One of the best ways to discover ‘not-that-touristy’ Saint Petersburg is to move a little bit further from the city center. Just cross the Fontanka River when walking down the Nevsky Avenue towards Vosstaniya (literally - Uprising) Square and Moskovsky Rail Terminal until the Rubinstein Street, and turn right. Going further will lead you to Five Corners Square - an unofficial iconic spot where four streets meet.
Some call it Five Corners Square (in Russian - 'Ploschad Pyati Uglov'), someone considers it to be an intersection. Actually, it’s a crossroads where Rubinstein Street meets Zagorodny Avenue, Lomonosova Street, and Razyezzhaya Street. The thing is, the intersection has a small square with five corners of the buildings around it. Two of them have a triangular shape - that’s why we can count five corners.
They became famous thanks to the fact many well-known people, such as writers Fyodor Dostoevsky and Sergei Dovlatov, composers Mikhail Glinka, Pyotr Chaikovsky, and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, lived in this area. Fyodor Dostoevsky, the author of the world-famous novel ‘Crime and Punishment’, mentioned the Five Corners in his other iconic book, ‘The Idiot’. Also, modern singers included this crossroads title in their lyrics as well. Many say this place has a special energy. Coming here equals to recharging yourself, hearing the heartbeat of a city, so big and amazing, as Saint Petersburg is. This place is truly mysterious as people say that Saint Petersburg's spirit lives here.
The most iconic building at Five Corners Square is, without doubt, the so-called ‘block of flats’ which means the apartment house where living premises were leased. This house is called ‘the Ioff apartment house’, and it was built here in 1913, instead of the old house some merchant had. The new building has a cupola and a beautiful tower, which makes it the most noticeable building in the area, a true symbol of Five Corners. Its appearance is a mix of modernism and neoclassicism. The apartments there were initially aimed at rich people, as well as the shops located on the premises of ground floors. Also, there even was a cinema in the building.
All in all, the area around Five Corners Square is full of different eateries where everyone can enjoy some meal and atmosphere. It’s one of the best options for bar hopping in Saint Petersburg. There is also a small monument depicting footprints of a man and a woman. It’s Saint Petersburg, and there’s another urban legend for those who believe in miracles. If you and your significant other match your footprints with the ones at Five Corners Square, keeping in mind your wish, it’ll come to life. This place is full of opportunities.
Coming to Five Corners Square is a good chance to visit a place that has its charm and is located off the beaten tourist track. It’s nice for having a good old stroll around the block, sitting in one of the eateries, or just taking pictures of impressive buildings. Five Corners Square, an unofficial iconic spot in Saint Petersburg, where even Dostoyevsky lived, won’t let you down for sure.
Did you like the travel story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.