St Petersburg

The gilded spire of the Admiralty is a prime St Petersburg landmark, visible from Gorokhovaya ul, Voznesensky pr and Nevsky pr, as all of these roads radiate outwards from this central point. From 1711 to 1917, this spot was the headquarters of the Russian navy; now it houses the country’s largest military naval college and is closed to the public.

The building itself was reconstructed between 1806 and 1823 to the designs of Andreyan Zakharov. With its rows of white columns and its plentiful reliefs and statuary, it is a foremost example of the Russian Empire style. Get a close look at the globe-toting nymphs flanking the main gate. Despite the spire’s solid-gold appearance, it’s actually made from wood and was almost rotted through before restoration efforts began in 1996.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby St Petersburg attractions

2. Alexander Garden

0.13 MILES

Laid out from 1872 to 1874, these pleasant gardens, named after Alexander II, wrap around the Admiralty and are mentioned in Pushkin's famous verse novel…

3. Senate Square


Centred on the famed statue of the Bronze Horseman, this square is listed on city maps as Senatskaya ploshchad (Senate Sq). Its dominant feature is the…

4. Bronze Horseman

0.22 MILES

The most famous statue of Peter the Great was immortalised as the Bronze Horseman in the epic poem by Alexander Pushkin. With his horse (representing…

5. Dvortsovy Most

0.23 MILES

This major draw bridge, connecting Palace Sq to Vasilyevsky Island, was completed in 1916. The embankment near here is one of the most popular spots to…

6. Treasure Gallery

0.24 MILES

For lovers of things that glitter and the applied arts, the Hermitage's Treasure Gallery should not be missed. Its two special collections, guarded behind…

7. Palace Square

0.25 MILES

This vast expanse is simply one of the most striking squares in the world, still redolent of imperial grandeur almost a century after the end of the…

8. Petrovskaya Akvatoria

0.25 MILES

For an idealised view of what parts of St Petersburg looked like back in the early 18th century, this interactive model village is a small revelation. The…