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The set of buildings housing one of the oldest schools of Russia occupies a city quarter. The Naval Corps starts its history from the famous School of Mathematical and Navigation Sciences set up by Peter I in 1701. In fact, the School opened far away from the sea – in the Sukharev Tower, as Russia at that time had access neither to the Baltic sea, nor the Black sea. However, Tsar Peter I was sure that it would have.
In 1715, the navigation classes moved to St.Petersburg and were the basis for the Naval Academy. Senior students were awarded the military rank “guard marin”, which preceded the lowest officer rank – midshipman. Later the Naval Academy was transformed into the Naval Corps, and after the Revolution – in the Higher Naval College named after Frunze. In 2001, it was renamed again in the Naval Corps after Peter the Great.
List of graduates from the Naval Corps may be the subject of envy of any maritime power. Famous Russian naval commanders such as Ushakov, Nakhimov, globally acknowledged mariners and scientists: Krusenstern, Nevelskoy, discoverers of Antarctica Lazarev and Bellingshausen, admiral Kolchak, who fighted against Bolsheviks, the designer of the first Russian airplane Mozhaisky, the composer Rimsky-Korsakov and other celebrities.
During the World War II, more than a half of naval officers in service graduated from this renowned naval school. More than sixty of them were awarded by the Title of the Hero of the Soviet Union, which was the highest rank of the former USSR
This light-yellow three-storey building with the Ionic portico and the mast above the central tower houses the Naval Corps of Peter the Great.
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.