Krestovsky Island in St. Petersburg is a special point of attraction on the city map. Any tourist will definitely find what to do here and what to see. Krestovsky has a special atmosphere: it is a stunning view of the Gulf of Finland, a lot of greenery, cafes and restaurants, the largest amusement park in the city and one of the city’s main sports facilities – Gazprom Arena.
Krestovsky Island is located in the west of St. Petersburg. It is one of the largest islands in the Neva delta. Its area is 4.2 square kilometers. As expected, it is surrounded by water: on three sides – the Srednyaya Nevka, Malaya Nevka, and Krestovka rivers, and another bank goes directly to the Gulf of Finland.
History of the Krestovsky Island
The opinion of historians about where Krestovsky Island in St. Petersburg gets its name from is still diverging. There are various legends. According to one of them, even in pre-Petrine times, there was a chapel with a cross. And the old Finnish name Ristisaari is just translated as “island of the cross”. There is a version that the name came from a small lake in the shape of a cross or from the paths located crosswise.
In the past, the island has had many famous owners. The first was the associate of Peter I, Governor-General Alexander Menshikov. Then the island passed to the sovereign’s sister Natalya Alekseevna. After that Empress Elizaveta Petrovna granted it to Counts Razumovsky. From the 19th century to Soviet times, Krestovsky was owned by the family of princes Beloselsky-Belozersky.
Noble persons arranged picnics and entertainment here – the picturesque nature made for walks. And in the second half of the 19th century, the island began to develop as a sports center. The Imperial River Yacht Club, a tennis club and a rowing society were opened here. In Soviet times, the famous stadiums named after Kirov and Dynamo appeared on Krestovsky Island.
- Krestovsky Island in St. Petersburg is a territory of elite housing and business class houses. It is here that some of the most expensive apartments in the city are sold. On average, the price per square meter is about 298 thousand rubles.
- Primorsky Victory Park, which occupies most of the Krestovsky Island, was founded in 1945, when the Great Patriotic War ended.
- The legendary football “match of life” took place at the Dynamo stadium during the siege of Leningrad. On May 31, 1942, the players of the local Dynamo met there with the team of the Leningrad Metal Plant.
- The Gazprom Arena stadium was built on the site of the equally famous Kirov Stadium. In 1980 it hosted Olympic football tournaments and in 1994 the Summer Goodwill Games.
Sights. Seaside Park Victory
A real oasis, about 50 species of conifers, deciduous trees and shrubs grow here. And there are also tame squirrels, which are drawn to visitors. The long central alley of the park will lead straight to the Gazprom Arena. Along the way, there are food and entertainment kiosks, many benches and seating areas, and a large fountain in the center of the park. From the noisy part, you can turn to more secluded corners.
The largest amusement park in St. Petersburg is located on the territory of the green zone. There are more than 40 of them – for children, for families, for extreme ones. The park usually accepts guests from April to October (depending on weather conditions), and is closed during winter.
Stadium “Gazprom Arena”
If you do not attend the match, then at least take a look at the stadium “Gazprom Arena” is also worth it. The scale of the futuristic building will definitely surprise you. The brainchild of Japanese architect Kise Kurokawa resembles a flying saucer – especially when the stadium is illuminated in the evening. It is here that the matches of Euro 2021 will be held.
Beach on Krestovsky Island behind the South Road
A modern public space by the water appeared for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Now there is a spacious area with wooden flooring, sun loungers, benches, children’s and sports areas.
On Krestovsky Island you will see many pontoons, marinas and piers. There are several yacht clubs not far from the beach. You can go on a boat trip along the Gulf of Finland.
The longest and highest pedestrian crossing in the city. The bridge connects Krestovsky Island with the Primorsky District of St. Petersburg. It offers wonderful views of the Gulf of Finland.