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HOMESIGHTS & ATTRACTIONSISLANDS OF ST. PETERSBURG

Islands of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg's debatable status as "the Venice of the North" is somewhat boosted by the fact that the city, like its Italian counterpart, is almost entirely built on a series of islands across the delta of the Neva River. The current number, as counted in 1975, is 42, although at the end of the 19th century it stood at 101. Many of them are, of course, only nominally islands, separated one from another by narrow canals or rivers and connected by the city's 342 bridges to form two seemingly continuous strips of land along the banks of the Neva. Some, however, are clearly separate from the rest of St. Petersburg, with a distinctive character or unique historic function that makes them of particular interest to visitors exploring the city.

The Peter and Paul Fortress on Zayachy Ostrov (Hare Island) of St. Petersburg, Russia
Vasilyevsky Island, St. Petersburg, Russia Vasilyevsky Island
The original center of the city as envisioned by Peter the Great, Vasilyevsky Island is home to some of St. Petersburg's most famous buildings, including the State University, which sets the tone for the district's laid-back atmosphere. ›››

Krestovsky Island, St. Petersburg, Russia Krestovsky Island
The playground of the working man for centuries, Krestovsky is now the home of St. Petersburg's nouveau riche. It still has a number of public attractions, though, including the city's biggest amusement park. ›››

Yelagin Island, St. Petersburg, Russia Yelagin Island
A summer playground for the Romanovs, Yelagin is the least spoilt of the Kirov Islands, with no roads and a ban on new construction. Its attractions include a beautiful neo-classical palace, and sprawling parkland with pretty boating lakes. ›››

Kamenny Island, St. Petersburg, Russia Kamenny Island
This charming, overgrown island just north of the Petrograd Side was long the preserve of the city's elite, from royals and nobility to top Soviet officials. An excellent place for walks, it has several fine mansions in a variety of styles. ›››

Aptekarsky Island, St. Petersburg, Russia Aptekarsky Island
The home of St. Petersburg's Botanical Gardens, opened by Peter the Great to provide the city with medicinal herbs, Aptekarsky Island is now an extension of the Petrograd Side, with similarly attractive Art Nouveau architecture. ›››

  

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