St. Petersburg was founded in 1703, but during the first three decades, there were no official names of streets and squares in the capital under construction. The official names of some streets were first established by the St. Petersburg Construction Commission on April 20, 1738.
Then the names of the 18 most significant streets were given (Upper and Lower Embankment streets; Voznesenskaya, Nevskaya and Sredny Prospektivnye; Admiralteyskaya; Isaakievskaya; Bolshaya and Malaya Lugovaya; Bolshaya and Malaya Nemetskaya; 1st and 2nd Pushkarskaya), several canals and bridges.
From the middle of the 19th century, the names of the streets were assigned by Senate decrees or resolutions of the city duma.
After the revolution, many city names were changed to “revolutionary”. First of all, the names associated with the names of the reigning persons and their entourage, as well as the churches, underwent a renaming. Many names associated with the name of Lenin appeared (Lenin Square, Lenin Street, Lenin Park, Leninsky Prospekt, Ilyich Lane, Leninsky District), as well as other leaders of the revolutionary movement, Soviet party and state leaders. Names associated with religious cults disappeared.
On January 13, 1944, the historical names were restored for the most important streets and squares: Admiralteisky Prospekt and Embankment (since 1922 – Roshal Avenue and Embankment), Bolshoy Prospekt V.O. Vladimirsky Prospekt (Nakhimson), Palace Embankment (January 9th) and Square (Uritsky), Izmailovsky Prospekt (Red Commanders), St. Isaac’s Square (Vorovsky), Kazanskaya Square (Plekhanov), Liteiny Prospekt (Volodarsky), Maly Prospect V. O (Zheleznyakova), Field of Mars (Square of the Victims of the Revolution), Nevsky Prospekt (Prospect of October 25th), Sadovaya Street (July 3rd), Sredny Prospekt of V. O. (Mussorgsky), Suvorovsky Prospekt (Sovetsky).
At the end of the 18th century, the first numbering of houses was carried out in St. Petersburg. But, unlike the modern system, the numbering was not along the streets, but general throughout the city. So, for example, in 1791 in St. Petersburg there were already 4554 house numbers. This number did not include houses located in the guard settlements.
Later, the city was divided into several parts, and the numbering was already in these areas. A similar system has survived to our time in some cities, for example, in Venice.
In 1834, another house numbering reform was carried out – house numbers were assigned along the streets, in ascending order, with even numbers on the right side of the street, and odd numbers on the left.
In 1858, even numbers began to be given on the left side of the street, and odd numbers on the right. Such a system has been preserved in St. Petersburg to this day. Here are its main principles:
numbering is carried out from water arteries: in particular, on the left bank of the Neva, numbering is carried out from the Main Admiralty (for example, Nevsky Prospekt) or from the bank of the Neva (Liteiny Prospekt), or downstream (Galernaya Street), on the right bank side – along the Neva (Bolshoi Prospekt V. O.) or “transversely the first from its banks” (V. O. lines);
a number of streets are numbered from more important streets in relation to them: for example, Mayakovsky, Vosstaniya, Radishchev, Chekhov streets, in contrast to Liteiny Prospekt parallel to them, count from Nevsky Prospekt and Zhukovsky Street, Vladimirsky Prospekt leads the numbering from Nevsky Prospekt;
if you face the direction of increasing house numbers, then the odd side of the street will be on the right side, and the even side will be on the left.
St. Petersburg is the only city in Russia with a similar house numbering system. There are exceptions: for example, on Tipanova and Sevastyanov streets, Syzranskaya, Sveaborgskaya, Aviatsionnaya streets, Novokolomyazhsky prospect and Yakovlevsky lane – on the contrary.
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