The garden, named after the Emperor Aleksander II, was opened in 1874. In the times of Peter the Great, there was a free area – a glacis – in front of the Admiralty. Its main role was to defend the fortress. However, in reality the area was mainly used for various city needs. There were warehouses for storing ship equipment, then – a meadow for public feasts. During the construction of the Winter Palace, a meadow turned into an additional construction site.
By the 20s of the 19th century, a canal along the Admiralty was swamped and transformed into a boulevard with a linden alley and marble sculptures. In the 70s, it was decided to turn the Admiralty meadow into a garden.
Therefore, over 5000 trees were planted. A new lattice created by the engineer Karl Geoffrio as well as comfortable benches were placed there. By the way, one of the oaks in front of the St Isaac’s cathedral was planted by Alexander II, whereas flowers for garden beds were brought from Tsarskoe Selo.
Sculptures of Aleksandrovsky garden
Initially there was a plan to create the whole gallery of busts of famous people. However, the State City government did not have enough money for that project. Thereby, it was suggested to place only one sculpture of Vasily Andreevich Zhukovsky – the poet and educator of Aleksander II. The monument was created by Vasily Petrovich Kreitan and established in the garden on June 4, 1887.
Over the time, other sculptures appeared in the garden. In 1892, a famous monument with a camel was established to Nikolay Mikhailovich Przhevalsky. Whereas the sculpture was made by Ivan Shreder, a figure of the camel was created by Robert Runeberg.
In the 90s of the 19th century, bronze busts by Kreitan were also placed in the garden – to Mikhail Lermontov and Nikolay Gogol. In 1900, a new sculpture to Mikhail Glinka by the sculptor V. Patchenko was set up in the Aleksandrovsky garden.
At first, it was planned to create three unusual fountains that would be in the beginning of three city streets: Nevsky Prospekt, Gorokhovaya Ulitsa and Voznenesky Prospekt.
The projects were designed by architects Nikolay Benois and Ivan Mert. But eventually one of them came to reality – the central fountain. The construction process was complicated and took lots of money. So there was just not enough money to create two others. Although it was estimated to launch a fountain in 1877, it was possible to do so only in 1879.
The fountain across Gorokhovaya Ulitsa is very beautiful and differs from others by its ability “to dance”. When music plays in the park, water squirts change their heights to a beat of a melody.
Nowadays, Alexandrovsky garden, in particular its fountain, is very popular among Saint Petersburg residents and guests. You can even make a wish there. To do so you need turn back to the fountain and throw a coin over your head. Then leave without looking back.
Open all year round.
|Admiralteysky Prospekt 12|
|Metro / Subway|
|Palace Square station||7, 10, 24, 191|
|Palace Square station||1, 7, 10 11|