The embankments of St.Petersburg are as important sights as the cultural landmarks. Its total length comes in at more than 150km. The Oktyabr’skaya is the longest embankment of St.Petersburg, and the Admiralty embankment – the shortest; its length is only 414m.
Marble embankments keep the history of the city: palaces, villas, houses and apartments of poets, writers, scientists are located there. That’s why 38km of the city embankments are protected by the state.
We offer you to read about the most interesting of them.
- The Palace Embankment – from the Palace Bridge to the Summer Garden.It’s the most famous and popular with photographers embankment of St.Petersburg. The embankment fully justifies its name: just at that spot the main museum complex (New Hermitage, Old Hermitage, Small Hermitage, Hermitage Theatre and the Winter Palace) is located. Close to it there are grand-ducal palaces: the New Michael Palace and the Marble Palace. The Palace Embankment ends with the buildings of Saint-Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts and the marvelous Summer Garden Fence.
It was the first embankment which was dressed in granite.
- The Admiralteyskaya Embankment – from the Palace Bridge to Senate Square.
Until 1844 there was an exit to the river from the shipyard. By that time the bank had already been covered with granite and the stone sculptures of lions had been installed. Later on the shipyard was transferred to Galernaya Harbor and over time the Admiralteyskaya Embankment became one of the most beautiful embankments of St.Petersburg. In 1909-1910 two small monuments to Peter the Great were installed there – “Peter I rescues a drowning victim in Lakhta in 1724” and the Tsar Carpeneter. Afterwards both were demolished. The second one was restored in 1990s. Today, the Embankment is a favorite place for visitors: it’s a usual site to enjoy an unforgettable view of the Palace Bridge raising.
The first Dvortsovaya pier was also located there. It was constructed in 1820-1824 at the spot where the Dvortsovy Proyezd came to the Neva River. At present time there is an entry to the Palace Bridge.
The pier was designed by architect Carlo Rossi as part of a land improvements project concerning the territory near the Winter Palace after the construction of the General Staff Building. Nicolas I himself supervised the construction works. The pier was made by engineer A.D.Gotman.In the meantime the pier Petrovsky was built near the west wing of the Admiralty building.
In 1832 bronze lions and porphyritic vases were placed at the pier. The pier remained like this till the third quarter of XIX century: in 1873-1874 the vases were transferred to the pier Petrovsky. In the 1914-1916 pier with lions was moved to axis of the Admiralty building east wing to make way for the construction of the Palace Bridge.
3. The English Embankment - from Senate Square to Novo-Admiralteyskiy canal.
That embankment had many various names: Galley, St. Isaac's, English, Red Fleet. The name English appeared way back in the end of XIX century and in 1994 the original name of the embankment was restored again to honor the visit of the British Queen Elizabeth II to St.Petersburg. Each building there is a part of tercentenary history of St.Petersburg: mansions belonging to aristocrats and members of Romanov dynasty, magnificent palaces and Governing Senate, the Bronze Horseman and the stele at the place where the cruiser Aurora earlier located.
4. The University Embankment - form Birzhevaya Ploschad to Academy of Arts.
It’s the most beautiful embankment of St.Petersburg, where the State University, Academy of Arts, Menshikov Palace, Kunstkammer and of course the famous Egyptian Sphinxes are located. On the opposite bank of the Neva can be seen the main city attractions: the Admiralty, the Bronze Horseman, St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Senate and Synod. It’s the perfect place for walks, excursions, romantic dates and watching of the bridges openings.
Initially, the embankment was called Nalichnaya Line (in 1741-1756). That was the name of a part of a quay between the Twelve Colleges building and Kadetskaya Line. In the middle of XVIII century the bank between the Twelve Colleges building and the 22nd line was called Naberezhnaya Line, as the other rivers and canals embankments. Later it was called Bol’shaya embankment, Naberezhnaya Perspektiva, Kadetskaya embankment (after Noble Cadet Corps of Land Forces located in building No.15), Kadetskaya Naberezhnaya Line. Then for long time the embankment didn’t have any name.
The University Embankment received its present name on the April 16th, 1887 after the St.Petersburg State University, that was found in 1819 and partly disposed in those times in the Twelve Colleges building.
- The Kronverkskaya Embankment – from Birzhevoy Bridge along the Kronverkskiy canal to Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt.
Until 1970s there was no embankment there. It was built only in 1977, and it didn’t have any name. Only in 1980 the through-traffic between the Trinity Bridge and Kronverkskiy Prospekt received the name Kronverkskaya Embankment. At that very place the earliest St.Petersburg’s attractions are situated (Peter and Paul Fortress, The Kronverk, etc.). It’s one of the most popular with visitors sites in the city.
- The Sinopskaya Embankment - from Smol’ny Prospekt to Obukhovskoy Oborony Ave.
One of the first embankments of St.Petersburg was constructed at the same time as the Saint Alexander Nevsky Lavra. Its names were: Nevskaya, Nevsko-Rozhdestvenskaya, Kalashnikovskaya. In 1952 the name was changed to Sinopskaya in honor of the Russian naval victory at the Sinop bay over the Ottoman Empire during the Crimean War.
For the first time there were bleak banks beside sombre manufactories, but by the middle of XX century it was set in order. Nowadays, there is a pleasant view at the Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge and at the district of Malaya Okhta built-up with bright business centers at the same time.
Two tunnels have been built in the embankment cross section near The Alexander Nevsky Bridge. The first, at the site of Obvodny Canal, was built in 1966—1967 as a part of the bridge construction. The second, at the site of the Bolsheokhtinsky Bridge, was put up in 2013—2017.
Since 1870s and up to reconstruction in 2006 there was a service railway line along the embankment at the part between the Obvodny Canal Embankment and the Prospekt Bakunina.