Advice from Waterfront: Neighbourhood & Community, a project by the Danish Cultural Institute and the Street Art Institute, initiated by Andrey Anisimov and Albina Motor. The goal of the project is to involve people in transforming urban coastal areas into comfortable public spaces.
Galernaya Gavan (harbour) on the west of Vasilyevsky Island is a small oasis in the jungle of the big city with a rich history.
Rowing Port Guard House
These are the waters where new fleet equipment was tested, and, according to an old local, the first submarine was tested here.
In the 19th century, workshops were located in Galernaya harbour, including metalworks, boiler-house and powder factory. In 1894, a water tower was built on the west side of Galernaya harbour to supply water to these plants and it still stands today and is recognised as a monument of industrial architecture of the 19th century. Perhaps in the coming years, the tower can get a second life as an art cluster or art project.
Oldest Yacht Club
From Skipper Bridge you can see the entire area. The west coast is the “dark side”, the industrial zone, and the east coast is the “light side” of the harbour, with access to the water. The wooden embankment is a big draw for locals: in summer they come here to sunbathe, swim, go fishing and have BBQs. If you turn around on the bridge, you will see something that looks like ancient ruins – a rotunda summerhouse and Russia’s oldest yacht club, Nevsky Yacht Club.
As you walk along the harbour, count the anchors – they are an integral part of the authenticity of this place. They were brought here by a local old-timer, a former diver and lifeguard.
The environment here is greatly influenced by its inhabitants. Here at different times you meet families with children, students, dog walkers, elderly ladies doing Nordic walking, fishermen, yachtsmen, business owners and employees of local institutions.