Spit (in Russian: Strelka) of Vasilievsky island is one of the oldest sights of Saint Petersburg. It was established in the times of Peter the Great as a business, educational and governmental centre of the city. The architectural complex of the Spit is one of the most beautiful in Petersburg. Rostral Columns of 32 meters high and the Stock Exchange building are in the centre of the composition.
Strelka represents a moderate foreland in the south-east part of Vasilievsky island, washed by Bolshaya and Malaya Neva. Great water area lets see a wonderful ensemble of the Spit.
In 1716 Italian architect Domenico Trezzini designed palaces for noble families, Gostiny dvor and Kunstkamera. In the 30s of the 18th century, the port was founded there, and the palaces were replaced by stock exchange, customs and warehouses.
Within 200 years lots of buildings appeared on the Spit of Vasilievsky island, including Kunstkamera (1718-1734), Twelve Collegia (1722-1742), Novobirzhevoy Gostinyy Dvor (1722-1735), the Palace of Tsarina Praskovya Feodorovna (wife of Peter’s brother – Ivan). The construction of an exchange building under the supervision of Giacomo Quarenghi started in 1781. However, its facade reminded the Winter palace and did not fit the ensemble of the square. After 4 years the building was disassembled.
A project of a new stock exchange building was developed by a French architect Jean-François Thomas de Thomon. It was built during 1804-1816 and looked like temples in Ancient Greece. The attic of the facade is decorated by the sculptural composition “Neptunus between two rivers”. On the opposite side of the Exchange you will the composition “Navigation with Mercury and two rivers”. Since 1940 there was the Central Naval Museum – one of the oldest in Saint Petersburg. After its move, the building was given to the State Hermitage Museum.
In 1826-1832 Giovanni Luchini projected and built southern and northern warehouses on the sides of the Stock Exchange building. Nowadays Zoological museum is situated in the southern warehouse. The Customs building also built by Luchini in the classical style is located behind the northern warehouse, symmetrically to Kunstkamera. Since 1927 there has been the Institute of Russian Literature – Pushkin’s house.
Birzhevaya (Stock Exchange) Square is situated on the Strelka. On the one side there is University Embankment, on the other one – Makarov’s Embankment. The square is right in front of the Stock Exchange building. In 1937 the Square was named in honor of Pushkin, but received its original name back in 1989.
In 2003 an anchor of the 18th century appeared at the square. It was hounded out in the area of Shkiperskiy Protok and established in memory of the 300th anniversary of Saint Petersburg. There you can also find the bronze relief plan of Spit of Vasilievsky island that shows the names of all the buildings, their construction dates and architects’ names.
The ensemble of the Strelka of Vasilievsky island also includes the Main building of the Academy of Science, which is located between Kunstkamera and Twelve Collegia building.
|Open||All year round|
|Strelka of Vasilievsky island|
|Metro / Subway|
|Birzhevaya Square||5M, 10, 191|
|Universitetskaya Embankment||3M, 7, 24|
|Universitetskaya Embankment||1, 10, 11|
Spit of Vasilievsky Island is a part of my private tours:
- City Tour. Sightseeing Excursion
- 1 Day tour in St Petersburg
- 2 Days tour in St Petersburg and Suburbs
- Walking Tour
- Visa Free Shore Excursion
- Boat Trip along Rivers and Canals
Also, you can customize a tour or book inside excursion to one of the close-by attractions.