Spit of Vasilyevsky Island (St. Petersburg)
The Spit of Vasilyevsky Island is one of the pearls in the necklace of the architectural ensemble of the central part of St. Petersburg. One of the most attractive places for tourists and romantics, since it offers a wide panorama of the magnificent city.
A bit of island history
The cape on the eastern tip of Vasilyevsky Island, the largest in the Neva Delta, divides the Neva into two full-flowing beds. It obviously got its name because of its shape, which resembles an arrowhead, prominently pointed into a river. How the arrow of Vasilyevsky Island is located on a wide water space predetermined its fundamental role in the plans for building the city. According to Peter the Great, the new city was to become a sea fortress and a trading port. The development of the military and merchant fleet was the main task of the king.
Initially, the port facilities were located on the southern side of the City (St. Petersburg) island, now called the Petrograd side, but the small depths did not allow the port to be used effectively.It was decided to move it to a more convenient place. For this was chosen arrow Vasilyevsky Island.
In 1709, the king presented the island to Menshikov, the governor-general of the new city. The palace of the prince was here the first stone residential building. According to the plan of Tsar Vasilyevsky, the island was to become the center of the future capital.
The creation of the development plan for the south-eastern part was entrusted to the architect Trezzini. According to its original design, the main square of the city of trapezoidal shape with residential buildings around it should have been located here. It was supposed to dig a canal connecting the Bolshaya and Malaya Neva. A network of parallel street-channels was to be laid across the island. In addition, the entire island had to cross a wide navigable canal, starting in the western part, overlooking the Gulf of Finland, and ending with a wide harbor on the arrow. Not all plans of the architect were realized, but even now the main streets of the island have no names, but are designated as numbered lines.
Fulfillment of building plans
But Peter saw the island as the cultural and administrative center of the young city, on the arrow of which a large seaport will be located.In the new Trezzini project, administrative and government buildings became the foundation of the island. One of the key elements of the complex of buildings along the shores of the Little Neva and the Great Neva is the building of the Twelve Collegiums, which consists of twelve identical three-storey sections. The building housed the highest government bodies. Now there are faculties of St. Petersburg University, a scientific library and some administrative organizations.
In less than two decades, other outstanding buildings appeared, with the construction of which the shooter of Vasilyevsky Island of St. Petersburg began to take on its present appearance: the Kunstkamera, the Novobirzhevaya Gostiny Dvor, the palace of Queen Praskovi Fyodorovna (the wife of Brother Peter), which later housed the Academy of Sciences. The modern building of the Academy was erected at the end of the 18th century according to the design of the architect Quarenghi.
Spit of Vasilyevsky Island: history of development
The eastern end of the island for a long time has not been planned building. In the 30s of the 18th century, a seaport began to function here. But in 1885 he was transferred to Gutuyevsky Island, closer to the Gulf of Finland,since the old port was no longer responding to the increased needs, and the fairway leading to it was difficult and did not correspond to the displacement of merchant ships coming from the sea.
The types of modern exchange
The first building of the exchange, which is now the main and central element of the architectural composition of the arrow, was built during the creation of the port. The structure of the first exchange in Russia was wooden.
As the port developed, the area of the building became insufficient, and in 1781 a project of a new stone structure was created. Its author was architect Giacomo Quarenghi. Construction was carried out at a very slow pace and was stopped after 4 years.
The beginning of the 19th century was marked by new views on architecture. There was a fashion for ensembles. In 1801, architect Tom de Thomon proposes a new project of the exchange, which he makes the centerpiece of the integrated arrangement of the switch.
Stages of formation of the image of the arrow
For the ensemble to look harmonious, the location of the exchange building relative to the coastline had to be carefully calculated. The architect solved this question by artificially creating an arrow outline.Piles were piled along the coast and the ground was poured. As a result, the bank became taller and moved 123 meters into the river. The coastline became even and symmetrical. The Spit of Vasilyevsky Island acquired a new form.
In front of the main facade of the exchange there is a large semicircular square, which has a smooth descent to the water and is fenced with a granite wall. Embankment of the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island served as a pier. It is decorated with wide flat stairs and two granite spheres.
Along the perimeter of the Exchange Square in 1896 a square was laid out. In 2003, a new landmark appeared in the square - an anchor of the 18th century, raised from the bottom of the Neva near the Shkipersky canal.
The columns on the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island were conceived by Toma de Thomon as port lighthouses and performed this function until 1885. They were established in 1810. The columns are decorated with rostra - nasal decorations, from which they got their name. In our time, the fire on rostral columns lights up on holidays.
The facades of the stock exchange, built in the spirit of the temples of ancient Greece, are decorated with sculptural groups depicting sea gods. According to the general style in which the arrow of the Vasilyevsky Island was designed, rostral columns are also decorated with allegorical sculptures depicting sea deities.
The final feature of the ensemble was the construction of the northern and southern warehouses with the same architectural solution. Now in the southern warehouse is a zoological museum, and in the north - a museum of soil science. Their construction ended in 1832.
A cobbled embankment going straight down to the water is a favorite place for walks of city residents and guests of the city. It is also a place of pilgrimage for newlyweds. The granite wall enclosing the embankment is decorated with stone faces of lions holding copper rings in their mouths. According to the established tradition, it is necessary to hold the ring in order for a married life to be long and happy. Girls wishing to marry, it is recommended to kiss the lion's nose. On the square are held city holidays, folk festivals, concerts.
Vasilievsky Island, Arrow (St. Petersburg) are known all over the world.