Located in the very center of Saint Petersburg, at the intersection of Nevsky Prospect and Griboedov Canal, Singer Building has an interesting history.
The piece of land where the building now stands, was bought in 1904 by the multinational American Singer corporation — the producer of sewing machines. Initially, the company planned to build an eleven-story “skyscraper” (so American:)) to house their main office and lease out the rest of the building.
However, at the time, no building in Saint Petersburg could be taller than the 23,5-meter-tall Winter Palace, which was why Singer Building ended up having only seven stories. The seventh penthouse floor, which is an ornate glass tower topped with a globe, gives the building the appearance of a high-riser.
The Singer Building is stunningly beautiful and is one of the symbols of Saint Petersburg. Its huge windows, bronze statues, and fancy floral ornaments are all typical elements of the Art Nouveau style that was popular at the turn of the 20th century.
Today, Singer Building is also known as the “House of Books”. You can find all kinds of books here, including those in foreign languages. There is also a wide choice of souvenirs. And once you get tired, make sure to visit Singer café (on the second floor) and have some tea/coffee and cakes while enjoying the lovely view of the Nevsky Prospect.
Overall, it’s a great building to look at and take pictures of, as well as a good place to shop for books and souvenirs. A must-visit in Saint Petersburg!