Nevsky Prospekt in Sankt Petersburg

Nevsky Prospekt

Nevsky Prospekt ©prosto photos/Flick

The Nevsky Prospekt in Sankt Petersburg is the most famous boulevard in Russia. It has a distinctive architecture and famous residents. You can find palaces, churches and monuments, along with restaurants and shops on this avenue.

Originally known as the Great Perspective Road, Nevsky Prospekt was designed by French architect Alexandre Jean Baptiste LeBlond in 1718, which was employed by Peter the Great and was appointed to create more buildings and roads in the city. This great avenue was made by clearing a large forests which before was full of wolves.

 

History of the Nevsky Prospekt

In the early years, fallen prey to street flooding even historical notes mention that it was easier to navigate by boat on the street than walk. However, the Great Perspective Road quickly became famous due to the opulent houses that were built on the entire distance from Admiralty (Ministry of Navy) to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.

Nevsky Prospekt

Nevsky Prospekt ©prosto photos/Flick

By the late 19th century, on this street were situated the most expensive real estates in the country and many banks and financial institutions had their headquarters here.

The street was eventually renamed after Alexander Nevsky, a hero of the 13th century that defeated the Swedish and German armies. He was later canonized and his remains are found at the monastery that is located at the end of this avenue that bears his name.

Over the centuries, Nevsky Prospekt became a place where you had to live if you were wealthy and famous in Sankt Petersburg. The list of those who lived on Nevsky Prospekt includes the composers Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and author Nikolai Gogol.

The most important buildings on the Nevsky Prospekt

The first building on Nevsky Prospekt (nr 1) is a beautiful Art Nouveau building.

Art Nouveau on Nevsky Prospekt

Art Nouveau on Nevsky Prospekt ©wwhyte1968/Flick

A little further at number 15 is found the Barrikada Cinema known as the “house with columns”.

Right next to the Moika Canal is located the Stroganov Palace, a pink and white baroque building that was designed Rastelli, by the Italian architect of the imperial court.

Further on the Nevsky Prospekt is a Lutheran church with a classical facade and two towers.

Across the street you find the impressive Kazan Cathedral. Built in a semi-circle with 96 giant columns, the Orthodox Church was once the Museum of Religion and Atheism.

Kazan Cathedral on the Nevsky Prospekt

Kazan Cathedral on the Nevsky Prospekt ©tetrabrain/Flick

At number 18 is located the Literaturnaya Cafe, a standard of the pre-revolutionary architecture in St. Petersburg and it was a favorite recreation place of the famous Pushkin in the period when he established here a garments company.

Then on the Boulevard can be seen two churches, the St. Catherine Church and the blue and white Armenian Church, both from the 18th century.

Across the street is the Gostiny Dvor general store in a historic building with arches and large rooms.

Gostiny Dvor on the Nevsky Prospekt

Gostiny Dvor on the Nevsky Prospekt ©e_chaya/Flick

Near Gostiny Dvor is located the Russian National Library, the second largest in the country.

On the adjacent market you can admire the statue of Catherine the Great that is in front of the Alexandrinsky Theater, a neo-classical building designed by Carlo Rossi.

Over the Fontanka Canal is located the marvelous Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace. The bridge over the Fontanka canal has four bronze statues of wild horses and their tamer. These statues were buried more than 60 years to protect them from looters and only unearthed in 2001.

The Nevsky Prospekt passes along the Moscow Station (Moskovsky Vokzal) that is built in 1851. The street ends at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, famous for its necropolis.

Alexander Nevsky Monastery in Sankt Petersburg

Alexander Nevsky Monastery in Sankt Petersburg ©reibai/Flick

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