The Fontanka remained the border of the city for long time, there assembled quite a number of fascinating places of interest.

  1. The Summer Garden.

It is the first and still main garden of St.Petersburg.

It was reconstructed many times, so that most of what was initially planned or built in XVIII century is destroyed and forgotten long ago. For example, an aqueduct (there is the Panteleimonovsky Bridge at this location now), or the first fountains (they were annihilated by Catherine the Great who hated with all her soul that kind of constructions), or the Crossing canal and other waterways (they were excavated under Peter I, when it was planned that there wouldn’t be any other ways but water in the city).

The main pearl of the garden - its sculptures – remained unmoved. Some of them were ordered way back in the time of Peter the Great, most of them were created in XVII-XVIII centuries.

Besides that, there is also the famous Summer Garden Fence, which became a calling card of St.Petersburg way back during the czarist rule. It was built in the end of XVIII century with the participation of craftsmen from Tula and Ural. The first cast iron, the second – cut massive marble vases.

  1. The Summer Palace.

It was very minimalistic – as they used to build it at those times - two-storeyed palace in the Summer Garden, where Peter the Great lived from May till October for twelve years, since 1712 to 1725. In the days of Peter I there was excavated a small canal from the Fontanka River to the entrance of the palace so that the royal residence was located on a half-island. The Emperor liked when his guests arrived to the palace by boats. By the way, a singer Alexander Gorodnitsky has written a good St.Petersburg song about this palace and its construction.

  1. Engineers' Castle.

It is the only case in Russian architecture history when a palace of a private person was called after a saint, Michael the Archangel, the patron of the Romanov dynasty.

The Legend says that at the place, where the castle is located now, Saint Michael appeared to standing guard soldier and command to build there a house for the czar. At all events, Paul I explained the reasons of such hurried construction of a new royal residence just by that fact. However he didn’t live there for long time: he moved to the castle in 1801, and on the March 1 fell victim to a cabal. Since then and for the next twenty years the building fell to desolation: decorations and walls covered with dust, no royalty ever visited it.

 

  1. Anna Akhmatova Museum the Fountain House.

The museum was opened by the centennial of Akhmatova’s birthday in 1989. The poetess lived there in outbuilding from 1924 to 1952. At that time there located Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, that’s why anyone who wanted to visit Akhmatova and have some tea with her had to get a pass card. The poetess herself has a special admittance card where the information field “occupation” stated “inhabitant.”

At that exactly place the writer spent the most terrifying years of Stalinist purges: then her son Leo and her third husband Nicolas Punin were arrested. The first one at the long last survived and became one of the Russian traditions and culture revival ideologists, very popular with our patriots. The second one died in 1953. Akhmatova left Punin’s coat hanging at the front door - right after he was took away – to wait for its owner. Punin never came home again and his coat is still at that very place.

  1. The Anichkov Bridge.

It’s one of the most famous bridges of St.Petersburg. The famous horses, cast by Klodt, became the symbol of the city, constantly spread out on postcards, in books and movies.

Klodt is justly considered the main animal sculptor in the Russian history of arts. Animals on the monument to Krylov were scrupulously drawn from real ones (even lions and goats). It is the same story with horses. The horseman, taming them, turned out to be much more schematic than the horses with its sinewy legs. At various times Klodt duplicated the sculptures for the royal Courts of Europe by demand of Nicolas I.

  1. The Anichkov Palace.

Initially the Anichkov Palace was meant to grace the entrance of St.Petersburg, which boundary goes along the Fontanka River in the middle of XVIII century. The construction of the Palace started in 1741 by edict of Elizabeth Petrovna, who gave it to her minion Alexey Razumovsky. After his depart the Palace came to his brother Kirill Razumovsky, later Catherine the Great bought it out to give as a present to her minion Grigory Potemkin. Nicolas I also used the Anichkov Palace as a gift giving it to his son future Alexander II. After the revolution the Palace was devoted to kids: in 1937 there was opened the Palace of the Pioneers, which still exists. People say that a phantom of some white Lady lives here.

  1. The Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy Palace.

It’s a widely known creation of architect Stackensneider (the author of palaces for children of Nicolas I including the Mariinskiy Palace). The original orderer of the Palace didn’t live to see the beginning of the main floor construction. Nowadays, the Museum of democracy establishment in modern Russia is located here, called after the first mayor of the city Anatoly Sobchak, as well as one of the first in St.Petersburg Waxworks Exhibition. Moreover, various concerts frequently take place here (in 2013 the day before “transition to other state” the band “Aquarium” visited it with a concert).

  1. The Tolstoy House.

This House has nothing to do with Lev Nikolayevich – and any other writer with the same last name. The author of novel “War and Peace” died a year before the end of the building construction in 1911. The famous architect Lidval designed the building for Major-General Piotr Tolstoy. The main object worth seeing of the building is a sequence of three connected arched courtyards. A road leading through it is informally called “The Street of Architect Lidval”. The building itself became the calling card of that region, and inside it one can find at once several famous restaurants of the Rubinstein quarter.

  1. The Yusupov Palace and the Yusupov Garden.

For the first time there appeared a garden as early as in 1730s, when dukes Yusupovy built a country seat there. The first architect of it was Domenico Trezzini. Later, during the 1780s, that place was reconstructed – there appeared an English garden with pond and pavilions. During the 1860s Alexander II commanded to open the Park – which long ago came from Yusupovy to Ministry of Transportation - for public.

However, it was closed in winter, until the city Yacht club was let in there, and very soon they started a broad activity in the Park. At that time people began to do skating there and in the beginning of XX century national and even international competitions were held in the Park. Also the first Olympic champions of Russia practiced and grew there.

  1. The Estate Museum of Derzhavin.

It is a branch of the Pushkin Museum: a name of Derzhavin who “these trivial things Of mine blessed, though on the grave's abyss”, is always connected to the name of great poet. The mansion was built in 1780-1790. Since 1811 it was a place for meetings of “Russian literature lovers talks”, and after that the building was reconstructed for Roman Catholic Religious Collegium. The mansion was restored and turned again into museum as late as in the beginning of 2000s, for that occasion the famous Polsky Garden was also improved.

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