Vasilievsky Island was originally planned by Peter the Great as the center of the city. He considered several projects for the site during his reign, but the development was delayed, because the island had difficulties with the connection to the mainland. Thus, the completion of Peter’s dreams was succeeded by his followers at the post of the head of the state.
The central building of the architecture ensemble is the Stock Exchange Building, which was designed by Thomas de Thomon. It looks like an ancient temple with a portico and plenty of columns. The architect also designed the Rostral columns, which were built to commemorate Russia as a naval force. The statues at the pedestals symbolize the river trade routes – the Dnieper, the Volga, the Volkhov and the Neva River.
The outlook of the spit of Vasilievsky Island was almost completely formed in 1832 with building of the Customs House created by Giovanni Lucini. In the dome of it there was an observatory which goal was to observe the approaching ships.
Now there are several museums like the Literature Museum (or the Pushkin House), Kunstkamera, the Zoological museum and the Soils Study Museum of Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The Literature Museum is good to visit in order to understand Russian literature better. It will definitely help you to learn Russian language successfully.