It’s one of the most beautiful squares in St.Petersburg and possibly the most charming of all. The square is comparatively small. It’s situated in the very center of the city near Nevskiy Prospekt.
The square appeared in the early 18th century when Italian architect Carlo Rossi built the Mikhailovskiy Palace for Paul I’s younger son Grand Duke Mikhail. The square was named after the paace – the Mikhailovskaya Square. It was as late as in the Soviet times that the square got its present name the Arts Square.
Most of the façades facing the square were designed by the same architect Carlo Rossi. Traditionally, building facing the square are painted yellow colour, which the famous architectural ensemble even more unified.
All buildings around the square are related to arts. The Mikhailovsky palace now houses one of St.Petersburg’s biggest museums the Russian Museum founded by the Emperor Alexander I. To its right is the Russian Museum of Ethnography, and to its left is Mikhailovsky Opera and Ballet Theater. In the same square you’ll find the building of the Philharmonia, the Musical Comedy theater, a public school patronized by the Russian Museum, a memorial room of Russia’s most famous ballerina Anna Pavlova, the Stray Dog café which at some tome was frequented by writers and poets, and Grand Hotel Europe.
In accordance with Carlo Rossi’s design, trees were planted in the center of the square but the fountain which the architect planned to have there was never built. A monument to Russia’s greatest poet Alexander Pushkin, an icon of Russian poetry and Russian culture, was erected much later in 1957 on the place where Carlo Rossi intended to put a fountain. The monument to Alexander Pushkin made by sculptor Mikhail Anikushin is considered to be one of the best monuments to the poet.
After the monument was erected in the center of the square, its ensemble was completed, and now it’s rightly considered as one of the most beautiful squares of St.Petersburg.