The Building and Architecture of St. Petersburg Laura Hill Hist 142 Fall 2009
In 1703, Peter the Great began the construction of the city of St. Petersburg.Peter’s desire to build a new capital city stems from his dislike of the former capital of Moscow. Peter wants to make Russia more European, so he hires European architects and models his city after European cities. He encourages the building of houses, government buildings, and even a museum. In 1710, the government begins to function from St. Petersburg, and by 1713, Peter has successfully moved the Senate to St. Petersburg.
Location Peter the Great adores the sea, so it is easy to understand why he built his city so close to the water. He wanted travel by water to be an important aspect of everyday life.
Architecture The buildings in St. Petersburg were built to compliment each other, rather than to stand in isolation. They are remarkable because of their dimensions; they are huge buildings. Pictured above is a sketch of the First Winter Palace, designed by architect Rastrelli.
Twelve Colleges The Twelve Colleges were created in 1717, and pictured above is the administrative complex that the kollegiafunctioned out of. The buildings of the Twelve Colleges are very uniform and this uniformity creates the impression that the buildings are functioning together.
Menshikov Palace When Peter the Great ordered the nobles to build a home in St. Petersburg, the Menshikovs were one of the first to comply. The Menshikov Palace is seen as the grandest palace in St. Petersburg.
Kunstkamera Museum Peter is interested in the sciences, so he opens the Kunstkamera museum, which is a museum of curiosities. He wants the citizens of St. Petersburg to learn and experience new things.
Summer Palace The Summer Gardens are situated near the Summer Palace. When constructing the city, Peter the Great wanted a city with beautiful gardens and waterways; he wanted a place for people to relax and enjoy a sense of community.
Houses Peter the Great requested for architect Trezzini to create houses in a variety of sizes that complimented one another. Pictured above are example blueprints of the houses created by Trezzini.
While the building of St. Petersburg was largely due to peasant labor, and cost many peasants their lives, the city remained the capital of Russia until 1918. The buildings of Russia are extremely remarkable in their style and dimension. The houses built in St. Petersburg during the 18th century are an excellent example of some of the first standardized housing developments. Ultimately, Peter’s contribution of the city of St. Petersburg created a cultural and artistic center for Russia.