Spit of Vasilevsky Island

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Sights of St. Petersburg - Spit of Vasilevsky Island

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Spit of Vasilevsky Island

It started being created on the easternmost tip of Vasilyevsky Island at the request of Peter I in 1716. The image of the square was being formed more than hundred years by the best architects of the present.

Nowadays the Strelka is a horseshoe area with works of the architect Thomas de Tomona known worldwide - the Exchange building, executed in the style of an Ancient Greek temple and rostral columns executed in ancient Roman traditions and symbolizing sea victories of the Great power of Russia. A magnificent view to the Neva in all its greatness opens up from the embankment. The main sights of St. Petersburg – the Hermitage, the Peter and Paul Fortress, Amiralteystvo, Palace Bridge, a dome of the Issakiyevsky cathedral are also clearly visible from here. There are five museums – the Cabinet of curiosities, Zoological, the Museum of soil science, the Literary museum (The Pushkin house) on the square.

The Strelka has an interesting history of creation. In 1716 Peter I gave an order to the architect Domenico Trezzini to work out the project of the cultural and business center of the city.
According to the plan of the great tsar it was supposed to build 12 colleges, a cathedral and Gostiny dvor (name of several shopping centres and historical buildings), palaces of royals and the house of noblemen. The foundation forCabinet of curiosities was laid here too. The project of the tsar was finished and embodied by Giacomo Quarenghi.

The French architect Thomas de Tomonu had the honor to develop and embody an architectural masterpiece – the Exchange building in 1805-1810. It is a rectangle on a high basis reminding Ancient Greek temple surrounded by marble colons. The facade of the Exchange building is decorated by a sculpture "The Neptune with two rivers" and the opposite side with the sculpture "Navigation with Mercury".

An artificial embankment with a semicircular area which moved out the Strelka 100 meters towards Neva is constructed for harmonious ensemble opposite to the Exchange.

The created semicircular ledge was used as main landing stage of seaport. Flat ledges were decorated with granite spheres, and lion's masks at the embankment. The author of spheres – Samson Suchanow– according to the legend, cut them down without using of measuring instruments.

Two massive red columns tower at the both sides of Birzhevaya Square They served as beacons years ago. Their height is 32 meters. The columns are decorated by ship's bows – booms and anchors. At the foundation of them the enormous figures symbolizing four great Russian rivers – Volga, Dnieper, the Magician and Neva stand.

In 1720 the Big port was moved to the Strelka. The ships called here, there was a trade of exotic goods, animals and birds on the square. So gradually it was started to call “bird's” among people. In the course of time big ships were not able to call into this port any more and the area became the city center in 1885 again. So it remains to predent days one of the most favourite vacation spots of Petersburgers and the most significant sights for tourists.



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We very much love and we appreciate our city therefore it is very important for us that impressions about it remained in your memory for a long time. We will make the individual program according to your interests and preferences. At the program there can be both foot walks, and trips at the car on sights of the city and suburbs. You will be able to learn the unknown facts and to hear mystical stories and legends of St. Petersburg and its vicinities.