Saint Petersburg Cityscape

Saint Petersburg is a railway junction (nine railway lines end here) and the most important Russian port (new container port since 1996, then further expansion of port capacities), also an important inland shipping port at the end of the Volga-Baltic Sea waterway (navigable connections to Lake Ladoga, White, Black and Caspian Sea), military port. The port’s cargo handling reached 51.5 million t in 2015. There are ferry connections to several Baltic Sea ports (including Helsinki, Kiel, Rostock, Stockholm). Pulkovo International Airport is located in the south of the city. Since 1955, Saint Petersburg has had an underground railway (2015: 113.6 km long route network with five lines and 67 stations), dense tram network (228 km route length).


The historic center of Saint Petersburg (old town of Saint Petersburg; World Heritage) was built at the will of Peter I, the Great, in the uninhabited delta of the Neva. Its recent history and the planned construction of the city with model buildings, wide, straight streets (»Prospect«), spacious squares, palaces, churches and public buildings, extensive parks and quays (»Naberezhnaya«) lent it primarily through Baroque, Classicism and that The cityscape shaped in the 19th century has a uniformity and cohesion that is unique in Russia. According to hyperrestaurant, the basic concept was based on ideas that Peter I, the Great, had developed in collaboration with mainly Italian architects.

The 18 city districts are traditionally grouped into “sides”: on the left of the Neva the Great (Moscow) side, on the right the Vyborg, in the Neva Delta the Petrograd side and the Vasili Island. As the core of the city, Peter I the Great had a fortress and shipyard built: The Peter and Paul Fortress, located on an island in front of the Petrograd side, encloses the state prison, mint yard and Peter and Paul Cathedral (1712–33 from DA Trezzini; three-aisled hall church with 122 m high west tower; redesigned in early Classicist style under Catherine II; since Peter I the Great, Grave church of the Russian tsars); the crown work (1707–08) built to protect the fortress houses the arsenal (1850–60, artillery museum since 1872); on the large side, today in the center of the city, the Admiralty (founded as a shipyard in 1704, redesigned 1806–23 by A. D. Sakharov); its spire is a symbol of Saint Petersburg. From here the main axis of the city, the Nevsky Prospect (originally a forest lane), was laid out in a south-easterly direction to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery (Alexandro Nevskaya Lavra, 1713 ff.) 5 km away. On the eastern tip of Vasily Island (“Strelka”), the Kunstkammer was the first public museum to be built in 1718–34 (originally the collection of Peter I the Great, now the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography).

The late baroque buildings of B. F. Rastrellis (Winter Palace, Hermitage; Smolny Monastery) and S. I. Tschewakinski (Nikolskikathedrale) determined the middle of the 18th century. The buildings that have been built since the 1760s are characterized by classicism (Akademie der Künste, 1764–88, J.-B. Vallin de la Mothe; Small Hermitage, 1764–67, Vallin de la Mothe; Marble Palace, 1768–85, Antonio Rinaldi), which was fully developed after 1780: Hermitage Theater (1783–87, G. Quarenghi), Academy of Sciences (1783–89, Quarenghi), Alexander Nevsky Cathedral (1776–90, I. J. Starow), Tauride Palace (1783–89, Starow), Michaelsschloss (1792–1800, W. I. Baschenow). The city grew in a south-easterly direction over the Moika and Fontanka rivers, on the banks of which city palaces were built (Sheremetyev Palace, 1750–55, S. I. Tschewakinski; Stroganov Palace, 1752–54, Rastrelli; Jussupow Palace, 1760 ff., Vallin de la Mothe).

At the beginning of the 19th century the Kazan Cathedral (1802–12, A. N. Voronichin), the Stock Exchange (1805–16, T. de Thomon; today Central Navy Museum) and the new building of the Admiralty were built on the Strelka. Under K. I. Rossi, large urban ensembles have been built since 1816: Palais des Großfürsten Michael (today the Russian Museum), Alexandrinsky Theater with the street of the architect Rossi, General Staff building with triumphal arch on Schlossplatz and the 47.5 m high Alexander Column (1829–34; AR de Montferrand), building for the Senate and Synod. 1819–58 Montferrand created the Isaac Cathedral on Senate Square with the equestrian monument Peter I the Great (unveiled in 1782; É.-M. Falconet). From the middle of the 19th century numerous buildings were erected in the historicizing style (including the New Hermitage, L. von Klenze, 1839–52; the “Blood Church”, 1883–1907).

At the beginning of the 20th century, Art Nouveau buildings (Hotel Astoria, 1910–12, Feodor Lidwal; mosque, 1910–14, Alexander von Gogen; Vitebsker Bahnhof, 1902–04, S. A. Brschosowski and S. I. Minasch) and neoclassicism (German embassy, 1911-12, P. Behrens). After the October Revolution, inter alia Kulturpaläste (Kulturpalast “First Plan Year Five ”, 1929–30, N. Mituritsch, W. Makaschew) built. For the preservation of the old city center and the development of new city districts, general development plans were drawn up (including 1935/36, 1959). The Monument to Defenders of Leningrad by S. B. Speransky, V. A. Kamenski and M. K. Anikuschin was unveiled on May 9, 1975. Numerous buildings were renovated and restored for the city’s jubilee in 2003. – Palaces in the vicinity of Saint Petersburg are Pavlovsk, Petrodvorets, Pushkin.

Saint Petersburg Cityscape