Theater district

The excursion route will provide an opportunity for townsmen and guests of the Northern Capital to go on an exciting journey through the theater district. Its length is only 800 meters and it lasts for one hour. This trip promises to give a complete picture of the theatrical life of the Northern Capital.

“Theater quarter” is a new direction of cultural and educational tourism, which will be very popular not only among the guests, but also among the residents of our city. The route is filled with memorable places associated with famous historical events and personalities. It is important that any guest and resident of the northern capital can enjoy the objects of the route from different points of view: creative, educational and historical. Synthesis of culture and tourism is another example of familiarity with the history of the city.

Along the route you can see Alexandrinsky Theater, Museum of Theater and Musical Art, Theater Library, Vaganova Ballet Academy. All objects fit perfectly into the context of old St. Petersburg and are within walking distance from each other. In fact, this is one quarter bounded by Ostrovsky Square, Rossi Street (Zodchego Rossi street / Architect Rossi street / Rossi street), Lomonosov Square and the Fontanka River.

  • libraries 1 ,
  • museums 1 ,
  • squares 1 ,
  • streets 1 ,
  • theaters 2 ,
  • points of interest 2
0 km, 834 m
Alexandrinsky Theatre

Alexandrinsky Theatre

Saint Petersburg, Ploschad Ostrovskogo, 6

For two and a half centuries, the Theatre Library has remained faithful to its purpose of supporting the domestic theatre. Many generations of readers and employees have invested knowledge, work and love in its creation and development. St. Petersburg State Theater Library is one of the oldest depositories in Russia. The date of its foundation is August 30, 1756 when Empress Elizabeth established the first professional Russian theater. Originating as a repertory library of the Russian theater troupe, Theater Library was later transformed into the Central Library of the Directorate of Imperial Theaters. For more than two hundred years the library has collected and carefully stored everything that is related to the national theater. Today the library fund includes a huge number of exhibits. It consists of valuable manuscripts and rare theatrical publications, documentary and creative archives of theater-goers, programmes and posters of performances, photographs, sketches of stage costumes and scenery. The whole history of the Russian and Soviet theater fits in the halls of the Theater Library. It is very important that the collection is replenished continuously.

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Museum of Theatre and Music

Museum of Theatre and Music

St. Petersburg, Ostrovskogo sq., 6

The first name of the Architect Rossi Street was Teatralnaya (“Theatre”) street.


It was designed by the architect Karl Rossi in the 1820s when redevelopment of the entire space around the Anichkov Palace took place. The creation of the architectural ensemble of this street began in 1828 when the relevant project was approved by Emperor Nicholas I. The construction of houses and their exterior design was followed by the assistant of Rossi, architect V. Glinka.


Houses №2-4 were intended for the Department of Provinces of the Ministry of the Imperial Court. In houses No. 1-5 it was planned to place the Office of Military Schools. But the house was given to the Ministry of Public Education and the Internal Affairs. On the first floor of the buildings Rossi designed open arcades for shops. In 1835 Nicholas I decided to transfer the ballet school here.


In the 1890s, Anna Pavlova, Mikhail Fokin, Agrippina Vaganova graduated from the school. In October 1923 the street was renamed Architect Rossi Street. Since 1957 the ballet school has been called the Vaganova Ballet Academy.

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It is the oldest Russian drama theater preserved to this day. The legendary Alexandrinsky Theatre, fully titled the Russian State Academic A.S. Pushkin Drama Theatre, is the oldest national theatre in Russia. Established by a special order of the Senate, signed on Saint Alexandre Nevsky day, August, 30 1756, by Peter the Great’s daughter Empress Elizabeth, it became the common ancestor of all future Russian theatres, so the date it was founded on is recognised as the Birthday of professional theatre in Russia. The Alexandrinsky Theatre foundation had also laid the grounds for Russian state policy towards theatrical art. For the two hundred and fifty years of its existence, the Russian State Drama Theatre has always been the symbol of the Russian State. Since its foundation and until 1917 it used to be Russia’s main imperial theatre, with the Emperors taking great personal interest in its affairs.

In 1832, the Russian State Drama Theatre moved to a magnificent new building, designed by great Carlo Rossi and located in the very heart of Saint Petersburg’s main street Nevsky Prospect. The building was christened the Alexandrinsky Theatre after the wife of Emperor Nikolai I, Alexandra Fyodorovna, and has been part of the world’s theatre history ever since. The unique building, with its five-tier audience hall, enormous stage, Tsar’s lobby and the splendid façade which is one of the symbols of Saint Petersburg, is included into the list of world architectural treasures protected by UNESCO.

It was here in the Alexandrinsky Theatre that practically every premiere of Russian classical theatre plays took place: from Woe from Wit by A.S. Griboyedov to the plays by A.N. Ostrovsky and A.P. Chekhov. During the 2005/2006 season, the Alexandrinsky Theatre underwent a thorough reconstruction, which both contributed to restoring its historical image and at the same time gave it one of the best state-of-the-art stages in the world.

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In the Museum of Theatre and Music and its branches visitors will learn interesting facts about the history of Russian Theatre. There is a large collection of manuscripts, playbills, theatrical portraits, miniatures, etchings, set and costume designs

St.Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music is located in the building of the former Imperial Theatres Management, erected in the 1st half of the 19th century by the great architect Carlo Rossi. This building remains one of the principal exhibits of the museum. The facade windows of the museum overlook the Alexandrinsky Theatre - the centre of the architectural ensemble, - created by Rossi specifically for the theatre. The mission of the museum is to preserve and revive theatrical legends for every visitor.

In the museum and its branches (the N.A.Rimsky-Korsakov Museum, the F.I.Chaliapin Museum, the Samoilov Family Museum, the Museum of Music in the Sheremetev Palace) you can see portraits of famous theatre personalities of the past, theatre designs by well-known artists, posters, manuscripts, theatre props, set models - everything that will help you imagine the legendary drama and musical productions which no longer exist. Among the most significant personalities represented in the museum's collection are: directors Vs.Meyerhold and A.Tairov, actresses M.Savina and V.Komissarjevskaya, artists A.Benois and L.Bakst, K.Malevich and V.Tatlin, composers N.Rimsky-Korsakov and D.Shostakovich, singer F.Chaliapin, ballet masters M.Fokine and F.Lopukhov, dancers V.Nijinsky and M.Baryshnikov, A.Pavlova and G.Ulanova - to name but a few. Among the exhibits there are also private belongings of great composers, singers, and actors that help to reconstruct the atmosphere, in which they lived and worked. The unique collection of videotapes gives a chance to meet actors of other countries. The Museum of Music in the Sheremetev Palace preserves the memory about theatrical and musical traditions of the celebrated noble family of Sheremetev. Here one of the world's biggest collections of musical instruments is also located.

In all the buildings of the museum there are halls where concerts and performances, meetings with famous actors and singers, musicians and artists, take place. Museum's aim is to connect the past and the present. The museum not only preserves the memory of the old art, but also is a hospitable house for the modern art and probably a cradle for the art of the future. Non-surprisingly, a considerable number of productions, subsequently famous, were first presented here, and many future celebrities made their debut here.

The Memorabilia Department (8,000 exhibits) contains actors' personal belongings, decorations, orders and memorial medals, conductor's batons, articles of the 18-20th centuries theatre life, touching gifts of the audience to its idols - ballerinas Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina, conductor Eduard Napravnik, singers Nikolai Figner and Ivan Yershov.

The gem of the Museum collection is a set of ballet shoes - from Maria Taglioni's to Natalia Makarova's. It allows one to trace the evolution of the female dancing technique.

There is also an extremely rare Collection of Theatrical Costumes, 2,000 in number. It reflects the artistic versatility of the different theatrical epochs. Here there are costumes of the legendary first night performance of M.Petipa's "Sleeping Beauty" (1890); the costumes of Fokin's ballets, designed by Benois, Bakst, Anisfeld, Golovin, Roerich; as well as the costumes for the experimental ballets of the 1920's- '30's of the choreographic innovator Fyodor Lopukhov.

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Zodchego Rossi Street

Zodchego Rossi Street

St. Petersburg, Ulitsa Zodchego Rossi

May 4th, 1738 in St. Petersburg, the young capital of Russia, an event took place which was to have a great significance to the culture of the world.  By Imperial Decree of Empress Anna, the first Russian School of Theatrical Dance was founded.  Known as the Imperial Theatre School, it was established through the initiative of the French ballet master and teacher Jean-Baptiste Landé. Twelve girls and boys began to study 'the foreign steps' on one of the upper floors of the Winter Palace. In 1801, Charles Didelot came to St. Petersburg and took over the direction of the ballet company and its school. He taught at the Imperial Theatre School for over 20 years, producing many ballets and raising the level of ballet education to a very high standard. Following Didelot, other ballet masters of the French School came to St. Petersburg: Jules Perrot, whose ballets Giselle and Esmeralda are still performed to this day, Arthur Saint-Léon, who produced Coppelia and, in 1847, a teacher who was to profoundly influence the School – Marius Petipa. During his sixty-three years in St. Petersburg, the prolific Petipa created forty-six original full-length ballets as well as countless divertissements and ballets for the opera stage. In collaboration with P.I. Tchaikovsky, Petipa created the three greatest classical masterpieces of the 19th century, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. Today, these ballets still form the repertoire cornerstone of classical ballet companies throughout the world. Many of Petipa’s works were specifically choreographed for the Imperial Theatre School students.

Many choreographers lived not far from the Academy. Didelot chose a house at the corner of the modern Rubinstein street and Nevsky Prospect, and Marius Petipa rented an apartment just around the corner on the Fontanka Embankment, 51-53. The academy was glorified not only by famous choreographers, but also by talented graduates. Anna Pavlova introduced the whole world to Russian ballet, and Marina Semenova in the 1920s proved to her native country that classical ballet was needed. In different years the success of the Academy was reinforced by the art of Galina Ulanova, Feya Balabina, Natalia Dudinskaya, Vladimir Ponomarev, Matilda Kshesinskaya, Vatslav Nizhinsky, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Uliana Lopatkina. Since its inception, the School has produced distinguished dancers and choreographers, but there was a teacher who most profoundly influenced the training system.

Agrippina Vaganova graduated from the School in 1897 and, after completing her performing career, began to teach there in 1921. A masterful and astute teacher, Vaganova developed a codified and comprehensive syllabus that established a new era in ballet education. In 1957, six years after Vaganova’s death, the School was named after her.

The building of the Academy was originally constructed as an apartment building for the Department of Provinces of the Ministry of the Imperial Court. In 1836, following the highest order, the building was transferred to the Directorate of the Imperial Theaters. After the facade and interiors were altered by architect A. K. Kavos, the St. Petersburg Imperial Theater School moved in here. Due to this, house number 2 became one of the centers of the theater life in St. Petersburg. Until 1917 the Directorate of Imperial Theaters in a part of the building adjacent to Ostrovsky Square. Now it is occupied by the St. Petersburg Museum of Theatre and Music. Besides, today in this part of the building there is the St. Petersburg Theater Library. In the middle part of the building there is a Musical Library of the Mariinsky Theatre, founded in the early 19th century. In 1998 an Orthodox Holy Trinity church was restored in the part of the house adjacent to Lomonosov Square. The temple was founded in 1806 and was the home church of the drama school and the Directorate of Theaters.

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Lomonosova Square

Lomonosova Square

St. Petersburg, Lomonosova pl.

Lomonosov Square (until 1948 - Chernyshev Square) is situated between Architect Rossi Street and the embankment of the Fontanka river. It was named in honor of M. V. Lomonosov.


Lomonosov Square is the bridgehead area of the Lomonosov Bridge. the Fontanka River Embankment, Architect Rossi Street, Lomonosova Street, and Torgovy Lane converge here. At the beginning of the 18th century, the process of concentrating the most important architectural structures on the banks of the Neva and in the surrounding areas took place. The future square of Lomonosov was a city suburb, until the middle of the century this place was occupied by the manor of Anichkov Palace. By the middle of the 18th century, there was a need to clean up certain areas of the city. Architect K.I. Rossi was entrusted with the redevelopment of the Anichkov Palace estate (by the middle of the 18th century, it was the territory from the Fontanka River to Sadovaya Street along Nevsky Prospect) and the adjacent territory between Nevsky Prospekt and Chernyshevsky Lane (modern Lomonosov Street). A small garden in this square was laid out in the 1870s. In 1892, a bust of M. V. Lomonosov by sculptor P. P. Zabello was installed at its center.

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Famous artists lived in the apartments of this house and important meetings in Russian history were held here. The previous apartment house was built in the eclectic style by architect R. E. Bergman in 1863-1865. The house was built in 1901 by architect P. I. Gilev.

From 1916 to 1955 an outstanding actress E. P. Korchagina-Aleksandrovskaya lived in this house. She acted on stage of the Alexandrinsky Theater. In her memory a memorial plaque was installed on the facade of the house (sculptor M. T. Litovchenko, architect V. V. Fedotov).

After major repairs in June 2007, this building houses a boutique hotel.

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The New Stage of Alexandrinsky Theatre

The New Stage of Alexandrinsky Theatre

St. Petersburg, Fontanka river emb, 49A

A unique multifunctional theatre center opened in 2013

The architectural design carefully integrates the ensemble of the New Stage buildings into the historic urban environment between Ostrovsky Square and the Fontanka embankment, next to the main building of the Alexandrinsky Theater.


The ensemble of the New Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theater consists of three buildings: a performance venue, a media center and an educational complex for postgraduate training in key theater professions. The main stage could be transformed into an auditorium for 300 seats. It is the most modern theatre venue in Russia in terms of technical equipment.


The field of activity of the New Stage of the Alexandrinsky Theater is not limited to the theater art itself: in the future the complex should become not only the all-Russian center of the modern theater process but also one of the main modern art venues in St. Petersburg. On the territory of the New Stage contemporary art exhibitions will be held regularly, programs in the field of video art will start to be implemented, a discussion club will be opened with lectures, master classes, and workshops of specialists in the field of contemporary art. Among the most important activities of the complex is the implementation of an educational outreach program that emphasizes and develops the idea of the complex as an institution aimed at searching and experiment.

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