Downtown Sites, Saint Petersburg
There is a place on Bolshoi Konushennoii Street (a side street off of the Nevskii Prospekt, across from the Kazan church) that makes Russian Doughnuts. They only have one item on the menu, and the doughnut is 12 roubles. They have been open since 1958 - and its a great place that most people don't know about!
A block or so to the east of Kamennoostrovskiy Prospekt, south of the mosque, you can find this additional example of Style Moderne architecture. Matilda Kshesinskaya was a ballet star (who is said to have had an affair with Nicholas II, before he became Tsar) and it was built for her in 1904.
The detail is more impressive than the photo ~ it's a mix of tile, ironwork, coloured stone and an especially impressive bay window. The mansion today holds a Museum of Political History; our timing was off for visiting, but it's worth a look at the exterior at least.
This red and white building was built between 1722-1742 to house Peter the Great's governmental divisions. Today, it forms a western border for a group of buildings that make up the St. Petersburg University.
The University grounds are a lovely place for a walk ~ the buildings in this section are attractive and I always find campuses fun for the people-watching factor.
Peter the Great first ordered a university to be built in 1724; since then, students have played a role in the shaping of the city and the country. Mendelev devised the table of elements here; Lenin complete a degree in law (as did Putin years later), and students have always participated in protests and revolts.
The camps today is a quiet and relatively traffic-free area. There were lots of students sprawling in the green spaces of the grounds, enjoying the sunshine and warm weather during our visit.
The avenue Nevsky Prospekt is full of interesting sights like churches and historic buildings, therefore a little gem is often missed:
At the old school house at Nevsky Prospekt No. 14 is a blue sign with white letters refering to the siege between 1941-44. It states:
"Citizens! This side of the street is the most dangerous during artillery bombardment."
More than half of the streets Ulitsa Pravdy and Bolshaia Moskovskaia were transformed into an open air museum filled with modern statues, unusual benches, patches of green grass and interesting lamps.
Just outside of the center, it is an interesting walk from Vladimirski prospekt down these two streets up to the Pionerskaia Ploshtshad.
A usual SPb “profit” building has nice facades and rather plain or even ugly inside court. A good exception is so-called “Tolstoy” house on Runinshtejna 17. This building is also a passage (shortcut) between Rubinshtejna street and Fontanka river. The entire Rubinshtejn street is vice seeing for its excellent facades.
You can find this small street off the Nevski Ave between Fontanka and Vladimirski Ave.
The St. Petersburg Mosque was opened in 1913 and remained open except for a period from WWII to 1956 when it was used for a warehouse. It has two minarets, 48 meters tall.
It is on Petrograd Island and visible from the Neva and surrounding area.
There are some organized tours. It is an active mosque open for prayer 10 am to 7 pm .
Kronverksky Prospect 7
Near metro Gorkovskaya, look right when you exit Metro and head that direction.
If you travel with an emerging virtuoso violin player you might conisder arranging some serious violin study with one of the best instructors in Europe, Savely Shalman.
The recitals by his students are a sell-out at the Glinka Music Hall onNEvsky Prospect. Many medal winners among his students. He tours all over giving violin master classes.
If you are interested in a master class, e-mail you and I will give out contact information. :)
Bring violin, leave shoes at the door. :)
This square is a rather busy and interesting square. Escape from the crowd of Nevsky Prospekt and walk to this square. You can eat at several restaurants or visit the Technical Museum at the corner of the square.
I don't think this qualifies as "off the beaten path" because it's right in the middle of town, but I've included this activity here because I don't think most people who come to visit St. Petersburg make it a point to come here. My new friend Christina took me here, and I found it to be quite depressing. I didn't feel the animals had satifactory accomidations - at least not in comparisson to the zoos we have back in the states.
t was last year, eve of 1st May, when we strolled aorund Peter&Paul fortress and decided to take the boat trip they offer from the pier.
The sun had come forth only that very morning after having been away for days! So I guess it is only natural that people seek to grasp as much sunlight as possible, but these fellows were hardcore. Standing in their panties, leaning against these thick walls and fully enjoying them beams...
Not so far off the beaten path, I guess, because it is located smack in the heart of the Nevsky Prospekt, is Dom Knigi--the House of Books. This multi-level bookstore is in the Singer Building, a turn-of-the-century factory for the Singer Sewing Machine Company! Its art-nouveau aspects (and especially its corner decoration) make it quite impressive. But go inside an feast your eyes and pocketbook on this wonderful bookstore. Art books, especially, tend to be of high quality and less expensive than in the West. There is even a small foreign-language section. You may be amazed, as I was, at the number of people in bookstores generally. Reading is a popular pastime in Russia and I never visited a bookstore that wasn't crowded.
The store is located at Nevsky Prospekt 28. It is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Located between Italianskaya Ulitsa and Nevsky Prospekt (the western end of the city centre, near Anichkov Most), Malaya Sadovaya is a newly pedestrianized (1999) street that is definitely worth seeking out for a break.
There are a few restaurants, a number of benches and small trees, as well as the pictured fountain (the granite ball rotates on the flowing water). . .it's a nice place to take a rest from Nevsky and indulge in some people-watching.
The street has a number of examples of Style-Moderne architecture ~ the intersection of Kamennoostrovskiy and Ulitsa Mira is particularly pretty, with four unique buildings around a circular space.
Most of the buildings are from the late 19th and early 20th century ~ the period in which Art Nouveau (or Style Moderne as it came to be known in Russia) first became popular.