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Entries / Territory of the City (entry)

Territory of the City (entry)

Categories / City Administration/Administrative-territorial Division

TERRITORY OF THE CITY. In the 16th century, settlements subordinated to Spassky, Gorodensky, Nikolsky, Izhorsky and Vozdvizhensky Korboselsky churchyards of Great Novgorod existed on the territory of the present-day St. Petersburg. At the beginning of the 17th century these lands were captured by the Swedes and included in the len of Noteburg. At the beginning of the 18th century the Swedish town Nyen on the river Chernavka (tributary of the Okhta River), the fortress Nyenschanz and other settlements existed on the present-day territory of St. Petersburg, along with estates of Usadiss Hof (on the place of the present-day Summer Gardens), Berkengolm Hof (to the north from the present-day Troitskaya Square), Akkerfels Hof (at the beginning of the present-day Millionnaya Street ), Kandua (on the left bank of the Neva River) and other Finnish and Slavonic settlements Mikutala, Kalyula, Sutala, Romanova and others. The original building of the city was fragmental and centered around the Fortress of St. Petersburg (Peter and Paul Fortress) and water ways along the Neva River. Opposite the fortress on the City (St. Petersburg) Island, in the area of the present-day Troitskaya Square there was settlement as early as by the 1710s, which included most important commercial and administrative buildings, craftsmen shops, and houses of merchants and servants. In 1704, on the left bank of the Neva the Admiralty with its fortress and ship yard was laid which became another centre of the growing territory of the city. From the mid 1710s, by order of Tsar Peter I the new centre of the city was planned to be created on Vasilievsky Island. This plan was not completely implemented but in the course of its implementation most industrial enterprises, and the St. Petersburg port was concentrated on the spit of Vasilievsky Island. The embankment of the right bank of the Neva housed many administrative institutions. By 1717, the area of St. Petersburg was 12 square kilometres. By the end of the 18th century, there was a narrow settled area along the left bank of the Neva from Casting Yard (the area of the present-day Liteiny Bridge) up to the Galley Ship Yard in the lower part of the river; also settled were the southeastern and the southwestern parts of the City Island, the eastern end of Vasilievsky Island, separate riverside sections on Vyborgskaya Side, and the area of the Okhta River. Wooden buildings dominated, and only Millionnaya Street was distinguished by rich stone houses. The commission on Construction in St. Peterburg was set up in 1737, developing planning and construction projects for separate parts of the city, as well as model buildings. By mid-18th century planning of the centre of St. Petersburg had been mostly completed with a system of three rays (Nevsky Prospect, Gorokhovaya Street, Voznesensky Avenue), axes of Liteiny Avenue and Zagorodny Avenue, Sadovaya Street, Shpalernaya Street, Ligovsky Canal, and the avenues of Vasilievsky Island. Almost the entire territory of the City island, the eastern part of Vasilievsky Island and the district of Galley Harbour was built up. Buildings extended in a continuous narrow line along the right bank of the Neva from the outskirts on the Small Okhta up to the Chernaya Rechka River. Stone buildings dominated in Galernaya Street, Millionnaya Street, Bolshaya Morskaya Street and Malaya Morskaya Street, and Nevsky Prospect from the Palace Square to the Fontanka River , and the embankment of the Neva on Vasilievsky Island. Before the end of the 18th century, the territory of the city grew comparatively slowly, as whole blocks of wooden buildings were damaged by frequent fires. At that time stone buildings were being built intensively, especially on the territory between the Fontanka, the Neva and the Kryukov Canal. In the first half of the 19th century the ratio of stone buildings continued to grow, though the building territory grew only slightly. Emergence of the first permanent Blagoveschensky Bridge across the Big Neva (see the Bridge of Lieutenant Schmidt), laying of the rail road between St. Petersburg and Moscow and building of Moskovsky Railway Station, as well as construction of Obvodny Canal contributed to rapid growth of the city territory due to appearance of new territories in the south part of the city. In the first quarter of the 19th century, the territory of St. Petersburg reached 54 square kilometres. At the end of the 19th - early 20th centuries, due to rapid industrial growth and development of transport infrastructure the industrial belt of St. Petersburg was formed, which included a continuous stripe along the north bank of the Obvodny Canal, north part of the present-day Moskovsky District, Peterhof part (the area of the present-day Stachek Avenue), south-western part of Vasilievsky Island, eastern part of Goloday Island (now Dekabristov Island), Petrovsky Island, west end of Petrogradsky Island, Vyborgskaya Side, lowers of the Okhta River, the right bank of the Neva (along the present-day Oktyabrskaya Embankment), Schliesselburg part (the district of the present-day Obukhovskoi Oborony Avenue). In 1871, the territory subordinated to the city administration increased rapidly due to formation of suburban territories: Peterhofskaya, Lesnaya, Polyustrovskaya and Schliesselburgskaya. By the beginning of the 20th century, building of four present-day central administrative districts had been almost completed. By 1917, the city territory grew to 105.4 square kilometres. Reconstruction of ill-equipped factory-workers' outskirts had started in the 1920s, blocks of new houses for workers (housing blocks) were built in the district of Stachek Avenue, in Vyborgskaya Side, in the left-bank part of Nevsky District. The city territory grew considerably grown after Prigorodny District of Leningrad Region was merged with Leningrad in 1931. According to General plans of 1935 and 1939 the city territory was to be developed in the Southern direction, the new centre of Leningrad was to be created in the area of the present-day Moskovskaya Square. Implementation of the plan was impeded by the Great Patriotic war of 1941-45. In 1945-58 the area of the built up territory grew mainly due to construction in the former suburban districts: Novaya Derevnya, Udelnaya, Lesnaya, Bolshaya Okhta, Gavan, left-bank part of Nevsky District, Moskovsky Avenue and Avtovo. According to the new General Plan of City Development adopted in the second half of the 1960s through the 1980s the city territory was considerably enlarged due to creation of new residential districts: Dachnoe, Ulyanka, Yugo-Zapad, South part of Moskovsky District, Kupchino, Rybatskoe, the right bank of the Neva, Rzhevka - Porokhovye, Polyustrovo, Grazhdanka, Shuvalovo - Ozerki, Komendantsky Airdrome, Dolgoe Ozero, and the area near Primorskaya Metro Station. In that very period new zones were being formed around the periphery of the city border, including Kolomyagi, Parnas, Rzhevka, Obukhovo, Predportovaya etc. Large-scale housing construction was carried out also in the suburbs: in Kolpino, Pushkin, Petrodvorts, Lomonosov, and Sestroretsk. In 1963-89, the city territory grew from 526 to 605.8 square kilometres (with suburbs - to 1357 square kilometres). By 2003 the city territory had not considerably changed. A powerful monocentric city agglomeration is being formed (see also the article Administrative division).

Reference: Семенцов С. В. Санкт-Петербург: предыстория и первые шаги пространственного развития // Топонимич. журн. 1998. № 1. С. 19-40; Атлас исторического наследия Санкт-Петербурга. СПб., 2001.

Е. А. Bondarchuk.

Peter I, Emperor

Атлас исторического наследия Санкт-Петербурга. СПб., 2001
Семенцов С. В. Санкт-Петербург: предыстория и первые шаги пространествен. развития // Топонимич. журн., 1998

The subject Index
Spit of Vasilievsky Island
Commission for St. Petersburg Construction
Lieutenant Schmidt Bridge
Administrative Division