Unusual yards of St. Petersburg

Yard of the Nikolay Zanins’ revenue house


Address: 1/B Maliy Prospekt (Petrograd Side)

One of the most interesting well-yards of our city is located it the building of the early XX century revenue house, that belonged to the architect Nikolay Zanin.

The yard has got an unusual octagonal shape that according to one legend, refers to the eight-pointed Maltese cross. Another version says that the unusual shape of the yard is due to the increased building density and the attempt of architects to use space more efficiently.

Comparatively not so long ago a very interesting object d’art appeared in this yard - a steel tree by an unknown artist.

There’s a legend, which says that the visit to this unusual well-yard brings luck and happiness.

You can get into the yard without any problems. You just need to go through two arches.


Yards of «the House of the three Benois»

Address: 26 – 28 Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt; 29 Kronverkskaya embankment; 37 Bolhaya Pushkarskaya Street

The house, build between 1911 and 1914 was named «the House of the three Benois» after the three brothers who constructed it: Leon Benois, Julius Benois and Alexandre Benois (two of them are siblings and another one is their cousin).

By the end of the building works the house became the largest block of flats in St. Petersburg. It has got 250 flats and 25 entrances. The front (main) staircases of the house lead into the principal forecourts (cour d'honneur), but the blocks of the house are connected by the system of well-yards.

At varying times the house was home to the composer Dmitry Shostakovich, whos bust you may see in one of the yards, the famous Soviet politician Sergey Kirov and a Soviet military commander Leonid Govorov.


Yard of the «Ring House» on the Fontanka

Address: 95 Fontanka Embankment

This yard has a perfect round shape, and the house that forms the yard is located inside the inner yard of another house. The main building was constructed in 1817 and later, in 1822 and later, in 1822 the architect Iossif Charlemagne constructed the round-shaped building. Right after the end of the construction works the family of Alexander Pushkin (his mother, father and sister) resided here for 7 years.

The inner yard of the round-shaped house is ornamented with two arches, located opposite one another and covered with broad paving flagstone. The only way to get to the yard is through the main entrance with tenants of the house.

You’ve got to drop into this cozy round-shaped yard and make a wish, looking up to the sky: many citizens believe that if you make a wish in this yard, it will surely come.


Yard of the Yulian Baks’ revenue house

Address: 24 Kirochnaya Street

Дом в стиле модерн с элементами рококо построен в 1905 году архитектором Б.И. Гиршовичем для инженера-путейца и видного общественного деятеля Ю.Б. Бака. 

This is one of the most beautiful revenue houses in St. Petersburg. The ground floor is covered in pink granite up to the level of the first floor, the staircases of the house are faced with marble the ceilings and walls are ornamented with stucco molding. The main staircase of the house is decorated with delicate stained glass windows by «М. Frank and Co».

The inner yard of the house is a popular tourist attraction and is mentioned in many tourist guides. The covered passages between the Благодаря крытым переходам между флигелем и главным корпусом, а также ленточным балконам, этот двор-колодец напоминает эшеровский лабиринт. 

Обращаем ваше внимание, что доступ в подъезд дома ограничен, дабы не беспокоить жильцов, однако во внутренний двор можно попасть без каких-либо проблем


The «Ghost Yard» on Vasilyevsky Island

Address: 5 4’th line of Vasilyevsky Island

This small yard, surrounded by mystical legend and myths, is located in the Leopold Koenigs’ revenue house, that was build between 1877 and 1879.

The best way to get to the yard is by going through the first arch on the Bolshoy Prospekt (Vasilyevsky Island). In the early XX century this house was home to Nicholas Roerich – one of the most famous artist and theosophist of the previous century.

According to one of the legends, this unusual well-yard on the territory of the Vasilyevsy Island can make your every dreams come true. You just need to look up into the sky and make a wish with all your heart.

Remember though, that this yard reveals its secrets not to everyone. It is believed that your wish will come true only if you will get to the yard easily without any problems. The doors of the main entrance have to be opened or miraculously open in front of you.


Yard of the Dr. Pel Pharmacy

Address: 18, 7’th Line of Vasilyevsky Island

The yard of one of the oldest pharmacies in St. Petersburg is considered one of the most mystical places in our city. In the XIX century it belonged to the pharmacist and alchemist Dr. Pel and his sons.

In the yard you may see the «Griffin Tower» - a huge vent-pipe that resembles a tower of a medieval castle. The legend says that inside of this tower there ised to be a secret laboratory where Dr. Pel conducted his alchemical experiments on turning mercury into gold and even found the «Formula of Happiness». The tower was guarded by mythical griffins. It is believed that until now they continue to watch after the Dr. Pels’ laboratory and at night you can see them fly above the city. 


The «Angels’ Yard»

Address: 3, Nevsky Prospect

The well-yard located in the very centre of St. Petersburg has got a very peculiar pentagonal shape.

If you look up to the sky while standing inside the yard, you will clearly see the angels’ wings in the shape of the yard (though the material-minded people see a crooked hang-glider in it).

There is a legend that says that it is really possible to see an angel in this yard. For that you will have to stick to a special ritual. Turn your back to the wall in the right or left corner, close your eyes, slowly raise your head and then swiftly open them. If you fail at first time, you can always once again. 


Yard of the count Michail Tolstoys’ mansion

Address: 54 Fontanka Embankment

This huge revenue house was build between 1910 – 1912 by the project of  the architect Fuodor Lidval in the National Romantic style (Nordic form of Art Nouveau). 

The architectural layout of the building includes three yards, sequentially connected by arches that go from the Fontanka Embankment to the Rubinstain Street. This massive and picturesque house and its yards suites as a perfect stage set for movies. Back in the day the yard appeared in the movies like «Winter Cherry», «Could One Imagine?» as well as in «The Adventures of Sherlok Holmes and Dr. Watson» and «Born by Revolution» film series.

By the way, the only way to get the yard is from the Rubinstain Street.