The building of the Guardhouse on Sennaya Square

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In the Guardhouse building Dostoyevsky remained under arrest for two days in March 1874 as the editor of the magazine “Grazhdanin” for the violation of the Censorship rules

Here is a monument of architecture of the early nineteenth century on Sennaya Ploschad (Sennaya Square) in St.Petersburg, the building of the Guardhouse.

This building of peculiar architecture was put at an angle toward the central axis of the square, the main façade faces to the center of the square. The house 37 on Sadovaya Street is typical for outposts and guardrooms built in the early nineteenth century in Russia. It is the only survived building of this type in St.Petersburg.

This existing stone building was built in 1818-1820 by architect Vikentiy Ivanovich Beretti (1781 – 1841). It is a monumental pavilion with portico of four Doric columns. The portico of the Guardhouse and the entrance in the Saviour Church on Sennaya (was blown up in 1961) were located symmetrically, and the entrance into the church was decorated also with a Doric columns. 

The Guardhouse was meant for the placement of military guard-duty. Here were outbuildings behind the main premise of the Guardhouse separated from the square by metal fence.

The building has a rich history from the beginning. In 1886 here was the city sanitary laboratory, where products brought on the Sennoy Market were checked. Before World War I here was the perfume-apothecary shop and in 1919 the laboratory of the Sanitary Department of the Healthy Commissariat took place in this building. From 1957 to 1987 the Bus Station was located there, and after that – terrarium.

From 2010 to the present City Tourist Information Bureau is situated here. In Bureau you can get free informational materials about St.Petersburg (maps, booklets, brochures etc) and visit art exhibitions and lectures conducted here.

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