The architecture of Saint Petersburg
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Lecture Highlights
Learn about the similarities between St. Petersburg and Rome;
Discover what is peculiar about the city center and what climate has to do with it;
See what the original design of the city looked like and what changes it has undergone since;
Understand what role arcs, arcades, colonnades and courtyards play in the face of the city;
Saint Saint Petersburg is a city that defies and overpowers nature itself. As the poet Pyotr A. Vyazemvsky put it in his 1818 poem Petersburg: “Art here waged war on nature.”

Saint Petersburg does not make room for frivolity. It is known for its rigid-looking buildings, a unified design of houses, the streets laid out almost in a grid. The wide Neva river here does not merge with the city landscape like the Seine in Paris, but divides it. Being the northernmost million-plus city, Saint Petersburg really is something else.

Petersburg was created by the will of one person as a challenge to Russian history, as a new capital, as an opposition to Moscow. This is why it has a unique plan and architecture. The image of Petersburg was predomonantly shaped by classicism, baroque and empire style, which was then followed by eclecticism, and then by art nouveau and modernism.

In this lecture, we will find out how the city developed and what defines its architectural characteristics. We will talk about different styles and, of course, about the city's main architects and their masterpieces.
Learn to distinguish between architectural styles.
Who is the lecturer?
I believe that art is extremely talkative, and it can be both quite noisy and very quiet and shy. But in any case, it always tends to tell us something. Art speaks to us with the help of line, color, composition, harmony ... or lack of them. And our goal is to hear and understand this message. This is what we will learn to do in our lectures.

It is important to teach you to establish your own dialogue with artworks. This dialogue can be very personal, and it’s wonderful, because in art we are partially looking for a reflection of ourselves.
Nelli Kundryukova
Art historian (St. Petersburg State University), PhD student in art history (Russian Institute of Art History)
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