Gostiny Dvor

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Great Gostiny Dvor in St Petersburg, 1802.

Gostinyi dvor (Russian: Гостиный двор) is a historic Russian term for an indoor market, or shopping centre. It is translated from Russian either as "Guest Court" or "Merchant Yard", although both translations are admittedly inadequate.


[edit] Moscow

Gostiny Dvor in Moscow occupies a substantial portion of Kitai-gorod, as the old merchant district is known. Formerly accommodating both shops and warehouses, it was constructed of brick in the 1590s and underwent significant modifications in 1638-41. As the Russian capital expanded and the old structure became overcrowded, a new indoor market was completed nearby in 1665.
Image:Gostiny Dvor Moscow.JPG
Gostiny Dvor in Moscow

Giacomo Quarenghi in 1789 replaced those medieval buildings with a new shopping mall designed in a sober Neoclassical style with innumerable Corinthian columns and arcades. Architecturally it must have been strikingly modern at the time of its construction. Building works and various improvements lasted until 1830, by which time Matvey Kazakov and Osip Bove substantially modified the original design in order to make it conform to the difficult terrain of the site.

Subsequently, Quarenghi's structure went through many reconstructions, notably the installation of a modern glass roof in 1995, when Gostiny Dvor was being converted into a fashionable exhibition ground. Nowadays, the edifice is used as the setting for fashion shows, business parties, and even Viennese balls.

Gostiny Dvor in Moscow served as a model for similar structures constructed in every large Russian town during the first decades of the 19th century. An eponymous arcaded edifice in Kostroma is usually cited as the best preserved provincial Merchant Court in existence. Gostiny Dvor in Arkhangelsk is by far the oldest preserved, however: it dates from the 17th century and in part retains towers and other fortifications typical for medieval Russian markets.

[edit] Saint Petersburg

Great Gostiny Dvor in St Petersburg, 1815.

Gostiny Dvor in St Petersburg is not only the city's oldest and largest shopping centre, but also one of the first department stores in the world. Sprawling at the intersection of Nevsky Prospekt and Sadovaya Street for over one kilometer and embracing the area of 53,000 m²., the indoor complex of more than 100 shops took twenty-eight years to construct. Building works commenced in 1757 to an elaborate design by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, but that subsequently was discarded in favour of a less expensive and more functional Neoclassical design submitted by Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe (1729-1800).

Throughout the following century, Gostiny Dvor was continuously augmented, resulting in ten indoor streets and as many as 178 shops by the 20th century. By that time, the Gostiny Dvor had lost its popularity to the more fashionable Passazh and New Passazh, situated on the Nevsky nearby. During the post-World War II reconstructions, its inner walls were demolished and a huge shopping mall came into being. This massive 18th-century structure got a face-lift recently and entered the 21st century as one of the most fashionable shopping centres in Eastern Europe. A nearby station of Saint Petersburg Metro takes its name from Gostiny Dvor.

[edit] References

  • Bogdanov I.A. Bolshoi Gostiny dvor v Peterburge. SPb, 2001.

[edit] External links

ru:Гостиный Двор

Gostiny Dvor

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