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The odd-numbered side of the Nevsky prospect has two identical houses here, No.77 & No.79. They have something of the appearance of gate, beyond which Pushkinskaya street leads away in a perpendicular direction. The main part of the building features a bay window, supported by somewhat flirtatious caryatids. The oblique angles of the building also have bay windows, similarly with caryatids.
Architect and nobleman Count Pavel Syuzor built two houses for the Maltsev merchant family. At the turn of the C20th nearly 10% of St.Petersburg's population were involved in trade – a merchant culture evolved with a highly cultured & traditional way of life. The Maltsev family were exactly such a merchant family. Prior to the Revolution there were Russian Baths renting space at №77. Even though the Baths were owned by Pimenov, he named his baths after the landlord – The Maltsev Baths. The baths were also designed by Syuzor and laid out in the plans – at the time Syuzor was considered the top designer for Russian Bath projects.
It's worth mentioning that Russian Baths were an essential element of city life of the time. Many of them rivaled palaces for their design and decoration. These baths had marble pools and fountains, along with a great number of sculptural works. Artesian wells supplied the water in the pool, and the stoves used for heating were fired with special smokeless coal. Special bricks were cast to line the walls, so that they would not absorb moisture. Portland cement was specially imported for forming the arches, due to its remarkable property of becoming harder when exposed to moisture.
The Maltsev Russian Baths were the best-known in St.Petersburg. Each of their 15 family rooms were equipped with outstandingly luxurious furnishings, and met the maxim coined by bathhouse staff - “Magnificent – decorative – hygienic – and clean!”
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.