Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor

Mall in Historic Heart

Image by Ksenia Elzes Lonely Planet

One of the world’s first indoor shopping malls, the ‘Big Merchant Yard’ dates from between 1757 and 1785 and stretches 230m along Nevsky pr (its perimeter is more than 1km long). This Rastrelli creation is not as elaborate as some of his other work, finished as it was by Vallin de la Mothe in a more sober neoclassical style.

At its height at the turn of the 20th century, Gostiny Dvor contained over 170 shops. Today, although it has been overtaken by other more luxurious and more modern shopping complexes, it remains a major landmark on Nevsky.