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Gostiny Dvor of Saint-Petersburg is one of the youngest of them and one of the world's first indoor shopping malls.
Building of Gostiny Dvor has form of irregular quadrangle. Sides of the quadrangle are called "lines". There are of 4 lines: Nevskaya line (230 meters along Nevsky Prospekt), Sadovaya line (the longest one - along Sadovaya street), Perinnaya line (along Dumskaya street - parallel to Perinnye ryady (Featherbed rows)) and Lomonosovsakya line. Total perimeter of the building is more than 1 km.
Till 1840 each line of Gostiny Dvor had got own specialization. The most expensive and the richest shops resided at Nevskaya line (former name is Sukonnaya (Cloth) line), where wool goods, parfums and books were sold. Gold, silver, bronze and glass things were sold at Sadovaya line (former name is Zerkalnaya (Mirror) line). Dumskaya and Lomonosovskaya lines (former names are Bolshaya Surovskaya and Malaya Surovskaya lines) were specialized on goods for women. Goods were named "surovskiy" when they were imported through port-city Surozh (now Sudak) in Crimea.
Parallel to Bolshaya Surovskaya line was built Perinnyi or Babiy Ryad (Featherbed Row) where the sellers were mostly women who were selling goods which they themselves produced.
In order to cover the disorderly stalls in 1802-05 there was erected to Luigi Rusca's design a decorating Portico in the classicism style. The colonnade of the portico brings to mind the Colonnade of the Russian Museum which is situated on the opposite side in Michailovskaya street.
Let me tell about book trading at Gostiny Dvor. The first bookseller's shop at Gostiny Dvor was opened by Vasily Alekseevich Plavilschikov (shop no.27). Other booksellers of Gostiny Dvor were Ivan Ivanovich Glazunov (grandfather of Russian composer Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov), Vasiliy Stepanovich Sopikov, Ivan Vasilievich Slenin, Ivan Timofeevich Lisenkov. These Russian booksellers were publishers too.
Alexander Pushkin, Alexander Griboedov, Nikolay Gogol visited bookseller's shops at Gostiny Dvor. The most frequent visitor was Ivan Krylov who worked and lived in The State Public Library (now - The National Library of Russia) on the opposite side of Sadovaya street.
In past every market was in neighbourhood with a church or cathedral, today i can count at least three such pairs in my city: Andreevsky market and Andreevsky cathedral, Kuznechny market and Our Lady of Vladimir Church, Bolshoy Gostiny Dvor and Armenian Church of St Catherine.
Construction of Armenian church was financed by donations of Armenian community of Saint-Petersburg. The most valuable part of the donation was accepted from Ivan Lazarevich Lazarev (Hovhannes Lazaryan). There are reasons to consider that he obtained money from Catherine the Great after selling the Orlov diamond. Armenian Church of St Catherine is open for visitors now and i would hope that it'll be forever.
I don't describe other buldings visible on south and north sides of Nevsky Prospekt. Perhaps next time (next WWP event) they will become background of my panoramas.