The Spit of Basil's Island
  • 18 stops
  • 2 hours
  • 1.6 km
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From the very outset St Peterburg was conceived as a magnificent city – able to impress even the most jaded of travelers in Europe. By the mid-C19th the city's principle public areas and civic architecture had been laid-out to accomplish this task with aplomb. One of the most important of these showpieces was the bluff – or 'Spit' of St Basil's Island, as it's usually called. This impressive panorama quickly became an iconic symbol of St Petersburg. In Russian it's called the strelka, or 'arrowhead' – an appropriate name for the place where the sharp promontory of St Basil's Island divides the flow of the Neva River into two waterways – the Great Neva, and the Little Neva. St Basil's Island is called Vassilievsky Ostrov in Russian, and you may sometimes find its name in a semi-translated form such as 'Vassilievsky Island'.
The Spit of St Basil's Island is not only one of St Petersburg's most impressive views, and a favourite spot among locals for a stroll – it's also a focal point of many city museums and scientific institutions.
Join us for a walk around the Spit of St Basil's Island! We'll unveil the history behind the buildings we find here, and find out about the role this part of the city has played at different times in the past. There are fascinating details of the Spit's part in the life of the city – such as founding of the Stock Exchange here more than two centuries ago... why the Stock Exchange building is designed like some ancient temple... who the actual Guests were in the Guest's Courtyard... and much more!