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Look at that two-storey house with mezzanine of red-brick color at the corner
From the time of its constructio in the early C18th, it had several owners who changed each other, and finally it was used as a commercial apartment building. In 1836, Sergey Dargomyzhsky, a high-ranked bank officer moved in together with his son Alexander, who then became a famous composer.
At the end of the С19th, the restaurant “Bernard”, popular among inhabitants of Vasilievsky Island was opened in the house. Arhip Kuindje, Nilokai Rerikh, and other artists studying at the Academy of Fine Arts located nearby were among frequenters of the restaurant. One of them, Arkady Rylov, recalled, “This cheap smoke-filled German restaurant gathered St.Petersburg’s Germans who loved sitting there with jugs of beer, as well as captains and skippers of foreign boats during the navigation. We, artists, often popped in here to have a snack, some beer and a game of billiards.”
Vasilievsky Island is a historical district in St. Petersburg, located in the delta of the Neva River. It is bordered by the Bolshaya Neva and Malaya Neva Rivers in the south and northeast, and by the Gulf of Finland in the west. Two of the most famous St. Petersburg bridges, Palace Bridge and Blagoveshchensky Bridge, connect it with the mainland to the south. Exchange Bridge and Tuchkov Bridge across the Malaya Neva connect it with Petrogradsky Island.
In 1715-25 Peter the Great planned this island to become a city center but those plans were not destined to be fulfilled. There are lots of legends connected with Vasilievsky Island and its buildings. For example, the name of the island Vasilievsky people usually associate with a certain man called Vassily or Basil. The legend says that was the name of one Peter’s foremost gunner officers and military engineers, Vassily Korchmin, who had his artillery battery to ward off the Swedish navy at the spit of the island and got the tsar's letters addressed "To Vassily in the Island".
During the tour you will hear some legends of the island and see all its landmarks. It is better to start the tour from the easternmost tip of the island, called Strelka (or the Spit, literally Arrow) which features a number of museums, including the Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange as well as two Rostral columns. The Spit is a place popular for wedding processions and tourists. Nice postcard views on the city are open from here.
The edifices lining the Universitetskaya Embankment along the Bolshaya Neva include the Kunstkamera, The Palace of Peter II, the Twelve Colleges Building, the Menshikov Palace, the Imperial Academy of Sciences, and St. Andrew's Cathedral – all dating from the 18th century.
Museums, State University and the Imperial Academy of Sciences with library tell us the island has been for the recent centuries home to academic life. There is even the House of Academicians.
The island is a very romantic place with many cafes and restaurants, and panoramic views from the embankments. Just download the application “Your Audio Guide” (free) and the excursion. And walk as much as you want. Enjoy the unforgettable views of the northern capital.