Alongside the Universitetskaya Embankment

  • points of interest 4 ,
  • museums 2 ,
  • squares 1 ,
  • monuments 3 ,
  • palaces 2
3 km, 169 m
The Rostral Columns

The Rostral Columns

St. Petersburg, Vasilievsky Ostrov, Birzhevaya Ploschad

In the 18th century the columns fulfiled the role of lighthouses

The first two rostrum columns, Chesmenskaya and Moreiskaya, were built in the 1770s at Tsarskoe Selo (near Pushkin) in memory of the victories of the Russian fleet (see Russian Naval Memorials). In St. Petersburg there are two rostral columns erected from granite and pudost stone in 1805-10 (architect Jean-Francois Thomas de Thomon) on the spit of Vasilyevsky Island (see also Stock Market Square). From the very start they served as beacons for the trading port. Inside the rostral columns are spiral staircases, leading to the squares are chalice shaped lamps on tripods (since 1957 the gas beacons of the columns have been lit for celebrations). At the pedestal of the columns are sculptures (the craftsman S. Sukhanov, the sculptors J. Camberlain and J. Thibaud), they are traditionally considered allegories for the Volga and Dnepr rivers (the northern column), the Neva and Volkhov (the southern column). In 1999-2000, they were restored.

Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange

Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange

The Spit of Vasilyevsky Island

The main building in the architectural complex of The Spit of Vasilyevsky Island

The building, which is situated at Birzhevaya Ploschad 4, is a significant example of the Greek Revival architecture. Designed by French architect Thomas de Thomon and inspired by the Greek Temple of Hera at Paestum, the stock exchange was constructed between 1805 and 1810. It was built for the St. Petersburg Stock Exchange, but was subsequently used for a different purpose. As of 2011 the building houses the exposition of the Central Naval Museum.

The Old Stock Exchange is sited to fill the majestic sweep of the Spit (in Russian Strelka) of Vasilievsky Island, just opposite the Winter Palace. Thomon's design called for a peristyle of forty four Doric columns resting upon a massive stylobate of red granite and supporting an entablature of triglyphs and slotted metopes. A monumental sculptural group similar in form to aquadriga featuring Neptune, and symbolizing maritime commerce, is mounted above the portico. Both inside and outside the Bourse, a motif of the semicircle is recurrent. The interior features a large colonnaded trading hall, now divided into eight exhibition halls. The central rooms are illuminated by an oblong skylight. The surrounding ceiling features double-sunk coffers.

132 m
Zoology Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences Zoology Institute

Zoology Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences Zoology Institute

Saint Petersburg, Universitetskaya naberezhnaya, 1

The Museum of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences is the largest zoological museum in Russia and one of the largest in the world. Nearly 30 000 specimens of animals from all over the world are displayed in the Museum. The collection was started over 250 years ago, but has only been open to visitors since 1901.

258 m
Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera) RAS

Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera) RAS

Saint Petersburg, Universitetskaya naberezhnaya, 3

One of the largest ethnographic museums in the world is the successor of the Kunstkamera, museum established by Peter The Great in 1714.

Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography is one of the largest and oldest ethnographic museums in the world. It is the successor to the first Russian state public museum, the famous Kunstkamera, established by Peter The Great in 1714.

The Kunstkamera was dedicated to collecting and researching natural and human curiosities and rarities. Today, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography RAS is not only an academic museum, but also one of the leading research centers of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Here the traditions of the great Russian ethnographers and anthropologists of the XVIII - XX centuries continue. Priceless ethnographic, anthropological and archaeological collections stored in the Museum are considered to be the most complete and interesting in the world. There are over 1.2 million exhibits, reflecting the diversity of cultures of the peoples of the Old and New Worlds, which are part of the cultural heritage of all mankind.

44 m
Novobirzhevoy Gostinny Dvor

Novobirzhevoy Gostinny Dvor

St. Petersburg, Vasilievsky Ostrov, Mendeleevskay liniya, 5

The building has suffered little change since the construction till today

607 m
The Twelve Collegia

The Twelve Collegia

St. Petersburg, Universitetskaya nab.,7
487 m
Palace of Peter II

Palace of Peter II

St. Peterburg, Universitetskaya nab., 7-9-11 В

The Palace of Peter II was built on the area of Alexander Menshikov's estate in the twenties of the 18th century. It is located on the Universitetskaya naberezhnaya of Vasilievsky Island.

Menshikov's daughter was affianced to Peter Alekseevich that's why in 1727 the new palace was laid down on the site of Menshikov. Previously there was a house of Menshikov's butler, Fedor Solovev. This house was reconstructed and became an eastern wing of new palace.

At the stone-laying ceremony attended Peter Alekseevich and architect Domenico Trezzini. In 1730, before the end of the building Peter II dies in Moscow from the disease. After his death the construction of the building had actually stopped.

Currently East and Philology faculties of St. Petersburg State University are located in the former Palace of Peter II.

160 m
Menshikov Palace

Menshikov Palace

Saint Petersburg, Universitetskaya naberezhnaya, 15

Menshikov Palace was the first stone building in the city

Since 1981, it has served as a public museum, a branch of the Hermitage Museum.

The palace was founded in 1710 as a residence of Saint Petersburg Governor General Alexander Menshikov and built by Italian architects Giovanni Maria Fontana, and, later, German architect Gottfried Johann Schädel. It was opened in 1711, but the construction continued until 1727 (assisted by Domenico Trezzini, Bartolomeo Rastrelli, Georg Johann Mattarnovy and Jean-Baptiste Le Blond), when Menshikov with his family was exiled to Siberia and his property was confiscated.

In 1731, Cadet Corps were established and occupied the palace and neighboring buildings. At the end of the 19th century the Menshikov Palace was restored and became the museum of the Corps. In 1924, its collections were moved to the Hermitage and other museums. From 1956-1981 the Menshikov Palace was restored again and finally opened to the public as a branch of the Hermitage Museum with a collection of Russian art of the late 17th-early 18th century.

248 m
Rumyantsev Square

Rumyantsev Square

St. Petersburg, Vasilievsky Ostrov, ploshad Rumyantseva

The square got its name from the monument to P. A. Rumyantsev installed on it

The area is located between the University Embankment, the 1st and 2nd lines of Vasilievsky Island. At the end of the 18th century, this place was the parade ground of the Cadet Corps, which was located in the Menshikov Palace. In the 19th century, the obelisk monument to P. A. Rumyantsev was moved here, and the square became known as Rumyantsevskaya. In the 1860s, at the expense of the merchant S.F. Solovyov, a garden was set up in place of the parade ground. According to the project of N. N. Kovrigin, alleys were laid out here, trees were planted, a cast-iron fence was installed.

Later, the square was renamed. From 1939 to 2001 it was named Shevchenko Square, in honor of T. G. Shevchenko, an Ukrainian poet and artist, because he lived and worked at the Academy of Arts, whose building overlooks the square. Since 2001, the square has returned its historical name. In 2002-2003, restoration took place in the Rumyantsev Garden.

375 m
Rumyantsev Obelisk

Rumyantsev Obelisk

St. Petersburg, Vasilievsky Ostrov, ploshad Rumyantseva

Field-Marshal Pyotr Rumyantsev was commander of the Imperial Russian forces in the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774. To mark this resounding Russian victory Vincenzo Brenna, court of Emperor Paul I, was commissioned to create a memorial.

Russian Academy of Arts

Russian Academy of Arts

St. Petersburg, Universitetskaya nab., 17

Museum of the Russian Academy of Arts is a unique art collection not only in Russia, but throughout the world

The Russian Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, informally known as the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, was founded in 1757 by Ivan Shuvalov under the name Academy of the Three Noblest Arts. Catherine the Great renamed it the Imperial Academy of Arts and commissioned a new building, completed 25 years later in 1789 by the Neva River. The academy promoted the neoclassical style and technique, and sent its promising students to European capitals for further study. Training at the academy was virtually required for artists to make successful careers.

Formally abolished in 1918 after the Russian Revolution, the academy was renamed several times. It introduced free tuition; students from across the country competed fiercely for its few places annually. In 1947 the national institution was moved to Moscow, and much of its art collection was moved to the Hermitage. The building in Leningrad was devoted to the Ilya Repin Leningrad Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, named in honor of one of Russia's foremost realist artists. Since 1991 it has been called the St. Petersburg Institute for Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.

169 m
 The Sphinxes and the Gryphon on Unversitetskaya Naberezhnaya

The Sphinxes and the Gryphon on Unversitetskaya Naberezhnaya

Saint Petersburg, Universitetskaya naberezhnaya, 17

Sphinxes on Unversitetskaya naberezhnaya are about 3 500 years old

Riverside near St. Petersburg’s Academy of Arts is guarded by Sphinxes and Griffins. There is a curious belief associated with these mystical animals. It is said that Griffins can fulfill desires. But it can't be happened without help of Sphinxes. You need to perform a special procedure of actions. First of all, recall your desire and with one your hand pat the Griffin’s head. Than with your other hand grasp his right tooth and in the same time look in eyes of closest to you Griffin.  If all are done correctly the wish comes true!

Newlyweds are also choosing that place on the embankment. Traditionally they should drink champagne near the Sphinxes, write their wishes, put them into an empty bottle and throw it into the Neva River.

213 m