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This corner house with the Doric portico entrance is distinctive for its many bronze memorial plates with the names of academicians who lived there. That is why people call it the House of Academicians.
The House of Academicians was built at the expense of the Academy of Sciences in the mid-18thC. It had the printing workshop, anatomy theatre, and apartments for professors of the Academy. Ivan Kulibin, a self-taught inventor, was one of the first lodgers of the House. He moved in when Catherine the Great made him the Supervisor of the mechanical workshop of St.Petersburg’s Academy of Sciences. The Tsarina had been greatly impressed by Kulibin’s present, a lovely clock sized less than the goose egg. The clock could play several melodies and had the inbuilt toy theater. The theater figures were geared by tiny mechanism inside the clock.
At the end of the 18thC, the wings were attached to the House and from that time it had only apartments for academicians. During the period if its existence, more than 80 academicians were lodged in it. The history of the Russian science can be traced from 29 memorial plates fixed on the House
For a long time, from 1918 to 1936, Ivan Pavlov, a physiologist and the first Russian Noble prize awardee occupied apartment number 11. Today, there is Pavlov’s memorial museum in it. In the study room of the famous scientist you will see a big writing desk with an old-fashioned lamp and photos of Pavlov’s friends and relatives on it. Paintings bought by Pavlov hang on the walls and the oak bookcases store books from Pavlov’s library and his collections of butterflies and beetles
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.