The Gostiny Dvor
00:04:34

The Gostiny Dvor is not only the city's oldest shopping centre, but also one of the first shopping arcades in the world. Sprawling at the intersection of Nevsky prospekt and Sadovaya street for over one kilometer and embracing the area of 53,000 m2 (570,000 sq ft), the indoor complex of more than 100 shops took twenty-eight years to construct. Building works commenced in 1757 to an elaborate design by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, but that subsequently was discarded in favour of a less expensive and more functional Neoclassical design submitted by Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe (1729–1800).