Galernaya 57: My Childhood House

I do not have any pictures of the apartment I lived in for the first twenty-one years of my life. But about ten years ago, my old friend, who still lives in Saint Petersburg, went there and took several pictures outside my former house. If I wrote the family history properly from the very beginning, I would tell about this building in its portion related to the 1920s. That’s when my family first moved in there. But since I am writing in random order, this post is here:)

We lived in one of the oldest city districts. As it was very frequent in Saint-Petersburg, the house had a rectangular shape with a courtyard inside. One of the facades faced one street, and the opposite facade faced the parallel street. The other two sides were inseparably close to the houses on the right and the left.

The house we lived in was built at the beginning of the 19th century by the Italian architect Giacomo Quarengi for the Anglican mission. The Chuch wing was facing the English Embankment, and the opposite wing was facing Galernaya street. The street was named this way because of the Galley Shipyard located at its west end. The shipyard was there since the city was founded. It is still there even now, although the ships which are built there are not galleys anymore. The word galera means galley in Russian.

Here is the street view. The first one is in the direction of the shipyard, and the second – in the direction of the Alexander’s Garden:


Here is how the Church looks like from the Embankment.


Interestingly, when I was a child, there were three sculptures of prophets on the roof; the central figure held a cross. The sculptures survived intact during the Great October revolution, but for some reason, were removed in the 1990s

The two side wings housed the priests and their families, and the wing which faced Galernaya Street was built later, although still before the revolution. Here is how it looked:

When my friend took this picture, the courtyard entrance was forbidden (I will tell you later, why). She was allowed, however, to get inside the wing which faced Galernaya.


Our apartment was on the second floor on the right – all these four windows, and it was former priest quarters. The first floor below used to be occupied by servants, and the kitchen was on the first floor, as well. After the revolution, the first floor became a separate apartment, and I will try to describe in the next post how it ended up.

Moving forward from the priests’ quarters, you can see former stables and carriage sheds. And you can imagine how beautiful this building looked at the time of its glory!

More to come.

My historical posts are being published in random order. Please refer to the page Hettie’s timeline to find where exactly each post belongs, and what was before and after.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s