Novaya Gollandia Island
One of St. Petersburg's more unusual historic landmarks, New Holland ("Novaya Gollandiya") is a triangular man-made island between the Kryukov Canal, the Admiralty Canal, and the Moyka River.
Edged by canals, and covering an area of 7.6 hectares, New Holland Island was created in the time of Peter the Great as a center for shipbuilding. Over succeeding centuries, it has served as a naval prison, been home to a naval radio station and during Soviet times accommodated high-security naval and military facilities. The military recently ceded the island to the city, creating the opportunity for New Holland's dramatic reinvention as both a major cultural center and a self-sufficient city district.
Although the island’s complete transformation process is due to finish only in 2025 (some of the buildings are extremely tricky to reconstruct because of their cultural heritage status), already in the summer of 2016 it opened its doors to the public. Children can frolic and play n the wooden playground for children in the form of a historic frigate called Peter and Paul. A stage hosts musical performances, theatrical troupes and movies. During the summer months visitors lie on the grass, walk around the green zone, play frisbee, petanque and badminton and enjoy picnics on chairs resembling those found in the Luxembourg Garden in Paris. When it’s cold outside, you can warm up by hitting the ice skating rink.Aside from food stalls and kiosks, there is also Kuznya House (The Foundry), the island’s first proper sit down restaurant by day and happening club on the weekends. The new “heart” of the island’s social and cultural activity, Kuznya House is the kind of place that can easily become a second home for its regulars. In the same building there’s Volkonsky Deli Cafe, a great place to grab a coffee and a pastry or something a little more substantial.
Events of all sorts already take place on New Holland Island and this summer is set to be even cooler than the previous one with the opening of the Bottle. This former naval prison has been given new life with the building’s first commercial assignment. Each floor of the building will have a specific designation and function, which the selected projects will uphold with pinpoint accuracy.
The first floor will be dedicated to food and everything associated with it. Small cafes, specialty shops, and stores from both emerging and established restaurants in St Petersburg and Moscow will each have their own space here. The second floor will be dedicated to fashion and design. Among the projects slated to move into this floor is an outpost of the Garage Bookstore, an antiques store and a vinyl record shop. The third floor contains services connected to health and beauty, offering ballet classes, yoga studios, a cycling studio, a beauty salon and a spa. The fourth floor – that is, the attic – will be a space entirely free of adults. Here one will find The Attic, an educational club where children and teenagers can develop skills across a number of spheres of contemporary media.