Sadovaya Ulitsa (Garden Street)

Sadovaya Ulitsa runs four kilometers extending from the Summer Garden to Ploschad Repina (Repin Square) and the number of monuments to the history and architecture of 18th-20th centuries found here are just as impressive as those found on the main avenues of the city. For a long time the street was the center of the city's trade and commerce. Here were the cheapest markets, numerous shops, and restaurants. But there is a plush side to Sadovaya - Mikhailovsky Palace, Vorontsov Palace, Yusupov Palace, the building of the National Library, and the "House with four colonnades." Today, a walk on the Sadovaya Ulitsa is every bit as interesting as one on Nevsky Prospekt.

Sadovaya Ulitsa in St Petersburg, Russia, at night
Sadovaya Ulitsa at night

The fact that Sadovaya Ulitsa runs parallel to the Fontanka River is no accident. In the 18th century, palaces and estates of the nobility had their front facades facing the river, and on the side facing the street gardens and orchards were arranged. This explains the street's name Sadovaya (Garden). The mansions of Anichkov, Vorontsov, Yusupov and other famous people are found here. In the 1830s, the street was extended to the south-west to the Kolomna neighborhood thus arranging two squares - the famous Sennaya (Hay Market) and Intercession (now Ploschad Turgeneva). In the first half of the 19th century, according to the urban development plans of Carlo Rossi, the street was paved all the way to the Neva, past the Field of Mars and the Summer Garden. This is how modern Sadovaya Ulitsa came to be.

Intersection of Sadovaya Ulitsa and the Fontanka River Embankment in St Petersburg, Russia
Intersection of Sadovaya Ulitsa and the Fontanka River Embankment

Sadovaya Ulitsa has long been a center of the city trade. Gostiny Dvor is located here and so too are the Sea market, flour stalls, Apraxin yard, and Nikolsky Market. Some of them still perform their trading functions to this day. Especially popular is Sennaya Ploschad (Hay Market) which is called "the belly of Petersburg" as an analogy with the "belly of Paris" in France. In the 19th century, apartment houses were built and Sadovaya became a densely populated urban area. It is in these tenement houses near Sennaya Ploschad that heroes of the novels of Fyodor Dostoevsky lived. Other historical personalities who lived on Sadovaya include poets Mikhail Lermontov, Ivan Krylov, and Apollo Maikov; navigator Yuri Lisyanskii; historian Evgeny Tarle; composer Sergei Prokofiev; and statesman Dmitry Milutin.

The House of Municipal Agencies on Sadovaya Ulitsa in St Petersburg, Russia
The House of Municipal Agencies on Sadovaya Ulitsa

Among the notable monuments of the 19th century are Brig (guard house) (No. 37), Ordonansgauz (mandative house) (No. 3), the mansion of the Minister of War (No. 4), Rat'kova Rozhnova apartment house (No. 7), the Third Admiralteyskaya Department (number 58), the Fitinhof apartment house (No. 68), the Cadet Corps of Emperor Alexander II (No. 10), Yakovlevaya House (No. 5). Of particular interest are the Art Nouveau style buildings constructed at the turn of 19th-20th centuries: Alferov shop (No. 23), the Second Mutual Credit Society (No. 34), Kushelev House, Spehin trading house (43), House of City Agencies (No. 55 -57), Timofeev apartment house (No. 103). House No. 128 has an unusual form and is known as the "iron-house on Sadovaya." It was designed by the architect Vasily Schaub.

Architectural marvels of Sadovaya Ulitsa in St Petersburg, Russia
Architectural marvels of Sadovaya Ulitsa

Sadovaya Ulitsa has little luck with cathedrals. Both churches built here - the Assumption Church in Sennaya Ploschad and Intercession on Ploschad Turgeneva - were destroyed in the 20th century. The Soviet government also greatly altered Sennaya Ploschad. However, the historic buildings in general are well preserved on Sadovaya Ulitsa, so a walk down this street shows a taste of Petersburg the way it once was.

Bas-relief on Sadovaya Ulitsa in St Petersburg, Russia
Bas-relief on Sadovaya Ulitsa
Metro stations:Gostiny Dvor, Sadovaya / Sennaya Ploschad / Spasskaya
Directions:Exiting Gostiny Dvor, Sadovaya, or Sennaya Ploschad brings you directly onto the street.
Best walking route:Part of the street from the Summer Garden to the Yusupov garden (about 2 hours)
What's here? Mikhailovsky Castle, Vorontsov Palace, Yusupov Palace, The National Library, "The house with four colonnades", Ordonansgauz, Mansion of Ministry of War, Third Admiralteyskaya Department, Assignation Bank , Fitinhof Apartment Building, The Third Military School, Maly Gostiny Dvor, The Second Community of Mutual Credit, Home of city agencies, "Iron-House", Central Railway Museum, Guardhouse at Sennaya Ploschad, Gostiny Dvor, Apraxin yard, Nikolsky Market, 1st Sadovy Bridge, Staro-Nikolsky Bridge, Malo-Kalinkin Bridge
What's nearby? Summer Garden, Field of Mars, Mikhailovsky Garden, Sennaya Ploschad, Ploschad Turgeneva, Moyka River, Italianskaya Ulitsa, Nevsky Prospekt, Ulitsa Lomonosova, Gorokhovaya Ulitsa, Moskovsky Prospekt, Voznesensky Prospekt, Griboedov Canal, Kryukov Canal, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Fontanka River, The Russian Museum of Ethnography