St. Petersburg Sights



Russian National Library (Rossiiskaya Natsionalnaya Biblioteka)

Russian National Library (Rossiiskaya Natsionalnaya Biblioteka) Review

Opened in 1814, Russia's first public library is still known fondly as the "Publichka." It holds more than 20 million books and claims to have a copy of every book ever printed in Russia. Among the treasures are Voltaire's library and the only copy of Chasovnik (1565), the second book printed in Russia. The main section, on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and ulitsa Sadovaya, was designed by Yegor Sokolov and built between 1796 and 1801. Another wing, built between 1828 and 1832, was designed by Carlo Rossi as an integral part of Ploshchad Ostrovskovo. The facade is adorned with statues of philosophers and poets, including Homer and Virgil, and the Roman goddess of wisdom, Minerva. Using the library requires a passport, registration note (a note from a hotel, in the case of tourists), and two photos, which can be taken during the registration in the library. You may be able to get in for a quick look if you show your passport and ask nicely.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 18 ul. Sadovaya, City Center, St. Petersburg, 191069
  • Phone: 812/310–7137 information
  • Hours: Weekdays 9–9, weekends 11–7; closed last Tues. of month
  • Website:
  • Metro: Gostiny Dvor, Nevsky Prospekt.
  • Location: City Center
Updated: 06-24-2013

Fodorite Reviews

Be the first to review this property


View more trip reports

· News & Features

View more blog stories