“Football Petersburg 2020” Grand bus tour

This bus route is dedicated to the history of football in St. Petersburg. The Grand Tour of the football attractions of the Northern Capital will tell you all about the origins of the first Russian football clubs, the places where competitions were held at the dawn of St. Petersburg football life and the heroes of football news.

The route starts from Pionerskaya Square and passes through the famous places of St. Petersburg related to the history of football. During the tour, you will have a unique opportunity to see all the football arenas of the city on the Neva.

  • points of interest 1 ,
  • squares 1 ,
  • arenas 2 ,
  • palaces 2
29 km, 189 m
Pioneer square (Pionerskaya ploshchad)

Pioneer square (Pionerskaya ploshchad)

St. Petersburg, Admiralteysky district, Pionerskaya ploshchad

The square got its name and design in the 1960s, when the Theatre of Young Spectators named after Alexander Bryantsev, or simply “TYUZ”, was opened here for the fortieth anniversary of the pioneer organization. It justified the name of the square since the main young spectators at that time was the pioneers.

During the very first century of St. Petersburg’s existence, the settlement of the Life Guards of the Semenovsky Regiment was located here, so the whole area was colloquially called "Sementsy". Part of the territory was occupied by a huge Semyonovsky parade ground, which had a hippodrome on it. At the end of the 19th century, bicycle races that were popular at that time were held there. In order to entertain the numerous spectators between the races, “football” - a game quite exotic for a Russian person – was shown to the public. This was how the Petersburgers first got acquainted with football in 1893.

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The plaque on the wall of a house on Pushkinskaya Street reminds us of Viktor Sergeyevich Nabutov - an outstanding Leningrad footballer and a wonderful sports commentator, the founder of an entire dynasty of sports journalists. He lived here in the post-war years. As an excellent goalkeeper, he played for Dinamo and Elektrik, and before the war made it to the USSR Cup, where he fought against the legendary Spartak team. However, Nabutov’s most important match was played during the severe time of the Leningrad Siege.

During the war, Viktor Nabutov served on an armoured boat and defended the Oranienbaum Bridgehead on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. When the idea to hold a football match arose in the besieged Leningrad in May 1942, Nabutov turned from the defender of the sea borders of Leningrad back into the Dinamo goalkeeper in a match against the team of the Leningrad Metal Plant and kept his gates intact even under the fascist cannonade.

The legendary match became an integral part of the history of the defence of Leningrad. It showed that the spirit of the defenders of Leningrad was not broken.

In 1948, Victor Nabutov ended his career as a football player due to an injury and retrained as a sportscaster. His reports from football matches first appeared on the radio, and then reached the television broadcasts. Nabutov was one of the first commentators who knew the sport from inside, and he was always distinguished by professionalism and objectivity.

1 km, 989 m
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Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace

Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace

Saint Petersburg, Nevsky pr., 41

Prince Sergey Konstantinovich Beloselsky-Belozersky, who lived in the palace, was the patron of the St. Petersburg Football League at the beginning of the 20th century.

619 m
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Fans of the local football team argue that "you can’t live in St. Petersburg and be free from Zenit". Zenit has long been perceived as yet another recognizable symbol of the city, along with the Admiralty sailboat and drawbridges. This expresses the specific nature of football in St. Petersburg - it is a city of one team, despite the fact that there are still two other local teams – “Dinamo” and “Zvezda”.

Guests of the Northern capital often want to buy some items with the symbols of the club as a souvenir (mugs being the most common souvenir). Such products are sold in many places, from underpasses to bookstores. But if you want to find something more interesting and of a higher quality - a branded soccer ball, football wear or scarf, then you should shop at the official store of the Zenit Football Club on Nevsky avenue. There are salesrooms with sportswear, items of professional football uniforms, there are shop windows with expensive premium souvenirs (you can still find magnets, keyrings and postcards by the cash register) and jewellery with team symbols. There are women's and children's clothes sections, as well as fan merchandise. The store also keeps copies of all the cups won by the team.

888 m
4
Menshikov Palace

Menshikov Palace

Saint Petersburg, Universitetskaya naberezhnaya, 15

The first official football match in Russia took place on the parade ground of the Cadet Corps in 1897.

1 km, 773 m
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Georgy Aleksandrovich Duperron, the “founder of Russian football”, the secretary of the St. Petersburg Football League founded in 1901, lived in this house. Duperron is also known as the first Russian football referee, sports journalist, historian and theorist of Russian sports.

The headquarters of the St. Petersburg Football League were also located in the house.

The first attempt to create the Russian national football team also belongs to Duperron. In 1911, he assembled a team of players from several cities. They played three matches with the British footballers invited to St. Petersburg.

Georgy Duperron was the head of the delegation of Russian athletes at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. Later he became the secretary of the All-Russian Football Union and promoted Russia’s inclusion in the FIFA.

The revolution of 1917 did not change the life of the country's first sports theorist, who combined scientific work with historical research and practice. He continued to work in the Public Library, managed the Petrograd’s football league and taught the basics of physical education to Komsomol members and military personnel. G.A. Duperron died in Leningrad in 1934. A plaque on the house was installed at the initiative of the Zenit football club in 2018.

2 km, 437 m
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Stadium Petrovsky

Stadium Petrovsky

г.Санкт-Петербург, Петровский остров, дом 2, литера А

The Petrovsky Stadium has been a home arena of FC Zenit since 1995; its tribunes can take in 21 504 fans. Its history started in pre-war times, but in 1942 it was destroyed by bombing and dismantled. It was reconstructed in 1961.

It’s possible to take a tour around the venue including a walk around the football arena accompanied by the retelling of the key events of the stadium and Zenit Football Club. During the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the stadium served as a training centre.

The previously main football arena of St. Petersburg is located on Petrovsky Island on the Petrograd side.

The stadium got its modern name in 1992. In 1994, it hosted the Goodwill Games. In 1996, the main match of the Russian championship Spartak vs. Spartak-Alania took place here. The stadium hosted matches dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Russian football (teams of Russia and Yugoslavia, teams of veterans of Russia and France, teams of St. Petersburg and Moscow). Here the friendly game Zenit vs. Milan took place. In 2006, the stadium hosted the matches of the Women's World Cup.

673 m
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«Dinamo» Stadium

«Dinamo» Stadium

Saint Petersburg, Dinamo prospect, 44

On May 31, 1942, the legendary football match between Dinamo team and Leningrad Hardware Plant took place in the besieged Leningrad on the football field of the Dinamo Stadium. This match became yet another symbol of the unbroken spirit of the Leningraders and their faith in victory. To commemorate those heroic days, a memorial plaque and a monument - a sculptural group of football players in the midst of a game - were installed at the stadium.

Now it is an open multi-purpose stadium with artificial turf for football and athletics.

Here there are 6 running tracks, 400 m each; Euro Grass M 60Bi artificial football covering with heating; covered bleachers with 600 seats; 2 open courts with marking for volleyball, basketball and tennis.

2 km, 239 m
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On the expanses of the picturesque Krestovsky Island, among modern summer cottages and magnificent mansions, there is a reconstructed cottage of Beloselsky-Belozersky, vividly resembling the famous residence on Nevsky Prospekt. The same colour, the same stucco moulding, the same columns, only in a reduced version, can be seen here. A wonderful small English-style park is laid out by the cottage, which also belonged to the influential family of Princes Beloselsky-Belozersky. The owners of the residence were Anglomans. Prince Sergey Konstantinovich strongly supported the development of football. He even provided his own park to one of the first football clubs in St. Petersburg - the Victoria Club - for constant training.

Since the summer house was significantly damaged during the war, it was demolished to the ground in the 1960s, and the building that we can now see on the Krestovsky Island is a cottage recreated from photographs and drawings. Initially, it was built by architect Andrei Shtakenschneider, who also designed the big mansion on Nevsky avenue.

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The stadium "Gazprom Arena"

The stadium "Gazprom Arena"

Saint Petersburg, Football alley, 1

On the spot of the Kirov Stadium, where Zenit used to play, now there is a new modern arena designed by a Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa (1934-2007). The stadium is one of the most technologically advanced and perfect sports edifices in Europe.

The stadium hosted the matches of the 2018 World Cup, including the semifinal game. The total capacity of the stadium amounts to 69 501 visitors.

The Gazprom Arena appeared on the site of the former Kirov stadium, which began to be built in 1932 and was opened on July 30, 1950.

During the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2018 World Cup, the arena was called "St. Petersburg Stadium".

The project of the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa was chosen for the construction of the arena in 2006 because it preserved the dimensions of the hill and the pavilions of the Kirov Stadium. The football field also remained on its previous site. In addition, the cash stalls and a monument to Kirov have been preserved by the stadium.

The main constructive solutions were the overlapping of the stands with a sliding roof 286 meters in diameter, supported by 8 masts, and a removable field on a concrete base, allowing for non-football events and concerts to be held here as well.

2 km, 62 m
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The apartment house in the Art Nouveau style, erected by the architect N.I. Alekseev at the beginning of the 20th century belonged to Elizaveta Lazareva, a Russian aristocrat who married the son of the legendary discoverer of Antarctica.

Here, the apartment of the famous St. Petersburg businessman and honorary citizen L.V. Homilius, one of the country's first football patrons, was located. Homilius himself did not play football, but he did his best to popularize the game. He was the chairman of one of the most famous St. Petersburg football clubs - Kolomyagi. Since 1910, V.L. Homilius became the chairman of the St. Petersburg Football League.

322 m
11

One of the first houses in St. Petersburg, built in the Art Nouveau style at the turn of the XIX and XX centuries, belonged to the famous engineer E.C. Kavos.

The facades are decorated with facing brick, terracotta, majolica and chipped granite. The building is decorated with ornamental panels and lion masks. The entrance to the courtyard is decorated with two lamps.

Originally, Kavos’s two-story mansion designed by L.N. Benois was located here.

In 1907, architect Vasily Androsov, the apprentice and assistant of L.N. Benois, rebuilt and expanded the mansion, preserving the style of his teacher and turning the building into a tenement house, and in 1912 he built an additional large wing on to it.

A.E. Lauman, the captain of "Victoria", the very first football club of St. Petersburg, lived in this house. At first, only Englishmen and Germans who lived in the city played for the club. The three Lauman brothers were true football enthusiasts.

7 km, 433 m
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«Lenfilm» film studio

«Lenfilm» film studio

St. Petersburg, Kamennoostrovsky prospekt, 10-12

Lenfilm is the oldest film company in Russia, founded in 1914. The most famous films of Soviet and Russian cinema were shot here. Initially, on the site of the film studio, there was the Aquarium Garden, where the first-ever movies were shown, including “The Arrival of the Train” by Lumiere brothers. The basis for the creation of the film company was the military-cinematic department of the Skobelevsky Committee as well as several small private film workshops. The company received the name “Lenfilm” in 1934.

In 1954, “Reserve Player” (“The Boys from Leningrad”) - the popular sports comedy about football - was shot here.

The “Reserve Player” movie was the last work of director Semyon Timoshenko, known for the films “Heavenly Slug” and “Three Comrades”. At the initiative of Timoshenko, the film uses documentary filming of the quarter-final match of the 1954 USSR Cup. The filming of a boxing match between the actors resulted in injuries. Georgy Vitsin, who played the lead, launched a strong blow to Pavel Kadochnikov, who, being a professional boxer, fended it off under his own momentum. As a result, Vitsin got a real bruise instead of a fake one.

The film was a huge box office hit in the Soviet Union; tens of millions of viewers watched it.

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