Elagin Island Ecological Tourist Route

For those who is tired of city rush we suggest this route

Elagin Island is the most Northern island in the Neva estuary, washed by Bolshaya and Srednyaya Nevka rivers. There is a park, known to all Petersburgers as the Central Park of Culture and Leisure, which traces its history back to the mid-XVIII century. The park is a unique natural object which features an by extraordinarily huge for a metropolis variety of plants, animals and especially birds.

Species diversity of the park´s vegetable world has undergone numerous changes over 300 years of its history: from original drainage of natural marshy woods till creation of artificial planted vegetation. All the time the park exists, there have been various landscape arrangements with new lawns and flower gardens, numerous trees planting. Broad-leaved species (oak, elm, maple, ash-tree, linden,horse chestnut), as well as fir-trees (spruce, pine, larch) and different kinds of bushies have been planted in the park. Among old planted vegetation, the island's territory comprises trees worth being put on the World Register of Trees. In the first place, there are two pedunculate oaks, which are said to be planted in the course of reclaiming the lands during the reign of Peter I.

Fauna of mammals on the Elagin Island amounts to 10 species. Mainly, they are represented by rodents – a squirrel and its Altai subvariety, voles and house mice, muskrats. Also there are representatives of insectivores – Eurasian water shrews and common shrews, representatives of carnivores – ermines and weasels.

The territory of Elagin Island has 144 birds species, including migratory birds. 23 of them are put on the Red Book of Saint Petersburg Nature, 17 species are protected in the Leningrad Region, 31 species are put on the Red Book of Baltic Region.

In 2012 the territory of Kirov Central Park of Culture and Leisure (Elagin Island) got the status of Specially Protected Natural Territory.

  • points of interest 1 ,
  • parks 5 ,
  • zoos 1
3 km, 408 m
New English Garden

New English Garden

Saint-Petersburg, Martinova naberezhnaya, 92D

The garden was planted on the newly attached grounds. Here the motives of the Old English Garden are partly used. The garden designer D.Bush took into account the moments of trees transformations during the period of growth and ordered trees of the same species butof different age, width and height. Alleys of Siberian larix and oaks were planted along the coast.

The territory, which was known as the New English Pedestrian Garden, didn’t exist on the plans of the island till 1824. There was a bay on this spot. From one side, it washed one of the island’s banks, and from the other it washed a small island covered with swamp plants.All transformations of this territory can be seen on the 1824 plans.

By 1825 a new pedestrian English garden had been set up, partly planted with Russian trees and plants. Composition of this garden was based on the combination of water surface and various decorative plants set along the banks. Green décor of the New English Gardenwas newly planted. Trees were brought from local arboretums. Having created a new area of the park, the architects skilfully put together different species of trees and shrubs, tied them with the nature of the relief, the water surface and built landscapes, which posessed a great artistic expression.



Saint Petersburg, Martinova naberezhnaya, 92V

Mini Zoo, founded in 2005, is located in the part of the Park, which historically is called The Grove. In the XIX century a farm was located in this part of the park. The farm kept and bred pets.

Since 2005 and until 2010, the mini-zoo exhibited animals from various collections. Leningradsky Zoo and private owners provided animals for the exhibition.

Since 2010 the Kirov Central Park of Culture and Leisure has launched a new program aimed at development of the Zoosphere mini-zoo. As a part of this program the mini zoo updated the old enclosures and built new ones for animals. It set up a new interactive program called animal tracks.

Inhabitants of the zoo-reindeer, dwarf Cameroonian goats, sheep, fox Alisa, donkey Camila, ornamental chickens and pheasants, turkeys and guinea fowl, etc. – will be interesting for both children and adults.

63 m
Western spit of the island

Western spit of the island

Saint Petersburg, Primorskiy prospect, 56, 2B

It is the spot where the park leads to the seashore. By the summer of 1826 all the planned works on the transformation of the island had already been completed. Only its western extremity is not subjected to any changes. This part of the island is a long cape, flooded even with a small rise of water, with stunted vegetation, sauna and smithy.

In the summer of 1826 it was decided to link the headland with the island, located to the north of the Cape.

The creek formed between the Cape and the island was extended and turned into a pond with soft winding shores. The bottom of the Gulf was considerably deepened, and the land was used to raise the level of the newly created site. As a result, Elagin island got a completely new shape, its area increased and the parkland was enriched with the panorama of sea expanses. The cape was fringed with four-wheel wide and narrow pedestrian roads. The new part of the island became known as the Western line.

By the middle of the XIX century St. Petersburg acquired a fine tradition - contemplating the setting sun in the western direction of Elagin Island, called "pointe" at the time.

In 1925-1926 after the floods of 1924 works on the improvement and restoration of the park were carried out. Construction of a wide terrace on the sea spit is attributed to this period. Designed by architect L.A. Ilin, the silhouette of the embankment repeats the outlines of the horizon's smooth line and harmoniously merges with nature. Two guard lions became the decoration of the western arrows. Maritime spit's design echoes the design of the palace - iron lions adorn the terrace of the Yelagin Palace.

231 m
The Grove

The Grove

Saint Petersburg, Elagin island, 4H

It is attached to the north-west side directly to the New English park. The grove occupies a large part of the island. It includes the actual woodland and two large, newly dug ponds.

Grove's landscapes represent a whole massif without roads and tracks, which makes it possible to view the entire space. The middle part of the Grove is surrounded by a wide loop around the sledge road. Centenary oaks, lindens and spruces play a major role in shaping the landscape of the Grove. Local tree species were used to design the forest massif of the Grove to emphasize the greatness and power of the northern nature. Creation of a variety of natural paintings, the perfect solution of the park spaces demonstrate rare skills and talent of the park's builders.

612 m
Buttery Meadow

Buttery Meadow

Saint Petersburg, Elagin island, 4B

It is the dominant spot of the palace and park ensemble. In the XVIII century it was used for holidays and festivals. Elagin meadow was turned into a parterre garden planted with flowers. Rossi and Bush completely destroyed a regular layout, replacing it with a huge field with loose, flowing contours. On the north side of the meadow Rossi built housing offices, decorating them as park pavilions, which he placed so that a sense of monumentality increased from building to building in the direction of the palace. Carriage Road was set around the Buttery Meadow in three fathoms.

458 m
Personal Garden

Personal Garden

Saint Petersburg, Elagin island, 4

It is the oldest part of the park. This part of the park was designed for Empress Maria Feodorovna's walks, and only attendants were allowed to walk there.

Intimate assignment of the Garden defined the garden's plan, solved in small forms. Narrow walking paths broke the garden into separate areas with multicolored stripes. Landscapes of each of them differed by grace, subtlety of detail. Composition solution of the Personal Garden was influenced by its location. It is located in the coastal part of the island between the large and medium-Neva, that is why architectural and plant forms were carried out taking into account the perception of the opposite shore of Stone Island. The center of the garden is oriented to the eastern facade of the palace at the foot of which extends a picturesque glade.

Territory of the personal garden, adjacent to the side facade of the palace, is different. The southern part serves as a continuation of the field in front of the palace. They are decorated with groups and single trees, clumps of common lilac, flower beds from greenhouse plants.

Landscapes of the north side of the palace, on the contrary, were thickened. They were put together around separately standing oak trees, groups of silvery ash trees, maple trees and ornamental shrubs. The roads rounded the field with clumps of decorative bushes, groups of trees and dense arrays of plants to ensure the effect of suddenly opening the form on the pavilion under the flag.

One of the most perfect creations of landscape architecture. Pavilion marks the site of the flow of Neva, where it divides into two branches. Place of its construction was exceptionally well chosen. Reflected in the water, it attracts attention from far away.

From the pavilion the promenade road passed between the Nevka coast and the coast of large, complex-shaped pond (I North Pond), which consisted of two separate ponds, connected by a long and narrow duct.

Despite the variety of landscapes and parts of the Personal Garden, it made an artistic whole.

104 m
Old English Garden

Old English Garden

Saint Petersburg, Elagin island, 4T

It occupies the territory south from the Personal garden, along the southern coast of the island. The garden was created during the life of Russian statesman Elagin when regular parks were replaced by landscape ones. Elagin, according to fashion, subjected his island to remodeling, leaving regular stalls only in the front of the house. In the English garden they dug canals, the forest was set in alleys and decorated with various pavilions, grottoes and monuments in honor of the famous host of friends. The architects did not make any significant changes to the layout of the park, so it was called the Old English-style garden. The Old English garden was limited by a wide Carriage road and a wooden "palisade." You could enter the Garden through four entrances that were at the intersection of walking roads. The main composition rod were ponds of complex configuration, with deeply incised headlands and islands, located along the coast, tiny bays and coves.

The landscape of one of the islands is accentuated with a stone arbour of simple classical forms. Built during the times of Elagin, it was rebuilt and re-colored to match the structures of the entire ensemble.

The territory of the old English garden housed other architectural structures. A small elegant wooden building of the Guardhouse was placed near the bridge leading to the Kamenny Island. Another stone pavilion, which later received the name of Music Pavilion, was designed on the place where there used to be a restaurant.

Nowadays, a wide road separates the massifs of the former Old and New English gardens.

788 m