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Location & Directions

Arbat Nord Hotel

Nearest metro: Chernishevskaya

The Arbat Nord is situated on a peaceful side street in the northern center of Saint Petersburg, just of Liteyniy Prospekt, one of the city's major central thoroughfares. Chernyshevskaya Metro Station is less than ten minutes' walk from the hotel. Moscow Station can be reached in ten minutes by car, and all other mainline stations are within a half-hour drive of the Arbat Nord. Pulkovo airport are roughly 17 kilometers from the hotel, and can be reached in 45 minutes by taxi.

Local Sightseeing

Just around the corner from the Arbat Nord, the Transfiguration Cathedral has a rich history, and is remarkable for having stayed open throughout the Soviet period. The present building, an impressive neoclassical structure with an intricately decorated facade, was completed in 1829 by architect Vasily Stasov, and stands on the site of an older church dedicated to the Transfiguration Regiment, who helped Empress Elizabeth seize power in 1741. The regimental barracks were nearby, and the cathedral has some decidedly militarist decorations, including a ring of gun carriages in the small garden that surrounds it. It also boasts one of the largest and most loyal congregations in the city.

Ten minutes' walk from the hotel, the Summer Garden is a formal 18th century park laid out with Baroque symmetry and a wealth of decorative sculpture. Peter the Great was actively involved in the planning of the gardens, and at the far end of the gardens, on the bank of the Neva, stands his Summer Palace. This modest, Dutch-style building was erected between 1710 and 1712 as the Tsar's official residence by Italian-born architect Domenico Trezzi. Although the charmingly simple interiors (confirming the impression that Peter had considerably better taste than any of his descendants) were significantly altered in the 18th and 19th centuries, they were fully restored to their original aspect after the Second World War. Although the surrounding park is a bit wilder than in its glory days, it's still a delightful place to stroll in the summer.

Across the Fontanka from the Summer Garden stands the Mikhailovskiy Castle, also known as the Engineers' Castle. It's an extraordinary salmon pink building that mixes neoclassicism with some peculiarly gothic touches, and it reflects the passions and proclivities of Emperor Paul I. The son of Catherine the Great, he grew to loathe his mother's world of court intrigue and Enlightenment ideas, and reacted by embracing a militaristic and somewhat medieval lifestyle. His new home had only just been completed when, in 1801, it became the site of his brutal murder during a palace coup. In 1820, the building was turned over to the Engineer's College, where Dostoevsky studied. It is now part of the Russian Museum, and houses a permanent portrait gallery and temporary exhibitions.

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