Voznesensky Prospekt

Voznesensky Prospekt is a twin to Nevsky Prospekt. Along with Gorokhovaya Ulitsa, they form symmetrical axes emanating from the Admiralty and became the main thoroughfares of 18th century St. Petersburg. However, Nevsky Prospekt later became the indisputable central avenue of the city, and in comparison Voznesensky Prospekt does not boast a large number of magnificent palaces or other first-rate attractions. Nevertheless, it remained an important street leading from the centre to the Warsaw Railway Station (Varshavskiy Vokzal). Today you can see many interesting monuments from different eras along the street.

Voznesenskiy Prospekt in St Petersburg, Russia, decorated for a public holiday
Voznesenskiy Prospekt decorated for a public holiday

Voznesensky Propspekt got its name from the Church of the Assumption (Voznesenie Gospodne) which was built by the architect Antonio Rinaldi at the intersection with the Griboedov Canal in 1759. However, the church was demolished during the Soviet era and the avenue itself was renamed Mayorov Prospekt in honor of Pyotr Mayorov, a Bolshevik hero of the Russian Civil War. In 1991 its original name was restored.

The House of Municipal Agencies on Voznesenskiy Prospekt in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
The House of Municipal Agencies on Voznesenskiy Prospekt

Voznesensky Prospekt has also long been home to some of St. Petersburg's most famous hotels. The Hotel Astoria (No. 12) and Angleterre Hotel (No. 10) maintain their century-old reputation for luxury. Not far away are found two relics of an earlier era, the now defunct Blumer Hotel (No. 22) and Hotel Naples (No. 23), where in 1829 Nikolay Gogol burned every copy of his first unsuccessful early poem Hans Kuchelgarten. At the beginning of Voznesensky Prospekt, the magnificent, triangular House of Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky (popularly known as the "House with lions" thanks to its striking lion sculptures) was built by Auguste Montferrand, the architect of nearby St. Isaac's Cathedral. After several years of renovation, it will soon be opened as the Four Seasons St. Petersburg Hotel. In a new building opposite at No. 6A, the W Hotel St. Petersburg opened in 2011, and claims to be the first designer boutique hotel in the city.

Art Nouveau on Voznesenskiy Prospekt: Orlov Apartment Building in St Petersburg, Russia
Art Nouveau on Voznesenskiy Prospekt: Orlov Apartment Building

Voznesensky Prospekt runs diagonally across St. Isaac's Square (Isaakievskaya Ploshchad) and the Blue Bridge across the Moyka River, passing not only the cathedral but also Andrey Stackenschneider's imposing Mariinsky Palace, built as a present from Tsar Nicholas I to his daughter Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna.

Towards the opposite end of the avenue, the entire block between Sadovaya Ulitsa, Pereulok Boytsova and the Fontanka River was the site the New Alexanderovsky Market between 1868-1932. Consisting of two huge malls with high walls and glass roofs, it was one of the most famous "tolkuchki" (secondhand markets) in St. Petersburg. The market was demolished in the 1930s and replaced by the constructivist style House of Light Industry, now home to the St. Petersburg State University of Technology and Design.

The building of the former Neapol (Naples) Hotel in St Petersburg, Russia
The building of the former Neapol (Naples) Hotel

At the turn of the 19th century several other notable buildings were added to the street in the Art Nouveau and Russian Neoclassical styles: the Orlov Apartment House (No. 18), the Lyubiens Apartment House (No. 57) and the House of Urban Institutions (Nos. 40-42), which is notable for its high, pointed towers, as well as owls, chimeras and griffins on the front that make it look like a medieval town hall.

Today Voznesensky Prospekt, because it crosses all three inner-city canals - Griboedov, Moyka and Fontanka- and important historical streets such as Malaya Morskaya Ulitsa, Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa, and Sadovaya Ulitsa, is one of the best routes to explore the architecture and monuments of St. central Petersburg.

Metro stations:Admiralteyskaya, Sadovaya / Sennaya Ploshchad / Spasskaya
Directions:From Admiralteyskaya, turn left then left again onto Malaya Morskaya Ulitsa and walk around 300 m to reach the intersection with Voznesensky Prospekt. From Sadovaya / Sennaya Ploshchad, head south along Sadovaya Ulitsa around 500 m to reach Voznesesnky Prospekt.
Best walking route:The entire avenue (approximately 1.5 hours)
What's here? Hotel Astoria, Hotel Angleterre, Hotel Naples, House of Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky, Mariinsky Palace, House of Urban Institutions
What's nearby? Admiralteisky Prospekt, Alexandrovsky Garden, Nevsky Prospekt, Malaya Morskaya Ulitsa, Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa, Moyka River, St. Isaac's Square, St. Isaac's Cathedral, Griboedov Canal, Sadovaya Ulitsa, Yusupov Garden, Fontanka, Derzhavin Estate Museum, Blue Bridge, Voznesensky Bridge, Izmailovsky Bridge