Singer House of Books
Cafe Singer
St Petersburg Russia

Not only is this building remarkable in its architecture, but the contents, like a book within a fine cover, are magnificent!

his is still the best bookshop in town and has a large English section as well. The comprehensive range of guides and maps beat any other tourist kiosk, or shop.

The next chapter opens and you have access to a range of quality souvenirs, including some rather unique replicas of the Imperial Crown and assorted Imperial medals and awards - see below.

The final, and most satisfying chapter is the the cafe located on the first floor. Whilst not the cheapest place in town, the quality and view makes this a 'must visit' and 'must have good seat' venue. The Mariinsky Tartlets are an ideal after theatre treat with coffee, or beer - this writer can attest to that!

Brief History

The building was designed by architect Pavel Suzor for the Russian branch of the Singer Sewing Machine Company. The management of the Singer Company initially intended to construct a skyscraper, similar to the Singer Building, the company headquarters being built at that time in New York, but the Saint Petersburg building code did not allow structures taller than the Winter Palace, residence of the emperor. The architect found an elegant solution to the 23.5 meter height limit: the six-story Art Nouveau building is crowned with a glass tower, which in turn is topped by a glass globe sculpture created by Estonian artist Amandus Adamson.[1] This tower creates the impression of a substantial elevation, but is subtle enough not to overshadow either the Kazan Cathedral or the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood.

In 1919, not long after the October Revolution, the building was given to the Petrograd State Publishing House. It quickly became the city's largest bookstore, and was subsequently named "The House of Books" in 1938. The bookstore remained functioning during the Siege of Leningrad until November 1942, reopening again in 1948. The building closed for reconstruction from 2004-2006, reopening as the home of several businesses, including the familiar House of Books and Café Singer.

Ground floor book shop
1st floor cafe with views out to Kazan Cathedral

As an alternative to the omnipresent Matriuska dolls why not indulge a few self appointed Imperial Awards

Or perhaps your own Czars crown! 550,000 roubles is expensive in any currency!!

Address: 28, Nevsky Prospekt
Metro: Nevsky prospekt
Telephone: +7 (812) 571-8223
Opening hours: Daily, 9am - 11pm