Searching unusual courtyards in Saint-Petersburg

Searching unusual courtyards in Saint-Petersburg
13 December 2016

This is my second week in Saint-Petersburg and I very much like to walk through the city. One of the first nights here I went outside for a walk and asked one of the Russian roommates of the hostel I am currently living in, whether he would like to join me. Seemed to me this was a nice way to practice some Russian. Walking on Nevski Prospekt, my roommate told me a lot of interesting things about the city. After we talked a while about music and Russian music he tipped me music café called Club Kamchatka, located on a courtyard behind Blokhina Street 15. Enthused by this, I did some research and found out that there were more interesting and unusual courtyards to visit.

Last Sunday, I went on a search for interesting courtyards. Most of the time, the only indication of where these yards could be located, were some street names I had written down. Because of this, I often needed to walk down the entire street checking every courtyard. Nevertheless, I discovered some nice courtyards, starting near metro Sportivnaya. Behind Blokhina Street 15 I found Club Kamchatka, located on an impressive courtyard. The walls that surround this courtyard are covered with graffiti related to Viktor Tsoi, late frontman of Sovjetrockband Kino. Tsoi used to work in this building, which became a café and museum about the band after his death. I allowed myself a cup of coffee and in the meantime I was able to experience the atmosphere of this Kino memorial.


Not far away from Club Kamchatka I discovered another unusual courtyard. At the walls of this courtyard an unknown artist painted a map of the Soviet-Union. A man, who just parked his car at the yard, told me that someone adjusted the map about a year ago. Searching for this yard, I accidentally ran into a round courtyard. Since most of the yards are rectangular, this seems to be uncommon. The last courtyard I discovered in the Italian quarter near Italyanskaya Street. On the walls of this yard a large painting of the colosseum in Rome has been made.

After all, I think this is a nice way to explore Saint-Petersburg because I had to search for courtyards in different parts of the city. Soon a videoblog of this search for unusual courtyards will be online.

Written by Luuk Winkelmolen, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Saint-Petersburg


Posted by Luuk Winkelmolen

Hello, my name is Luuk Winkelmolen. I am a Dutch Human Geography student from Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. I am currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Language Centre in Saint-Petersburg. Some years ago I started to get interested in Russian history and culture, and after that I started to get familiar with the Russian language. In 2015 I studied Russian at the Dutch Institute in Saint-Petersburg. This was the first time I actually lived and studied in Russia. This was a great experience, so I decided to return to Russia and especially to the city of Saint-Petersburg, in order to live there again for a few months and to feel myself a little bit Russian again.

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