It’s one of the most known oldest architectural monuments of the Northern capital.
The Admiralty’ construction started in 1704 under the supervision of Peter the Great on the island between Neva and Moyka rivers. The Admiralty was thought as a main dockyard of Russian on the Baltic sea that would be the center of shipbuilding. Its premises were the ship workshops.
The dockyard was built in the «U» form, where the main facade was 425 meters long and side walls were 213 meters. The Admiralty also had a defending function: the fortress was surrounded by ditches and shafts. The forest around that area was cut down to create a glacis. That’s how the Admiralty meadow, later the Palace square appeared.
The first ship from the dockyard was launched on April 29th, 1706. During the reign of Peter the Great, all together 262 warships were launched from the Admiralty including the first 54-gun sailing battleship of the Russian fleet “Poltava”, launched in 1712. Ship construction continued until 1844.
In 1711 in the very centre of the main facade a tower with a tiny ship on top of its spire was constructed. Below the ship you could see a golden ball with a capsule inside filled with coin samples stamped in Petersburg. Nowadays, this ship alongside with Bronze Horseman and the raised Palace bridge in front of the Peter and Paul Fortress stands as a symbol of Saint Petersburg.
The building of the Admiralty and its surrounding territory was reconstructed numerous times.
In 1732-1738 the stone building of the Admiralty was designed and built by the architect I.Korobrov. The ship-shaped weather-vane was raised at the height of 72 meters.
In the beginning of the 19th century, the complex was fully reconstructed under the supervision of the architect A.Zakharov. The building became three-stored and decorated with 56 statues, 11 bas-relief and 350 adornments. The idea was to demonstrate and glorify the power of the Russian fleet and to strengthen the image of Russia as a naval power. By the end of the 19th century, the glacis in front of the Admiralty from the side of Nevsky Prospekt was transformed into a beautiful park with a large fountain in the center and sculptures of the outstanding sons of the fatherland. Later, the garden was named Alexander in honor of the Emperor Alexander II.
On the bottom of the tower from the arch sides you can see the sea Nymphs holding the Globe. Goddess Femida awarding the warriors and craftsmen is depicted at the front side of the porticos. Above the arch of the central tower – two flying Glories with bowed flags. Above them – a bas-relief. On the pediment you can also see the sculptures of ancient heroes – Alexander the Great, Pyrrhus of Epirus, Ajax, Achilles. There are 28 sculptural allegories of fire, water, air, four seasons and astronomy muses above the colonnade. On top of the central tower you will see a golden dome with a clock and octagonal torch with a smaller dome that turns into a spire of 23 meters high. The restorations took place in 1928, 1977, 1997-1998.
The premises of the Admiralty were occupied by the naval study units, the Naval Ministry, the Naval Headquarters, the school of ship architecture. Since 1925, it has housed the Dzerzhinsky Higher Naval College, and since 2012 the General Headquarters of the Russian Navy are located here.
During the Great Patriotic War, the Admiralty was covered for safety measures, but it still suffered a lot from bombing and shelling. So it was restored with the help of city residents.
The Admiralty, being a true monument of early classicism, was at the origins of the Russian fleet, shipbuilding development and Russian naval success.
To learn more about the Admiralty and see it in all the glory, book a private guided tour.
|Admiralteyskiy Proezd, 1|
|Metro / Subway|
|Palace Square||3M, 3MБ, 5М, 7, 10, 24, 191|
|Palace Square||1, 7, 10, 11|
|Isaac Square||5, 22|