The elaborate pink building with white columns (on your right as you cross the water)
is the Stroganov Palace. The aristocratic family that resided here left their mark all over
Russia—commissioning opulent churches, financing the czars' military agenda, and foster-
ing the arts—but their lasting legacy is the beef dish, likely named for them, that has made
“Stroganoff” a household name around the world.
Continue another long block, and watch across the street (on the left) for another
chance to practice your Russian—though the distinctive logo may give it away: САБВЭЙ
(“SABVAY” = Subway).
Farther along, looking left (across the street), notice the pretty, parklike street (Bolshaya
Konyushennaya) flanked by beautiful buildings. On the left side of this street is a sort of
community center for Dutch transplants, while the building on the right is for Germans.
Catherine the Great (r. 1762-1796), who loved to promote the multiethnic nature of her
empire, encouraged various cultural enclaves to settle in community buildings like these.
Each enclave consisted of several apartment houses clustered around a church. You'll see
an example as you proceed up Nevsky Prospekt, where the German Lutheran Church of
St.PeterandSt.Paul is set back between two yellow buildings (across the street). This is
only one of the many houses of worship built along this avenue under the auspices of the
czars. Later, the aggressively atheistic communist regime repurposed churches all over the
city; in this case, the church was turned into a swimming pool.