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Entries / Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor

Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor

Categories / Economy/Commerce
Categories / Architecture/Architectural Monuments/Public Buildings and Edifices

BOLSHOY GOSTINY DVOR (35 Nevsky Prospect), the largest commercial enterprise of St. Petersburg. The first plan for a Gostiny Dvor (effectively, a large scale trading market) on Nevsky Prospect was developed in the late 1750s by the architect A. Rinaldi (never carried out). In 1757, the project for a two-storied Gostiny Dvor, was developed by the architect F. Rastrelli, this was approved and the construction started. In 1761, the plans were revised, as the merchants found it too expensive, the construction was handed over to architect J.-B. Vallin de la Mothe, who preserved the layout and general composition but redesigned the facade and with the assistance of the architect A.F. Kokorinovа planned a purely business construction in the early Neoclassical style. In 1785, the construction works were completed and the building received the name of the Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor, as it was located nearby to Small Gostiny Dvor (2 Chernysheva Lane, today Lomonosova Street) built in 1780s by architect G. Quarenghi. The trade in the Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor was carried out in stalls - cloth, fur, wool, fur coats, linen, silver, shoe, etc., in total there were over 100 shops. Gradually four main lines developed: Sukonnaya (today Nevskaya), Bolshaya Surovskaya (Perinnaya), Malaya Surovskaya (Lomonosovskaya), Zerkalnaya (Sadovaya). The total area of the Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor exceeded 53,000 square metres; the length along the perimeter was over one kilometre. In outer lines retail trade was conducted, in the inner shops - mainly wholesale. The upper story premises served mainly as warehouses. In the late 18th century Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor became a centre for the book trade. In 1797-1798, along Gostinaya Street one-and-a-half storied building with open arcades was constructed (demolished in 1963 because of metro construction, recreated in 2002). In 1802-06, a Doric column portico was attached to the Perinnaya Line (architect L.I. Rusca; demolished in 1963, reconstructed in 1972, architect M.I. Tolstov). By the centenary of Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor, celebrated in 1886-87, the facade decor from the side of Nevsky Prospect had been redesigned (architect Albert N. Benois). During the Siege of 1941-44, the building was extensively damaged; in 1944-48, it was reconstructed with approximately to the original form (architect O.L. Lyalin). In the course of the reconstruction of 1955-72 the inside walls were demolished, instead of 178 separate shops Gostiny Dvor department store was established (architects I.A. Vaks, L.S. Katonin, engineer M.I. Yunoshev). In the 1960s-80s, the floor space was over 15,000 square metres, there were seven trade departments, 122 sections, 61 warehouses; over 3,000 employees. In 1989-1998, reconstruction of the Nevsky Line was undertaken (architect D.Y. Melnik), on its premises the gallery of high fashion was opened. In 1994, the department store was transformed into an open joint-stock company Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor. In 1996, staircases and vestibules of Sadovaya, Perinnaya and Lomonosovskaya lines were renovated. The total area of the premises is 79,000 square metres, commodity circulation in 1999 is over 40 million US dollars; there are 2,500 employees working, including 1,350 shop assistants. The nearest metro stations are Gostiny Dvor and Nevsky Prospect.

References: Богданов И. А. Большой Гостиный двор в Петербурге. СПб., 2001.

I. A. Bogdanov.

Benois Albert Nikolaevich
Katonin Leonid Sergeevich
Kokorinov Alexander Filippovich
Lyalin Oleg Leonidovich
Melnik D.Y.
Quarenghi Giacomo
Rastrelli Francesco de
Rinaldi Antonio
Rusca Luigi (Aloisy Ivanovich)
Tolstov M.I.
Vaks Iosif Alexandrovich
Vallin de la Mothe Jean Baptiste Michel
Yunoshev Mikhail Ionikievich

Lomonosova St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 2
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city, house 35
Perinnaya Line/Saint Petersburg, city

Богданов И. А. Большой Гостиный двор в Петербурге. СПб., 2001

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