Art nuveau in the heart of Saint-Petersburg

Art nuveau in the heart of Saint-Petersburg

19.01.2016
Saint-Petersburg

The jewel of Nevsky prospect, Singer house is a true masterpiece of architecture in modern style which guards the center of Saint-Petersburg.


Six-floor building with a remarkable mansard in modern style was built in 1904 for stock company Singer in Russia. In the beginning of the project the architect Pavel Suzor planned to build a skyscraper close to New-York ones, but this idea was abandoned due to city restrictions: the height of the building cannot be more than 24 meters.


Almost every tour around the city includes sightseeing of this building in program. For example, you can walk past it during the panoramic city tour or explore the bookstore inside of it during a day.


History of a place


There was a building even before the modern masterpiece every citizen of Saint-Petersburg knows. In 1737 there was a small theatre on the same place. On the stone foundation the wooden walls stayed. Due to its wooden structure the building didn’t live long: after 12 years it was gone in fire.


Afterwards the history of place became even more interesting. In three-floor building built instead of a theatre the confessor of the Russian Empress Catherine the Second lived. Later on the building was given to apothecary who invented the legendary Imzensky chocolate which supposed to cure every disease.


In the late XIX century the house was rented by several companies at once: a bookstore, a music shop, a photo atelier and a small newspaper. Only in the beginning of XX century it was bought by Singer company and the modern history of the place began.


New and fabulous


The design of Singer house was a true novelty of its times. It was a first building in the city with metal carcass which opened the opportunity to install huge shop-windows. Moreover, there were no gutters visible; all pipes were cleverly hidden inside the walls.


When the communist era began Singer wasn’t able to stay in Russia, but the building remained at the same place. From the 1922 there was open a main bookstore of the city and since every local will tell you that this bookstore is the biggest and richest with books collections in the city.  Even during the World War 2 this shop was selling books to teach people the kindness and wisdom.


For now you can explore the shop and also enjoy the beautiful structure of the building. We highly recommend to walk by at night to see the mansard being beautifully illuminated by colored lights. You can also combine visit to this marvelous place with other points of interest on Nevsky prospect.


                             

 

Art nuveau in the heart of Saint-Petersburg
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