Sennaya Square

Sennaya Square in St Petersburg

Sennaya Square/Sennaya Ploshchad is one of the most controversial places in the city. 2 centuries ago, she was buried in mud, brothels and poverty.

Poets and writers, among whom Dostoevsky and Nekrasov repeatedly described Sennaya Square in their works.

Raskolnikov decided on a crime on Sennaya, and here it publicly repents, and in Krestovsky in the “Petersburg slums” the square is one of the full-fledged actors. In general, it is already clear from these references that our Sennaya is, to put it mildly, a very specific place.

The Sennoy market appeared under Catherine II. At that time, Sennaya was the outskirts of the city and there was a road leading through which merchants and peasants carried their goods for trade. Here they could sell it right from the wagon.

The market officially took a course on cheap goods, so here and in the neighborhood began to flock beggars and homeless in the hope of alms, here also hunted pickpockets and sold stolen.The situation of the famous Vyazemsky Monastery aggravated the situation - thirteen interconnected houses that were leased ..

Vyazemsky Monastery was a real state in the state, in which sometimes there were more than 20 thousand inhabitants. It had its own laws, its own power, its own rules of survival. Most of its residents knew perfectly well where to hide fugitive convicts, forge documents, sell stolen goods, alter stolen clothes, find a cheap prostitute or have a good drink. But no one under any circumstances was going to share this information with the police. Maybe that's why this small criminal country almost a century existed in the capital in such a dirty and disgusting way.

It should be noted that not all the people of Senna were criminals.In the same Vyazma Lavra, typographical workers, artisans, bakers removed the beds, but, of course, it was possible to live in these disgusting conditions, in the stench, poverty and desolation only from complete hopelessness.

Residents Sennoy shared on their professional occupations. For example, a very numerous artel of beggars with a strict hierarchy and division of territories; the artel of rag-pickers, engaged, among other things, by streamlining stolen goods; an artel of torchbearers, who mined their bread by accompanying coffins with canopies and torches, which gave the funeral a nobly-official shade.

Since 1843, prostitution has been legalized in the Russian Empire. Of course, it’s not that the government supported the sexual revolution, it’s just necessary to somehow stop the spread of syphilis and venereal diseases. Passports were taken from those who sell themselves, and instead of them, famous yellow tickets were issued, they had to visit the doctor regularly and generally follow all the rules prescribed by law. Brothels in St. Petersburg provided their services to customers with very different incomes. Gorgeous beauties in luxurious apartments served wealthy visitors, brothels were easier to meet junior officers, students, people of liberal professions, quite unpretentious houses of tolerance waited for factory workers.

Fast food for beggars or popular dishes among the inhabitants of the Haymarket.

So … a dish of "cheek". At first, the cheek itself was being prepared, for which 50-60 ox heads were dropped into huge boilers filled with water,bovine heads of which were used to boil fat. The process continued for about 7-8 hours until the meat on the bull's head looked like a bast. Most of the meat was able to extract from the cheeks — hence the cheek. The resulting "product" was sent to the so-called fatty row, an analogue of modern fast food. From the cheek made pies and soup, no less popular were dishes of chitterlings.

Food products, so to speak, not the first and even not the second freshness, were also in great demand among the customers: fish with flavor, rotten vegetables and fruits. A special "flavor" came from the tradesmen of rotten eggs. Women traders bought spoiled eggs in large quantities, boiled and sold individually. The smell accompanying all these "appetizing" products, added its bright notes to the stench of the Sennoy Market.

Plans for reorganization, restructuring, and improvement of the Sennoy market Square were made constantly, something was brought to life, something was not. The dens, houseboats, and other institutions were demolished in the 20s of the 20th century, and after the war, everything was thoroughly rebuilt, in 1961 they blew up the huge Spas-na-Sennaya temple to build the pavilion of the Ploshchad Mira metro station (which now called "Sennaya"). After the transformation in the country in 1991, Sennaya Square was again filled with stalls, stalls, and together with them came homeless people, homeless people, thieves and fraudsters. In 2003, the authorities made another attempt to ennoble the long-suffering square, demolishing stalls and setting up pavilions in which cafes and flower shops were supposed to be housed, planted trees in some places, set up stylized benches, and decorated the Center of the square with the Tower of the World/Bashnya Mira. More recently, Sennaya again transformed. They removed the stalls, the area began to appear wider and became much cleaner. On the site of the demolished temple are going to restore the belfry.

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