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Entries / Spit of Vasilievsky Island

Spit of Vasilievsky Island


Categories / Architecture/Architectural Monuments/Architectural Ensembles

SPIT OF VASILIEVSKY ISLAND, a cape in the eastern part of Vasilievsky Island, washed by the Bolshaya Neva and Malaya Neva rivers, the highest part of the island and one of the main architectural ensembles of St. Petersburg. Built to architect D. Trezzini's plans and approved in 1716, construction was intended for the Spit of Vasilievsky Island building an enclosed trapezoid square, the perimeter built up with residential houses. In 1718-1721, Trezzini designed a new plan: the building of the Twelve Collegia becoming the main construction of the square, creating a large scale background for the entire ensemble. The design for the construction of a cathedral on the Spit of Vasilievsky Island was not fulfilled. In the 1720s on the bank of Bolshaya Neva (nowadays Universitetskaya Embankment) the foundations of Kunstkammer and the Palace of Tsarina Praskovya Fedorovna were laid (from 1727, the building of Petersburg Academy of Science), on the bank of Malaya Neva River (nowadays Makarova Embankment) Gostiny Dvor was erected (architect D. Trezzini, 1722-1735, a fragment has survived), as well as the houses of the families of Apraxin, Demidov, Naryshkin, Lopukhin, where on the transferring of Petersburg port in the 1730s the Stock Exchange, the Customs house and storehouses were located. In the centre of the inner square in the 1750s a pavilion for the globe of Gottorpsky (architect I. Y. Schumacher) was constructed. In 1767, the Commission for the Construction of St. Petersburg and Moscow had a plan approved which envisaged the construction of a horseshoe-shaped square in front of the Twelve Collegia. Following this plan, on the bank of the Bolshaya Neva River the main building of the Academy of Science (1783-1789, architect G. Quarenghi) and a concave part of the northern warehouse (1795-97, currently 6 Birzhevoy Avenue) were constructed. In 1783, on the cape the construction of the Stock Exchange to the project of architect G. Quarenghi was launched. Architecturally independent from other constructions, it was demolished at the beginning of the 19th century. According to the plan for the Spit of Vasilievsky Island of 1797, architect G. Quarenghi constructed the Novobirzhevoy Gostiny Dvor in the early 1800s (nowadays 5/2 Birzhevoy Avenue), design of which determined the further development of the ensemble. The new plans for the development of the Vasilievsky Island Spit were created by architect J.F. Thomas de Thomon in 1805-10, on the compositional axis two squares were located, divided by the main object of the ensemble - the Stock Exchange. The rectangular building is encircled with a mighty Dorian colonnade, resting on a massive granite stylobata. Allegorical sculptural groups emphasised its connection with sea trade. The artistic effect of the whole composition was based on the contrast of the volume of the Stock Exchange and large horizontal line of the granite embankment with landings leading down to the Neva River. In front of the embankment there is a semicircular artificial cape, with Rostral columns on the sides (see also the article Birzhevaya Square). The symmetry of the composition is emphasised with the buildings of the southern and northern warehouses and the Customs House (4 Makarova Embankment, 1829-32, architect I.F. Luchini), that is by analogy to Kunstkammer is also crowned with a tower. In 1826-1832, the intrinsic area was built up with the symmetrical buildings of storehouses and the museum of the Academy of Science (architect I.F. Luchini). In the late 19th - early 20th centuries, construction of the buildings of the Clinical Gynaecological Institute (3 Mendeleevskaya Line) and the Library of Academy of Science and Ministries (6 and 8 Makarova Embankment) disturbed the ensemble but did not deprive it of its integrity and harmony. In 1925-1926б on the Spit of Vasilievsky Island a regular style public garden was laid out to the project of architect L.A. Ilyin. The symmetry of the Vasilievsky Island Spit ensemble is emphasised by five-span bridges - Dvortsovy Bridge (1916) and Birzhevoy Bridge (1960).

References: Бунин М. С. Стрелка Васильевского острова: История формирования архит. ансамбля. М.; Л., 1958; Канн П. Я. Стрелка Васильевского острова. Л., 1973; Никитенко Г. Ю., Соболь В. Д. Василеостровский район: Энцикл. улиц С.-Петербурга. 2-е изд., испр. и доп. СПб., 2002.

G. Y. Nikitenko

Persons
Ilyin Lev Alexandrovich
Luchini Giovanni (Ivan Franzevich)
Praskovya Fedorovna, Tsarina
Quarenghi Giacomo
Schumacher Iogann Yakob
the Apraksins
the Demidovs
the Lopukhins
the Naryshkins
Thomas de Thomon Jean-Francois
Trezzini Domenico

Addresses
Birzhevaya Square/Saint Petersburg, city
Birzhevoy Passage/Saint Petersburg, city, house 2/5
Makarova Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 4
Makarova Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 6
Makarova Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 8
Mendeleevskaya Line/Saint Petersburg, city, house 3
Universitetskaya Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city

Bibliographies
Никитенко Г. Ю., Соболь В. Д. Василеостровский район: Энцикл. улиц С.-Петербурга. 2-е изд., испр. и доп. СПб., 2002
Бунин М. С. Стрелка Васильевского острова: История формирования архит. ансамбля. М.; Л., 1958
Канн П. Я.. Стрелка Васильевского острова. Л., 1973

The subject Index
Twelve Collegiums Building
Kunstkammer
Russian Academy of Sciences
Gottorp Globe
Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Chronograph
1733
1810
1832


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