History of rivers and canals of the northern capital

History of rivers and canals of the northern capital

The history of the rivers and canals of the northern capital has more than three centuries and is closely connected with the development of the city.

From the very beginning of its existence, St. Petersburg has been a city built on water. Waterways played an important role in the transport system, economy and cultural life of the city.


Apparently, the Finns disliked the Neva for something, since they decided to call it a swamp. From Finnish “Neva” translates as a swamp or quagmire. However, there is another version of the name of the river: in the ancient Finnish language there is the word “Nebo” (sea), which is more suitable for the main waterway of St. Petersburg.

Neva is a fairly large river with a length of 74 km . It originates from Lake Ladoga and flows into the Gulf of Finland. The river has several branches: Bolshaya and Malaya Neva, Bolshaya, Srednaya and Malaya Nevka.

There are many bridges across the Neva River, including the famous Palace Bridge, which connects the Winter Palace and the Hermitage with Vasilievsky Island.


Another important river of St. Petersburg is the Fontanka River. It flows through the city center and has great historical significance.

When the city was just being built, Fontanka was an unnamed river, a branch of the Neva. Later, with the construction of gardens and park complexes, it was actively used to power fountains, and it became known as the Fountain, and later the Fontanka.

Until the 19th century, Fontanka was the natural border of the city. The area along the banks of the river was considered the outskirts, where luxurious noble estates were built. Therefore, nowadays the Fontanka embankment looks so elegant and European.


Moika is a channel of the Neva River, originating from the Fontanka River. With a length of no more than 5 km and a width of 40 m, it is difficult to call it a river, but the Sink is deep enough for small yachts and boats to pass through it.

The name of the river has two main versions. According to one of them, the Sink got its name because there were public baths near its shores. According to another, the name comes from the Finnish word “slush".

Griboyedov Canal

However, in addition to natural rivers, St. Petersburg is also known for its artificial canals, which were created to improve transport links and water supply of the city. One of the most famous channels is the Griboyedov Canal, formerly known as the Catherine Canal.

The Griboyedov Canal is famous for its beautiful bridges and the famous Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, which is located on its shore. The Express Sadovaya Hotel is also located near the canal embankment, so our guests will have the opportunity to walk more and enjoy the pre-revolutionary buildings built by the water.

Today, the rivers and canals of the northern capital continue to play an important role in the life of the city. They are popular places for recreation and walking, and are also used for tourist excursions on motor ships and yachts.

Book a room at the Express Sadovaya Hotel and spend an unforgettable vacation in the historic district of St. Petersburg. The 4-star hotel offers its guests modern apartments of the 1st category and spacious junior suites, delicious breakfasts and many additional services.