Wandering Camera

Album 216
(Translated b
y Andrei Frizyuk)


Although we've already mentioned the Smolny itself, we have left out a garden in front of it (probably because of winter time).


The garden is divided from the Dictatorship of the Proletariat Square (behind us) by a grille. The Propylaia at the entrance were designed in 1925 by V. Shchuko and V. Heilfreich.

he walkway is lined with lime trees.

The first educational facility for Russian women, Smolny Institute, was founded there in 1764. It was affiliated with the Smolny Convent, situated several hundred yards to the right. The building in the photo didn't exist then. It was preceded by the Alexander Institute built in 1765-76 by the architect Georg Friedrich von Velten.
Giacomo Quarenghi was commissioned to design the new building.

 Constructed in 1806-08, it was occupied by the Society for Education of Noble Maidens until 1917.

In August 1917 the Petrograd Soviet and the Central Executive Committee were transferred here from the Tauride Palace. The Central and Petrograd bolshevik committees followed suit. The second floor housed Military Revolutionary Committee which commanded the October uprising.

Later the house has been occupied by numerous administrative bodies: first by the Soviet Government (until the capital was moved to Moscow); then by the Leningrad regional committee of Communist party; finally by the city administration. Now it serves as the headquarters for the governor of Saint Petersburg.

The Lenin monument was unveiled in 1927. Its sculptor was V.V. Kozlov.
The Smolny garden was laid out in early 1920s.

The garden contains 4 fountains, i.e. 2 on each side of the alley stretching from the mansion to the gates.

Two sculptures of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were added in 1932. Both were designed by S.A. Evseev.
There used to be busts of Lenin and Stalin as well but they have been removed: the latter for political, the former for aesthetic reasons.
The garden was created by manual labour.

Soil was delivered in barrows and sledges, pathways were firmed up with stone rollers and mallets. First roller machines appeared in 1930s.

Apart from limes, the garden contains a large variety of trees: oaks, maples, poplars, ash trees, chestnuts, birches, rowan trees, bird cherry trees, apple trees, pines, and larches. Bushes include hawthorn, honeysuckle, jasmine, lilacs, and barberries.

The garden was designed by V. Shchuko, A. Gegello, and R. Katzer.

Let's approach the Smolny building from another direction...
Last year a new lattice was installed at the Neva side. It is 404 metres long and looks pretty good.

There had been no need of it before, because there had been no embankment all that time.




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