While walking along Nevsky Prospect, set your eyes on a tall building opposite the Kazan Cathedral, on the corner of Nevsky Prospect and the Griboyedov Canal. Singer House (@dom_knigi
, or House of Books), a sparkling example of Art Nouveau architecture in St. Petersburg, with a bronze "American" eagle on a foreside, is one of the best-loved and most famous literary places on Nevsky Prospect.
The building was constructed in 1904 under the project of a Russian architect Pavel Suzor for the Singer Company, world-known American manufacturer of sewing machines, to serve as a company's headquarters and main store. It was initially planned to build a skyscraper similar to the Singer Building in New York, but it would violate the city construction regulations (in those days, structures couldn't be higher than the Winter Palace). However, the architect found an ingenious solution – he crowned the building with an elegant metal-and-glass tower topped by a huge globe which is illuminated from the inside in the evenings creating a special atmosphere. Thereby, he "killed two birds with one stone" – the height of the building was emphasized, and the company's ambitions were satisfied.
In Soviet times the building quickly became the largest bookstore in the city known as Dom Knigi, or House of Books. Today bookstore occupies the first two floors – almost all book trade in St. Petersburg is concentrated here. Impressive interior design is harmonized with more than 150,000 books of various genres in almost all languages, and a wide range of high-quality souvenirs.
Nice bonus is a Singer Café located on the second floor. Delicious confectioneries and a delightful view of the Kazan Cathedral make this a must-visit place.
Our city tours St. Petersburg Discovery on Foot
and St. Petersburg Shopping and Sightseeing
include a visit to the Singer House. Book your tour online on our website now!