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South and west of Nevsky Prospekt. Place to visited in Saint Petersburg. Tour to Saint Petersburg.




  • Sennaya Ploshchad. This teeming and rather dirty market square, interesting at any time of the day, is dominated by what seems to be a permanent exhibition of construction equipment. This is also the gateway to Dostoevsky ville. The peripatetic writer, who occupied around 20 residences in his 28-year stay in the city, once spent a couple of days in debtors' prison in what is now called the Senior Officer's Barracks, just across the square from the Sennaya Ploshchad metro station. Dostoevsky had been thrown in there by his publisher, for missing a deadline ('Had we but thought of it ...' - Wheeler). At the site of the metro station was once a large cathedral that dominated the square.
    Just west of the square and across the river, at ulitsa Kaznacheyskaya 7, is the flat where he wrote Crime and Punishment; Raskolnikov's route to the murder passed directly under the author's window. The old woman lived at flat 74, naberezhnaya kanala Griboedova 104; you can visit the hallway outside the flat (residents are quite used to it). Entering from the canal side, walk straight back to entrance No 5 (apartments 22-81); the flat's on the 3rd floor.
  • Vladimirskaya Ploshchad Area. Around Vladimirskaya ploshchad are the indoor Kuznechny market (note the 1920s worker statue on its facade), St Petersburg's biggest and best stocked. There are also a few museums and a smattering of eateries and shops, all on a backdrop to what is one of the city's liveliest areas. The onion-domed working Our Lady of Vladimir Church (1761-69) with its 1783 three-tiered belfry by Quarenghi dominates the square. Around it, there's an unofficial, daily market of stolen goods, clothes and jewellery. The alcoholics, thieves and genuine folks trying to make an honest rouble who gather here are dispersed regularly by the police, but always return to sell their wares; this very St Petersburg scene is worth a gander.
    Dostoevsky wrote most of The Brothers Karamazov in a flat at Kuznechny pereulok 5. just past the market, and died there in 1881. It's now a small and worthwhile Dostoevsky Museum. A long-awaited (and gloomy) statue of the writer was unveiled in 1997 and now stands directly outside the Vladimirskaya metro.
    The Arctic & Antarctic Museum on ulitsa Marata focuses on Soviet polar explorations and ratty taxidermy exhibitions. 
    There's a small Rimsky-Korsakov Flat-Museum at Zagorodny prospekt 28.
    Just north of Zagorodny prospekt is Semyonovskaya ploshchad, where in 1849 Dostoevsky and 20 other prisoners underwent a mock execution.
  • Teatralnaya Ploshchad Area. Teatralnaya ploshchad has been an entertainment center since fairs were held here in the mid-18th century. Built in 1859, the Mariinsky Theatre has played a pivotal role in Russian ballet ever since. Outside performance times you can usually wander into the Mariinsky Theatre's foyer, and maybe peep into its lovely auditorium.
    One good foot route to the area is along the south side of the Moyka River from Isaakievskaya ploshchad. On the way, you'll pass the original Yusupov Palace at naberezhnaya reki Moyki 94, where in 1916 Rasputin, as a dinner guest of Prince Felix Yusupov and friends, was fed with poisoned food, cakes, cookies and drink. Afterwards as he was happily licking his fingers, the Yusupov gang shot ol' Raspy repeatedly. But like a tsarist-era Terminator, he refused to die, and when Yusupov knelt over him, Rasputin grabbed him by the throat! At that point, Yusupov did what any sane man would do: he ran like hell. When he returned with reinforcements, they found Rasputin had dragged himself outside. They shot him a few more times, beat him with sticks for good measure, and stuffed him through the ice of the frozen river. Legend has it that Rasputin did not die until he was submerged water was found in his lungs.
    North-east of Teatralnaya ploshchad, before it twists south-east, the Griboedova Canal runs under another of St Petersburg's beautiful beast-supported bridges - the Lviny most, with cables emerging from the mouths of golden lions.
  • Moskovsky Prospekt. This long avenue south from Sennaya ploshchad is the start of the main road to Moscow. The iron Moscow Triumphal Arch, 3.5km out, looking very like Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, was built in 1838 to mark victories over Turks, Persians and Poles, demolished in 1936 then rebuilt in 1959-60. Local legend has it that the gate is built on the spot where travelers entering the city in the early days had to show that they had brought with them bricks or stones to be used in the construction of buildings.
  • A couple of kilometers farther south, east off Moskovsky prospekt on ulitsa Gastello, is Chesma Palace, built for Catherine the Great to rest en route to Tsarskoe Selo (now Pushkin). More interesting is the red-and white 18th century Gothic Chesma Churcl (1774-80), at ulitsa Gastello 17. The church designed by Y Feltema (who was also responsible for the Church of St Catherine on Vasilevsky Island), was built in honor the Battle of Cesme (1770) when the Russian fleet sailed from the Baltic to the Aegean to beat the Turks.
    Wide Moskovskaya ploshchad, a little way south of ulitsa Gastello, was intended under a 1930s plan to become the center St Petersburg, replacing the old tsarist center. In a testament to the stubbornness of St Petersburgers during Stalin's terror, this plan was universally ignored. Moskovsky prospekt ends a few hundred meters farther on at ploshchad Pobedy, where the Monument to the Heroic Defenders of Leningrad, commemorating WWII and the siege, makes a striking first impression on entering St Petersburg.
    Underground is a free exhibition, open daily except Wednesday on the blockade, highly worth the trip to metro Moskovskaya and the 10 minute walk south after it. With a mausoleum-marble interior, films about the siege, exhibits, and haunting music, it's a sobering memorial to a grief felt by many residents to this day.
  • Just south of the Pulkova airports, lies the Pulkova Observatory. For a short time at the beginning of the century, the observatory, founded in 1839, was considered the astronomical capital of the world for the quality and scope of its research. The WWII front line was only one mile to the south so many buildings suffered damage. The hill on which the observatory stands is the region's highest elevated point; from here the Nazis used to shell the easily viewed city.
Photo. St.Petersburg. Travel to St.Petersburg. Russia.

Photo. St.Petersburg. Travel to St.Petersburg. Russia.

Photo. St.Petersburg. Travel to St.Petersburg. Russia.

Photo. St.Petersburg. Travel to St.Petersburg. Russia.

Photo. St.Petersburg. Travel to St.Petersburg. Russia.

Photo. St.Petersburg. Travel to St.Petersburg. Russia.

Photo. St.Petersburg. Travel to St.Petersburg. Russia.

Photo. St.Petersburg. Travel to St.Petersburg. Russia.




St.Petersburg excursion

Tour to St.Petersburg

About St.Petersburg

St.Petersburg history

Sights of St.Petersburg

Museum of St.Petersburg

St.Petersburg theatres


- Historic heart

- Nevsky prospekt

- Between Nevsky and Neva

- Smolny region

- South and west of Nevsky Prospekt

- Vasilevsky island

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Petrodvorets (Peterhof, Petergof)

Pushkin (Tsarskoye Selo, Tsar Village)


Lomonosov (Oranienbaum)




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Russia in numbers and facts


Religious creeds in Russia

Folk craft

Stereotypes and symbols of Russia


Trip to St. Petersburg 

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Trip to Golden Ring


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