Senat sq.,, 3
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday
09:00 – 18:00
09:00 – 16:30
Years of foundation
The world-famous Synod building (now the B.N. Yeltsin Presidential Library) is part of the Senate and Synod buildings complex on Senate Square.
The first building on this site was the half-timbered house of the Most High Prince Menshikov. In 1744, the land was granted by Elizaveta Petrovna to Chancellor A.P. Bestuzhev-Ryumin, for which a baroque building was erected.
In 1763, Bestuzhev-Ryumin's mansion was transferred to the treasury, the building was rebuilt according to the project of A.F. Vista and it housed the Governing Senate. Then it was once again rebuilt in the style of Russian classicism.
In 1823, a new Admiralty building was erected on the Neva embankment, built according to the project of architect A.D. Zakharov. After that, Emperor Nicholas I ordered that the western side of the Senate Square be rebuilt in order to create a single ensemble of the Admiralty and English Embankments. It was decided to attach the new building of the Holy Government Synod to the existing building of the Governing Senate and connect them with a triumphal arch over Galernaya Street.
The building of the Synod was built in 1829–1834 in the style of late classicism according to the design of Karl Ivanovich Rossi. According to the architect, the arch was intended to symbolize the unity of the state and the church. Interestingly, this architectural solution Rossi found in one of his drafts of the arch of the General Staff building.
The facade of the Synod building faces both the Senate Square and the Promenade des Anglais. The corner of the building is rounded and decorated with a colonnade of eight columns of the Corinthian order raised above the ground floor. The project was approved personally by Nicholas I.
In 1918–2006, the Russian State Historical Archive was located in the former premises of the Synod, and since 2009 the Presidential Library named after B.N. Yeltsin.
The library was opened on May 27, 2009. It was named after the first President of Russia, Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin (1931–2007).
The building of the Synod was significantly reconstructed, in particular, the courtyard was turned into an atrium with a glass roof. Nevertheless, the interiors themselves were carefully restored, and on the ground floor there were even fragments of the walls of the house of merchant Kusovnikova. The present house church of the Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils has been preserved.
In addition, the office of the President of the Russian Federation and the Patriarch’s chambers are located here, but access there is limited.
Interestingly, there are no paper books in the Presidential Library. Its fund consists of electronic copies of rare historical documents and books, as well as little-known archival materials that were previously closed to a wide circle of readers. . The only exception is a copy of the Constitution of the Russian Federation - a book on which the president swears during the inauguration.
Electronic funds are available to everyone via the Internet.
The library regularly hosts exhibitions, lectures, film screenings, music evenings, conferences and other events, and in the Constitution hall there is a permanent exposition dedicated to the 1993 Basic Law of the Russian Federation.
The building of the Presidential Library named after B.N. Yeltsin is included in the excursion program of the city project "Open City". This is a joint project of the St. Petersburg City Branch of the All-Russian Society for the Protection of Monuments of History and Culture and the Committee on State Control, Use and Protection of Monuments of History and Culture. It is implemented with the support of the Government of St. Petersburg, so that all participants can attend events for free.
The mission of the “Open City” project is to acquaint the residents and guests of St. Petersburg with the unique cultural heritage of our city, open the doors of the most beautiful mansions, palaces, estates, iconic buildings of industrial architecture that were previously inaccessible for widespread visits.
Any Russian citizen who enrolls on the project website can attend the events of the “Open City”. Activities include various types of excursions (walking, bus, cycling), walks on retrotransport, historical quests, lectures on history, architecture and culture of St. Petersburg, master classes for children and adults.