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Take a Stroll along Nevsky Prospekt

The main thoroughfare in St Petersburg, Nevsky Avenue, stretches from the distinctive Admiralty building with its landmark steeple, to the Moskovsky Rail Terminal, before taking a turn at Vosstaniya Square and ending at St Alexander Nevsky Lavra – the monastery founded in 1710 by Peter the Great. Most of St Petersburg's shopping and nightlife options are found either along Nevsky Avenue, or close to it, as are some of the city's most expensive and luxurious apartments. In addition to being the center of modern living and entertainment, Nevsky Avenue features a host of historical and cultural attractions worth visiting.

During its long history, Nevsky Prospekt has undergone a number of name changes, depending on who was in power at the time. During the Soviet era of 1918 to 1944, it was known as Ulitsa Proletkul’tam, later changing to commemorate the October Revolution, before taking on its current name of Nevsky Prospekt. The vibrant street has also been the setting of a number of literary works, including Crime and Punishment and The Double: A Petersburg Poem by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Nikolai Gogol’s story Nevsky Prospekt.

One of the main attractions of Nevsky Prospekt is the majestic Stroganov Palace. Designed by much sought-after architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli for Baron Sergei Grigoriyevich Stroganov in the mid-1700s, the pale pink palace with its cream and gold trim is an impressive landmark on the avenue. Rastrelli's other noteworthy designs are the Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo and the Winter Palace in St Petersburg.

Dedicated to one of the most venerated icons in Russia – Our Lady of Kazan – the Kazan Cathedral on Nevsky Prospekt was built in the early 1800s, taking around ten years to complete. Its design was heavily influenced by St Peter's Basilica in Rome, which reportedly raised some debate within the Russian Orthodox Church with some members expressing disapproval at creating a replica of a Catholic cathedral in what was at the time the capital city of Russia. Nevertheless, the Kazan Cathedral was built and remains as one of the prized attractions of St Petersburg.

Just opposite the Kazan Cathedral, on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and the Griboyedov Canal, is the House of Books, also known as Singer House, having been built for the Singer sewing machine company headquartered in New York. Featuring seven floors, this very ornate building was completed in 1904 and is officially recognized as having historical and cultural value. Following the October revolution in 1917 the building became the city’s largest book store, thereby earning the name of House of Books.

Other attractions along Nevsky Prospekt include a number of churches and a shopping mall dating back to the 18th century, as well as the Russian National Library, a monument to Catherine the Great, the Elisseeff Emporium and the Anichkov Bridge across the Fontanka River. Certainly, there is plenty to see and do as you stroll along St Petersburg's Nevsky Avenue.


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