Ostrovsky Square, St. Petersburg

Ostrovsky Square, St. Petersburg

Situated at the heart of a grand architectural ensemble – linking Nevsky Prospekt to the Fontanka Embankment and embracing the Catherine Gardens, the Alexandrinsky Theatre, Architect Rossi Street (Russian: Ulitsa Zodchego Rossi) and Lomonosov Square (Ploshchad Lomonosova) – is Ostrovsky Square (Ploshchad Ostrovskogo), a beautiful creation by Italian architect Carlo Rossi. Although the elaborate plan of Rossi to produce a large urban district between Anichkov Palace and the Imperial Public Library (now the Russian National Library) was never fully realized, the area still turned out to be remarkably interesting, architecture-wise.

Originally, the square was named after the Alexandrinskiy Theater, whose neoclassical building, completed in 1832 with the Alexandrinsky Garden laid out in front, is its focal point. In 1923, the square was renamed Ploshchad Ostrovskogo in honor of the 19th-century Russian playwright Alexander Ostrovsky.

Another local landmark is the magnificent monument of Catherine the Great, unveiled in 1873, surrounded on both sides with the statues of her confidants and prominent public figures of her reign, such as Alexander Suvorov, Gavrila Derzhavin, Yekaterina Dashkova, Peter Rumyantsev, Ivan Betsky, Alexei Orlov, and Grigory Potemkin.

Also worth the mention is Architect Rossi Street, famous for its "golden ratio" proportions: 220 meters in length, and 22 meters in both width and height. It is the only street in St. Petersburg where only two buildings are located. One of them now houses the Theatre Museum and the famous Vaganova Ballet School.

A rare treat is to see Ostrovsky Square’s lights and decorations at night during New Year’s Eve. The annual 25-day Christmas Market, where vendors from around the world offer their wares and cuisine, is also a unique and recommended experience.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in St. Petersburg. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Ostrovsky Square on Map

Sight Name: Ostrovsky Square
Sight Location: St. Petersburg, Russia (See walking tours in St. Petersburg)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in St. Petersburg, Russia

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles

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