Moika Embankment

Fit for a peaceful walk or a boat cruise

It’s not hard to see why St. Petersburg was often called the “Venice of the North” when you look at its meandering canals and numerous bridges, in particular the Moika as it cuts through the heart of the city.

Stretching for 4.5km and sporting 14 bridges it’s easy to begin anywhere, but a prime starting point would be New Holland Island heading east. The first of many bridges you come across is the Potseluev, an iron bridge built in the early 1800s along with three others. The huge St. Isaac’s Cathedral can be seen north-east from here, while in the centre the out-of-place Soviet-era building Communications Workers’ House of Culture stands.

Up ahead is one of the city’s first chain bridges; the small, pedestrian Post Bridge. Up ahead are some fine 18th and early 19th century houses, just after you pass St. Isaac’s Square, making up the Herzen Pedagogical University. A nice place to to take a break and relax is the courtyard of the Razumovsky Palace.

As you head upriver you will pass the Strogonov Palace, just by the Green Bridge, before reaching the back of the General Staff Building. From here look for the famous State Academic Capella within a large courtyard to the north, the Glinka Choir give regular performances throughout the year.

It’s here that some of the best views of the Moika river can be experienced with Palace Square partially visible, the striking Singer’s Bridge and the much smaller Winter Canal near the Hermitage.

Further ahead is the Alexander Pushkin Museum, a must for fans of classical Russian literature. Here the great poet died from his wounds suffered in a duel. His apartment consists of nine rooms, including his study, that can be toured with his treasured items on display. Luckily there’s an audioguide in English that explains in detail each of the rooms and the significance of the items. Other rooms trace Pushkin’s life and literature, along with portraits and paintings of the places he travelled to within the Russian Empire.

Following the curve of the river are two opposing, eye-catching buildings, the Imperial Stables and Adamani House. The Adamani House is now a music cafe, honoring its artistic past as an experimental art bureau and a bohemian club.

The eastern part of the embankment has nice views of it’s last three bridges. Where the Moika joins the Fontanka stands the Engineers’ Castle nearby, as is well worth a look for those interested in a very medieval-like experience. From here onwards lie three of the city’s large parks; the Summer Garden, Michael’s Garden and the Field of Mars.

Travel to st Petersburg