eight-sided turret and high dome. Here the private collections of Peter the Great were housed and exhibited. This assembly included rare books, valuable minerals, exotic plants and animals, as well as preserved specimens of anatomical variation — some quite hideous. A number of these can still be seen in the Chamber of Curiosities located inside this building in the Museum of Ethnography. Later, the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences used the site.

After the Academy outgrew the facilities of the Kunstkammer, the Academy of Sciences building was constructed next door. Designed by Giacomo Quarenghi and featuring an eight-column portico, it was constructed between 1783-88. In 1934 most of the Academy»s departments were transferred to Moscow. The departments of literature and language remained.

Finally, immediately to the left of the Academy of Sciences stands the red and white building which marks the location of St. Petersburg University. Designed by Domenico Trezzini and built between 1722-41, the complex of twelve adjacent structures housed ministries of the government until the University occupied the site in 1819. From this vantage point, only the short, southernmost end can be seen.

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