Gostiny Dvor in St. Petersburg: the history of the famous building within walking distance from the Express Sadovaya Hotel

Gostiny Dvor in St. Petersburg is an iconic place with a rich history, representing a symbiosis of the cultural and commercial center of the city.


Located in the heart of the northern capital, it is one of the significant cultural attractions that played an important role in the life of St. Petersburg.


Gostiny Dvor is located within walking distance from the Express Sadovaya Hotel in St. Petersburg. You can get to it either on foot or by public transport. And it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re visiting the northern capital for the first time.


The origin and development of Gostiny Dvor


Gostiny dvors have appeared in St. Petersburg since the founding of the city. However, the history of the appearance of the building on Nevsky Prospekt begins during the reign of Elizaveta Petrovna.


By decree of the Empress, the new Gostiny Dvor was to be a one-story building with galleries. The project could not be agreed upon for a long time, and only in 1757 Rastrelli received permission to implement his plan. Funding was provided by wealthy merchants of the city.


The importance of Gostiny Dvor for trade in St. Petersburg


Gostiny Dvor was not only a cultural place, but also an important point of trade exchange. Engineering and commercial solutions applied in the building made it an effective center for various types of trade.


Development of the architectural appearance of Gostiny Dvor


The construction of Gostiny Dvor lasted about 20 years and during this time the design of the building was changed several times.


Rastrelli's plan was almost immediately criticized. The merchants considered the layout of the future Gostiny Dvor unsuitable for trade and refused to allocate large sums for it.


In 1760, the project was transferred to the architect Vallin-Delamont, who did not redo Rastrelli’s drawings, but only made adjustments to them. As a result, the building acquired a new architectural appearance, combining classical European style.


Gostiny Dvor today


Today Gostiny Dvor is a historical and cultural complex that combines restaurants, shops, galleries, museums and shopping arcades.


The building is owned by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, but still remains one of the largest department stores in the city. Here you will find thousands of domestic and foreign brands of clothing, shoes, decorative items and souvenirs.

Gostiny Dvor is open daily from 10:00 to 22:00, and you can get to it from the Express Sadovaya hotel in St. Petersburg either on foot in 26-30 minutes, or by bus 49, 181 from the Novo-Nikolsky Bridge stop.