The Passage was designed in the elegant style for Count Essen-Steinbock Fairmore by Rudolf Zhelyazevich (1846) and built between Nevsky Prospekt and Italian Street (1847–48). This two-hundred-yard-long covered gallery was lit by a skylight ceiling. Besides sixty boutiques and trading outlets flanking the main aisle, the Passage also accommodated a concert hall, tearoom and other public entertainments on the ground and first stories. The second floor was turned into private apartments. The Passage was redesigned in the Art Nouveau style at the turn of the century.

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