Ploshchad Lva Tolstogo (Leo Tolstoy Square)

An interesting semi-circular area that is located on the Petrograd side, the square is known for its retrospectivism style buildings. At the beginning of the 18th century, Archbishop Feophan Prokopovich lived in the estate associate of Peter I. Prokopovich was one of the first Russian preachers publicly known for their erudition and passionate performances. Therefore, the current Tolstoy Street was formerly known Arkhiereyskaya (Bishop) Street.

Rosenshtein House on Ploshchad Lva Tolstogo in St Petersburg, Russia
Rosenshtein House on Ploshchad Lva Tolstogo

In the middle of 19th century the construction of Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt and Bolshoy Prospekt began, with this square at their intersection. At house No. 31was a school for poor girls of all classes, next to which lived the Prussian citizen Felkelya, owner of a Dutch cocoa warehouse. In 1895, most of the present area was occupied by the stadium which hosted cycling competitions, boxing matches, and in 1898, the first hockey match in Russia. During winter it was a popular destination for ice skaters.

In the beginning of 20th century, all of these buildings were torn down and a number of retrospectivism style apartment buildings were built in their place. The most interesting and notable of these is the house of Rosenstein, known as "The House with the Towers." It is built in an elaborate neo-Renaissance style, characterized by an abundance of windows and decorative ornaments. Today, on the first floor of the building is the "Russian Enterprise Theater in memory of Andrei Mironov."

View from Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt onto Ploshchad Lva Tolstogo in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
View from Kamennoostrovsky Prospekt onto Ploshchad Lva Tolstogo

Another interesting building on the square was constructed in 1904 (No. 31). It was owned by Senator Alexander Musin-Pushkin. It housed a fashion shop "Maison Nouvelle" and the restaurant "White Nights." Today the amazing, colorful windows from the early 20th century greet those who come to visit. On the opposite side of the square was the Women's Charitable Institution of Princess Theresa of Oldenburg, which today is known as the Palace of Children's Creativity of the Petrograd District.

The square was named after the world-famous writer Leo Tolstoy after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1921. Tolstoy never lived here. However, during Tsarist Russia he was exiled from the church, and his name was nowhere to be found in the city. The Bolsheviks had to fix this situation somehow. Today Leo Tolstoy Square, one of the finest architectural sights on the Petrograd side, is crowded by the nearby Petrogradskaya metro station.

Metro stations:Petrogradskaya
Directions:Exit Petrogradskaya metro station
What's here? House of Rosenstein
What's nearby? Kammennoostrovsky Prospekt, Bolshoy Prospekt (Petrogradsky Island side)