English Embankment

The English Embankment in St. Petersburg is located on the left bank of the Neva River, between Senate Square and the Novo Admiralty canal. In the past, the walk of the English had a large number of titles: in total, this route had about 22 names at different times. In the early 18th century it was called the Minor Street Facing the Shore of the Sea, and a little later, the Promenade of St. Isaac’s Galley. In the 1770’s, it became the English embankment, from 1918 to 1994 it was called the Quay Red Fleet. Then, after the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, the old name was returned to the street.

The first house on the English embankment was built in 1710 by Aleksandrom Menshikov. At that time, he supervised the construction of the shipyard. Pedro I planned to use the land exclusively for industrial purposes, but Menshikov allowed to build a house in the place. The first english embankment was unpresentable in the area, there were only small buildings of the poor workers. But after 1714 everything changed, Peter began to distribute these lands to the rich and influential people. But with some conditions: the architecture of the buildings had to meet certain requirements, and the owners of the houses were at their own expense to organize the land well. The king personally followed the progress of the building, and everything he did not like (for example, wooden houses), were demolished. Of course, all this is done for a later reason: The english embankment played the role of a city business card. It is the backbone where the alien ships were first seen, sailing to St. Petersburg.

In 1735 Russia and Great Britain signed an agreement whereby the houses of English merchants in our country were exempt from taxes. The enterprising St. Petersburg immediately began selling its properties to foreigners. Little by little, the street became a real mini-England. On this occasion, they even had to rebuild house number 56 to be the Anglican Church of Jesus Christ. Then came the English club and theater.

As early as the 18th century, the english embankment was very beautiful, so a large number of artists captured it in their canvases. The fact was that the embankment is completely near the Neva river, and from the opposite bank it offers a very beautiful panorama.

The locals are very dear in this street, in vogue by the embankment. In the early 19th century, Alexander Sergeyevich of Pushkin was known. The poet was in a building of the College of Foreign Affairs, facing the sea, and often came to visit the families of Osterman-Tolstoi, Laval and Vsevolozhsk. Some time later, the British were disappearing due to the establishment of the houses of the wealthy in St. Petersburg.

During the construction of the english embankment an interesting detail was used “A Continuing Facade”. Between the buildings of this street there are holes.

Many houses in the english embankment have a historical and cultural value. For example, House No. 44 belonged to Foreign Minister Nikolai Rumyantsev, the son of the famous general. Rumyantsev was not only a brilliant diplomat, he was also a collector. He collected everything that was connected in some way with Russian history, life and culture of Russian people in manuscripts, books, relics. All this was presented in his museum, which anyone can visit. Later, his huge library and museum were moved to Moscow and became the base of the State of Lenin “The Russian Library” and the Museum of Fine Arts of Pushkin.

House No. 4 was where the Countess of Laval lived, famous for its literary hall, in which the frequent guests were Krylov, Pushkin, Zhukovsky, Lermontov. House No. 14 belonged to Naryshkin, and was known for its lush balls with a variety of guests. There is a version of Tolstoy in his work “War and Peace”, in which he describes the first ball of Natashi Rostovoy, referred to the Camera or the house number 10, property of Osterman-Tolstoi. House number 32 was the College of Foreign Affairs, where Griboyédov, Fonvizin, Tiutchev and Pushkin and later Kiichelbecker performed their activities. It is the english embankment in 1917, the cruise “Aurora” made its historic shot that later became the signal of assault in the Winter Palace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *