Main Post Office in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Address: 9, Pochtamtskaya Ulitsa
The building of the St. Petersburg post office was built in the 80s of the XVIII century by the project of the architect and famous cultural figure of the eighteenth century N.А. Lvov. He was a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts and the Free Economic Society. According to the projects of Lviv, more than thirty buildings of various purposes were built, but they were made in the style of classicism loved by this architect. In his estate, Lviv improved the method of building buildings from the ground, cheap and fire-resistant material, which was undoubtedly important for villages and villages constantly suffering from fire. He opened a special school, having taught in six years more than eight hundred peasants from different provinces to build such houses. In addition to a remarkable architectural genius, Lviv was a poet, a musician, a historian who gathered around him the entire color of the Russian intelligentsia.
The main post office building is made in the traditional classical style and is decorated with four-column porticoes with gables. The side wings of the building are also decorated with pilasters that unite the two upper floors. According to the author, on the first floor of the building in a special niche, located on the site of the windows, was to accommodate a sculpture. Lviv designed the building classically simple and strict on the outside, but comfortable and functional inside. Through the main, southern entrance to the postal office arrived crews; on the sides were stables and other outbuildings. After the construction of the main post office was completed, Novo-Isaakievskaya Street, on which the building is located, was renamed Pochtamtskaya Street.
It is noteworthy that, in addition to the main post office building, Lviv developed two standard designs for postal stations for provincial and district towns. And such stations were really built soon in Tver, Torzhok and in some other cities.
The post office was first located on the opposite side of Pochtamtskaya Street in the house of P.I. Yaguzhinsky. The building, built by Lvov, was auxiliary and received the name "Post Office". At that time, the post office was engaged not so much in sending correspondence as in transporting people.Therefore, in the "Post Office" there were stables, coach house, and workshops for repairing carriages, harnesses, etc. From the postal management, the driver drove their horses along tracts to different parts of Russia, stopping only at intermediate stations. In addition to the premises intended for the postal administration, the building also housed apartments of minor officials.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the General Post Office was transferred here. According to the project of architect E.T. Sokolov building was reconstructed from the inside. In particular, windows on the ground floor were pierced. In the middle of the XIX century under the guidance of architect A.K. Kavos two opposite post office buildings connected by a gallery. At the beginning of the 20th century, the courtyard of the main post office was blocked with a glass ceiling and converted into an operating room. Later, a courtyard outbuilding was built on the fourth floor, and part of the premises of the main post office were reconstructed to expand production areas.
Nowadays, the Post Office performs all the same functions as at the beginning of the 20th century, except that they have become somewhat more diverse. Sending and receiving mail, parcels, money transfers, correspondence are carried out in the operating room, bright and spacious atrium, the center of which is occupied by a small office supply store where you can buy everything you need for writing and processing letters.
Among other things, it is here, at the Post Office, that the pole is set, indicating zero kilometer - the starting point of travel distances. From here at the time of the Russian Empire, they were considered versts to all other cities and provinces of the country. The current zero kilometer is in Moscow, and we, at the Post Office, have preserved a monument to those times when any ways were measured from the Northern Capital.
Every day, hundreds of people come to the Post Office to send or receive letters, money, parcels and documents. This place has become a living monument, a historical place that has not turned into a silent monument, but continues to live and perform all the same functions as a century ago. This is an excellent example of how Petersburg combines the past with the present and the future: now, where postal carriages once stood, we receive a ticket for passing an electronic queue.
The Main Post Office can be visited as a part of a city tour.
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