The English Embankment

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mong all the beautiful and remarkable embankments in the city no other is regarded as a “grand embankment” in St. Petersburg. It was the very first embankment that was seen by foreign ships when they entered the Neva River. It was meant to be their first impression of St. Petersburg. Although they transferred port activities to another location, the enormous ocean cruise liners keep berthing at the embankment. Today the ships stop at the end of the embankment, before the Annunciation Bridge.

The first building that emerged at the embankment in 1716 was the house of a shipwright Ivan Nimtsov.
By the late 1730s the embankment was completely developed. Interestingly, there were no gaps between the buildings. They didn’t even have gates which were a traditional feature of estates in the 18th-19th centuries. The entrance to the courtyard was made from the “back” Galernaya Street, where horse stables, barns and other working spaces were situated.
The embankment started to look especially solemn after it had been covered with granite in the second half of the 18th century.

At first, the embankment was called the “English line” in 1777 due to the fact that most of its residents were English merchants. By that time an English theatre had been built at the Galernaya Street nearby and the English Club had been opened. The English Embankment got its official name in 1809. The English Embassy and church were situated in house No.56 at the Embankment. Almost every building at the English Embankment is an architectural monument and is connected to the names of prominent personalities of art and culture as well as eminent statesmen. For instance, building No.4 is the Laval estate that was erected as the project of the architect Andrey Voronihin. The Laval estate went down in the history of Petersburg’s social and cultural life in 1820s: the estate’s literary salon was visited by A. Pushkin, I. Krylov, V. Zhukovsky and M. Lermontov. Pushkin used to read his “Boris Godunov” in this building. The Rumyantsevsky Museum was opened in building No.44 which was willed to Petersburg by the Chancellor and the Minister of Trade Nikolay Rumyantsev together with the richest collection of the house.

The English Embankment was renamed to the Embankment of the Red Fleet in October 1918 following the Bolshevik Revolution and the beginning of the Soviet Union. The historical name was returned to the embankment on the 8th of September 1994 when the English Queen Elizabeth paid a visit to St. Petersburg. Tour to st Petersburg