Nevsky Prospekt (Nevsky Avenue)

Nevsky Prospekt (Nevsky Avenue)

In 2018 Nevsky Prospekt is celebrating its 300th anniversary: in 1718 the construction of the track linking the Admiralty shipyard and the Alexander Nevsky Lavra with the Novgorod road (present-day Ligovsky Prospekt (Avenue)) was finished. Two parts of the future road were constructed independently, and as a result there was a turn in the area of the present-day Vosstaniya Square. In the 1720s improvements were made into the appearance of the avenue: it was paved with stone, trees were planted along it, and its oil streetlamps became the first street lighting in Russia. The central thoroughfare of the Russian capital had several names: Perspektiva (prospect or avenue) to the Nevsky Monastery, Bolshaya Nevskaay Perspektiva, Nevskaya Perspektiva, etc. The name ‘Nevsky Prospekt’ after the Alexander Nevsky Lavra became official in 1781.

By the early 19th century the architectural appearance of Nevsky Prospekt had been completed: the Public Library, the City Duma, the Passage, along with the Kazan Cathedral, the Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace, and the Nikolayevsky (Nicholas) (Moskovsky) Railway Station were built there. In 1839 oil streetlamps were replaced with gas lighting, and later in 1883 with electric lighting. In 1863 the first horse-drawn trams appeared there, and the first tram services started in 1907. In 1918 Nevsky Prospekt was renamed 25th October Prospekt, however it was not long until the avenue was renamed back ‘Nevsky’ in 1944. After the flood of 1924 the wooden pavement of the avenue was replaced with an asphalt surface. The first traffic lights in the USSR were installed in 1930 at the intersection of 25th October Prospekt and Volodarsky Prospekt (Liteyny Prospekt), and in 1936 the first trolleybuses were put into service in the city. The first metro of the avenue – “Ploshchad Vosstaniya” was opened in 1955. “Nevsky Prospekt”, “Gostiny Dvor”, “Mayakovskaya” and “Ploshchad Alexandra Nevskogo” stations were built later.

The collection, timed to coincide with the 300th anniversary of Nevsky Prospekt (Nevsky Avenue), features the Law of October 2 (13), 1718 “On fees for the use of the newly built road leading to the Nevsky Monastery for the maintenance of that road ...” - one of the first written records of the thoroughfare; publications, archival papers and maps, which cast light on the history of the building along Nevsky Prospekt and improvements made  in the 18th – 20th centuries; postcards and photographs, which show the sights of the avenue, and revolutionary events it witnessed in 1917.

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