Russia St Petersburg Architecture Place Spit of Vasilyevsky Island

Spit of Vasilyevsky Island

Promontory in the east of Vasilyevsky Island between the Bolshaya and Malaya Neva. One of the most beautiful architectural ensembles in St Petersburg. Domenico Trezzini’s original plan for the city envisaged a squared lined with residential housing on the spit of Vasilyevsky Island (1716). The architect reworked the project, making the Twelve Colleges the main building on the square (1718–21). The square was enclosed from the Bolshaya Neva by the Kunstkammer and the palace of Dowager Tsarina Praskovia Saltykova, which was transformed into the Imperial Academy of Sciences (1727). Gostiny Dvor was built on the bank of the Malaya Neva. The ensemble ended with the planned capitular church of the Order of St Andrew (not built). Johann Jakob Schumacher built a small pavilion in the centre of the inner square for the Globe of Gottorp (1750s). The St Petersburg and Moscow Stone Construction Commission adopted a new plan, proposing a horseshoe-shaped square in front of the Twelve Colleges on the spit (1767). In accordance with this plan, Giacomo Quarenghi built the Imperial Academy of Sciences on the Bolshaya Neva (1783–89), northern storehouse (1795–97) and the New Stock Exchange Gostiny Dvor (early 1800s). Giacomo Quarenghi began constructing a stock exchange on the spit (1783), which was not finished and dismantled (early 19th century). A new urban planning project was implemented by Jean-François Thomas de Thomon (1805–10). Based around the Stock Exchange, semi-circular square with the Rostral Columns and granite embankment with descents to the water. The symmetric composition was underscored by the northern and southern storehouses and the Customs House designed by Giovanni Lucchini (1829–32) and crowned with a tower in analogue to the Kunstkammer.

Random articles