Academy of Fine Arts
Place: Universitetskaya Embankment
Construction time: 1764-1789
Architects: Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe, Alexander Kokorinov
Remarkable features: On the top of the building, we can see an image of the goddess of wisdom Minerva with the face of Catherine the Great. In front of the building, you can find two Egyptian sphinxes, they are the same age as the river Neva.
Name origin: The Academy of Fine Arts is situated in the building. All famous Russian artists of the XVIII-XIX centuries have graduated from the Academy. Among them – Karl Briullov, Ilya Repin, Ivan Aivazovsky and many others.
Mystery: Legend says that Alexander Kokorinov, the architect of the building, hanged himself on the opening day of the Academy. The reason of his commiting suicide was Catherine II’s dissatisfaction with the state of the contraction. Her dress became dirty during the inspection of the buildings because of the newly painted walls. Since that time Kokorinov ghost is wandering along the corridors of the Academy. Students believe that if they see the ghost before the examinations, they certainly will fail their exams!