The banks of Neva-river, buildings’ maze…
From sun to sun, we wish to wander here…
The Peter’s potentate and splendid place
Arose, to be enthroned everywhere…

History of Petrogradskaya Side

Rich history of Petrogradskaya Side is inseparable from the history of Saint Petersburg, since it is here that the city was founded to become the capital of Russia for many years to come.

Traditionally, Petrogradskaya Side (in the 18th century – Gorodovaya Side, Gorodskaya Side, and until 1914 – Peterburgskaya Side) includes a group of islands, with the largest one bearing the name of Petrogradsky (formerly, Peterburgsky). This is the oldest historic district of the city founded by Peter the First in 1703 by laying the Peter-and-Paul Fortress, then called Sankt-Peters-Burch, on the Jänissaari (Zayachy (Hare)) Island.

It is Petrogradsky Island that accommodated the first buildings of the city, which are the Peter’s wooden house, the first mint, the Senate house, and the customs; diplomatic missions of European countries and administrative offices are opening here. The Trinity Cathedral erected on the first square of the city became the main cathedral church of the capital. The city center was initially established just beside of the fortress.

However, for a long period afterwards, the island district was cut off from the “Mainland” by the absence of bridges or ferries; it was green and clean there. Aristocrats, political barons, and bank owners took pleasure in erecting their residences on the Peterburgskaya Side.

Following the emergence of bridges in the late 19th century, most intensive construction projects were concentrated on the Peterburgskaya Side. Within a decade, its architectural appearance changed completely: one-floor small wooden houses were replaced by magnificent quarters of high-rise tenement buildings, and significant public institutions. Masters of “frozen music” such as F. Lidval, E. Virrich, V. Shaub, L. Benois, A. Ackerman, D. Kryzhanovsky, A. Belogrud, and many others could show their creative abilities in this place. At that particular time, scientific and creative elite began concentrate in this part of the city.

Petrogradskaya Side or Petrogradka, as the local residents call it, is a completely unique part of the city to love and be proud of.

In addition to the beautiful architecture of the streets and charm of the small yards, there you will find all necessary things for convenient everyday life, work, and leisure time, including a variety of shops, exquisite restaurants, shopping centers, small cozy coffee-houses; theater and sports life of the city is pulsing through this quarter as well.

Bolshaya Zelenina street

The name of the Street “Zeleinaya” originated from an Old Russian word “zelie” (“potion”), which meant “powder”, since in 1710, in this part of the island, where the Karpovka river meets the Malaya Nevka, and an entrance to the Big Krestovsky Bridge is situated, Peter the First ordered to found and build the first in the city state-owned Powder (“zeleiny”) Plant, and here Zeleinaya Sloboda was settled.

Peter the Great personally chose the place for construction in the mouth of the Karpovka “for military event and best way”.

The place was chosen not accidentally. The Plant was situated not far from the Peter-and-Paul Fortress, which allowed for expeditious and convenient supply of the fortifications and close garrisons with powder.

There was laid Zeleinaya Road from the Crownwork of the Peter-and-Paul Fortress to the Powder Plant, to deliver the powder to the artillery fortifications of the fortress.

The north section of the Road formed the today’s Bolshaya Zelenina Street. However, initially, it had no name, and it was only in 1738 that it became Koltovskaya Street after the Koltovsky regiment barracks safeguarding the Plant.

There is a point of history that the first master invited from Holland died all of a sudden, leaving secrets of power production to nobody except his wife. Therefore, the master’s widow, Elena (Valentina) de Vaal was admitted to the service to teach powder production to the apprentices, and she managed the Plant for some time.

Shortly after the closure of the Powder Plant, the Emperor Paul I presented the land to the court wardrobe master I.F. Gesler, and the latter built up the district with summer houses.

It is interesting to note the history of how the Street changed its names. From 1777, the Street was called Zeleinaya, from 1798 – Bolshaya Zeleinaya. The Street map of 1828 calls it the “First Bolshaya Zeleinaya Street”. By the middle of the 19th century, the word “zelie” in the sense of “powder” had been forgotten. The Street turned from Bolshaya Zeleinaya into Bolshaya Zelenaya, and in 1849, it was renamed Bolshaya Zelenina, which became an official name displayed on the city maps.

The name “Zelenina” was also associated with plants. The locals believed that the Street ought its name to a small green wood.

Starting from 1861, the Street was built up with stone buildings. In the early 20th century, construction developed. Many of the houses existing now are the architectural monuments built before 1917. Of these, the former tenement house owed by Duke N.N. Leichtenbergsky (No. 28), and house owed by A.Yu. Keibel (No. 33) can be distinguished

Some philologists believe that the first two acts of the Blok’s drama “The Stranger” took place at the tavern on Bolshaya Zelenina Street and near the Krestovsky Bridge. The poet was fond of wandering along these streets, which were well-known to him.

The names of famous people such as admiral A.V. Kolchak, academic Yu. A. Shimansly, artist B.M. Kustodiev, academic V.G. Khlopin, writer M.M. Zoshchenko, and others are closely tied with the history of Bolshaya Zelenina Street…