Main Admiralty

Main Admiralty in St. Petersburg

The Building of the Main Admiralty in St. Petersburg is one of the main attractions of the city. Its facades and spire have long been the hallmark of the city, they can be seen on a variety of photos, images and postcards with views of St. Petersburg.

Access to the inside of the Admiralty Building Complex is prohibited, Alexandrovsky Garden and Admiralteyskaya Embankment is available for tourists for walking.


The very first shipyard was built in the city on the Neva in 1703, it was located on the site of the modern Peter and Paul Fortress. During its use, it became clear that the resources of this shipyard are not enough for the needs of St. Petersburg, so Peter I ordered to design and build a new shipyard on the island located between two rivers - the Neva and Moyka (which was formerly called Mya River). At this time, the island became known as the Admiralty. So, on November 5, 1704, the first brick of a new fortress was laid in this place. We completed the construction of the building in about a year.

On April 29, 1706, a significant event took place - the first ship was launched from the new shipyard fortress. Launching the ship here every time was a holiday, accompanied by gunfire, salute and shouts of "Hurray."During the reign of Peter I, 262 warships were launched from the Admiralty Shipyard. In 1717, a new channel was dug at the shipyard, which was named after the fortress - Admiralty. It was used to supply material for the construction of ships. The island formed as a result of the construction of new canals became known as New Holland. On it were built special warehouses, protected from fires. In 1727 it was decided to restore the building of the Main Admiralty. Architect Korobov developed a project that would preserve the original historical appearance of the landmark. In 1806, the Admiralty was rebuilt again, this time the architect was the famous Zakharov, who used the style of Russian classicism to renovate the building. Throughout its history, the building of the Admiralty was related to the fleet. It also housed in its time educational institutions for seafarers, and other various naval institutions: this is the already mentioned Admiralty College, as well as the Higher Naval Engineering School, the Naval Architecture School and the Navy Ministry. Once there was a large and interesting Central Naval Museum, but later he moved to the next building. Nowadays, the central headquarters of the Navy is located in the building of the Main Admiralty, therefore access inside the complex of buildings is prohibited.

Admiralty building architecture

The Main Admiralty in St. Petersburg is considered one of the most significant historical monuments to architecture. Initially, the building, which in our time is the Main Admiralty, had the function of a shipyard used for the construction and repair of military vessels (hence the name - Admiralty). It is from the towering spire of this sight that the three most important historical streets of the city are spread in different directions: Voznesensky Prospect, Nevsky Prospect and Gorokhovaya Street. For this reason, the Admiralty building was sometimes called the Nevsky Trident or the Polar Star.

The architect of the Admiralty Shipyard was Peter I himself, he personally painted a plan for the future structure, which was supposed to look like a huge letter P, about 425 meters long, and 213 meters wide. According to the project, inside the courtyard there was a “sovereign's office” - the main building of the Admiralty, on the sides of which there were additional extensions of one floor, made of wood. A few years later, in 1711, a tall tower with a thin towering spire with a weather vane was added to the main building, which later became the main symbol of St. Petersburg. In this part of the Admiralty sat and managed the flotilla of the Admiratetic College. In the center of the complex at one time were located various premises for the repair or construction of ships. In the same place there was a special chamber for the design of ships, in which draftsmen and architects were located.

The Admiralty Building was surrounded by a solid wall, reinforced by earthen bastions in the amount of 5 pieces, and also protected by a sufficiently deep fortress moat, in which several rows of sharp stakes were installed at the bottom instead of water. The shipyard with the Neva River connected two canals - one external and the other internal. The place necessary for the shelling of enemy ships was freed by deforestation, and began to be called the Admiralty Meadow.

The modern Admiralty includes two buildings in the form of letters P. The main facade of the attraction attracts the sight of tourists with its solid columns, as well as an arch over which a tower in several tiers rises, decorated with a dome with a spire and a clock. The Main Admiralty has three floors, and its facade is decorated with 56 statues, 11 bas-reliefs and more than 300 different types of stucco.

Ship on the steeple

At the very top of the Admiralty spire at a height of 72.5 meters there is a favorite symbol of all the locals and guests of the city - the gilded boat, which acts as a rotating weather vane. According to historians, the shape of the ship is very similar to the appearance of the very first ship, which entered the port of the city immediately after its construction.

How to get to the Admiralty in St. Petersburg

Now the Admiralty building, located in the very center of St. Petersburg on the embankment of its main Neva River in the immediate vicinity of the Dvortsovaya Square, belongs to the command of the Navy, so excursions inside are not conducted, you can only look at the monument of architecture outside. Also, tourists for walking is available Alexandrovsky Garden and Admiralteyskaya Embankment.

You can get to this place on the St. Petersburg metro, take line 5 and get off at Admiralteyskaya station, as well as other public transport: buses 1, 7, 10, 11, 24 and 191 stop right next to the Admiralty complex at the station. Also the bus of the same name has a minibus 252.

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