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The four-storey building on the odd-numbered side of the street is Alexandrovsky's Mansion Apartments. The building is liberally decorated with stucco-work and features a central balcony supported by figures of mythical atlantes on their shoulders.
Look up, and you see a twin cartouche enclosing the shape of a shield-shaped coat of arms – directly above the fourth-floor windows. In fact the crest lacks any heraldic symbol, but there's something discernible in the lower half – but it's nothing you will find in the Heraldic Tables of Russia's noble families. In fact it's a crest which the owner of the building dreamed up for himself – something which isn't at all uncommon in Russia. Alexandrovsky was an imaginative inventor, and he invented the first working submarines in Russia – with engines that run off compressed air. It's entirely possible that the image in the bottom half of those coats of arms might be Alexandrovsky's submarine? Or to be exactly, a cross-section drawing of one?
Alexandrovsky's submarine passed its initial sea trials. However, when submerged to a depth of 30 metres, the hull caved in, and it sank. Fortunately no crew were on board during the test.
Another of Alexandrovsky's inventions was the self-propelled torpedo – but sadly it met a very similar fate as his submarine. He patented his torpedo before Whitehead's self-propelling torpedo – but it proved incapable of correct launch. Instead of Alexandrovsky's, the Russian Admiralty adopted the Whitehead Torpedo.
St. Petersburg is known as Russian cultural capital. It is also called “Northern Palmira” or “Northern Venice” as it was founded on islands in the delta of the Neva River and has a lot of architectural masterpieces.
Nevsky Prospect is the main avenue and one of the best-known streets in Russia. It is a real treasury of Russian culture. The street was planned by Peter the Great as beginning of the road to Novgorod and Moscow. It goes through the historical center of the city, firstly - from the Admiralty to the Moscow Railway Station and then, after making a turn at Vosstaniya Square, to the Alexander Nevsky Lavra.
Life on Nevsky Prospect has always been the object of attention of writers. For example, it was described by Nikolai Gogol in his story "Nevsky Prospect". Fyodor Dostoevsky often employed the Prospect as a setting within his works, such as Crime and Punishment and The Double: A Petersburg Poem.
It is best to start your walk from famous Palace Square where you can visit one of the most prominent world museums – the Hermitage. In the center of the square you will see the Alexander Column, a very popular among tourists place. With Your Audio Guide you will listen to the history of the square and all its attractions (The New Hermitage, The Winter Palace, the Alexander Column and The General Staff Building).
During the tour you will walk through the Alexander Gardens, past the Admiralty, see a lot of historical houses – real architectural “pearls” - Wawelberg's Mansion Apartments, The Sivers-Treiberg House, The Chaplin Brothers House, Chicherin's House, etc. The chief sights of the Prospect include palaces, churches and cathedrals, shopping centers and department stores. Among palaces are the Rastrelliesque Stroganov Palace, the Anichkov Palace, The Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace, Grand-Princess Yusopova's Residence and the Mikhailovsky, or Michael Palace.
Nevsky Prospect deserves the name "the street of religious tolerance". Religious buildings are presented by the huge neoclassical Kazan Cathedral, the picturesque Russian-style Cathedral of Our Savior on Spilt Blood – a place where terrorists exploded the Emperor Alexander II, the Alexander Nevsky Lavra, St.Catherine's Cathedral - the oldest Catholic Church in Russia, and The Armenian Church.
Nevsky Prospect is also the city’s central shopping street and the hub of the city’s entertainment and nightlife. For that You can visit the Art Nouveau Bookhouse,Elisseeff Emporium, half a dozen 18th-century churches, , an enormous 18th-century shopping mall “Gostinny Dvor”, a mid-19th-century department store “The Passage” and The Alexandrinsky Theatre, in the yard of which a monument to Catherine the Great is standing.
Your audio guide is glad to present you a wide audio tour of the Nevsky Prospeсt with map and descriptions. With this map, you will never get lost and you will always know what surprise awaits you ahead.