Vasilievsky Island in St. Petersburg

Initially, Vasilievsky Island was designed as the centre of St. Petersburg, within which all the most important state facilities would be located. However, it quickly became clear that the wrong place was chosen.  

However, according to its original purpose, Vasilievsky Island was still partially used. The building of the Twelve Colleges is located on Vasilyevsky Island, where the Senate and, in fact, the collegiums were located at the beginning of the 18th century.

The building of the Twelve Colleges faces the University Embankment with its end, while all the neighbouring buildings are directly facing it. The reason for this was, according to legend, was the greed of Alexander Menshikov, who was entrusted with the construction of the building. Peter I thoughtlessly promised to give his favourite the remaining free part of the site for the construction of his own mansion. And he, of course, ordered the building of the Twelve Colleges to be arranged so that it took up as little space as possible. In fact, Menshikov’s selfish plans were quickly disclosed, and he received much less than he expected.

It is worth reading Leskov’s novel “The Islanders,” in which the everyday life of the islanders, including the Russian Germans brought here by Peter and lived on the island for several centuries, is also affected.

Ru-Main, 21.12.2019

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