Documentary

Another world of the center of St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg

Russia.

A place in the center of St. Petersburg, once in which you feel as if you were in the neighboring southern Republic, and not in the center of the cultural capital, which was built by Peter the Great three hundred years ago on the basis of the European model. This is Apraxin court. One of the largest historical shopping centers in the city, as well as one of the oldest markets. It occupies 14 hectares of territory and is also a regional architectural monument. A landmark of St. Petersburg with a rich history. Today, “Aprashka” (as it is affectionately called by the locals) is already 266 years old. This market has survived everything from fire to bombing.

Since 1754, the construction of trade shops began here, which were rented out or sold with land. By the end of the 18th century, extensive shopping malls were formed here.
By decree of Nicholas I in 1833, Apraksin and Shchukin yards were United into one vast market.

Before the outbreak of the First world war, in 1911 Apraksin yard became the largest in Europe in terms of wholesale trade. In Soviet times, Apraksin Dvor was a center of Commission trade.

Now it is one of the largest and cheapest markets in St. Petersburg. This place is not only for sellers, but also for poor people who can not afford expensive things. Its advantage is that it is located in the heart of the Northern capital. Therefore, here you can also meet a huge number of tourists who, like us, came to take a look.

Saint-Petersburg, Russia – July 2020. Many of my friends are even afraid to come here, because they say that there is only dirt and stench and believe that every seller will try to flirt with you, take your phone number and fool you. And the Internet is full of reviews that they are shamelessly stealing here. But what did people want? This is a market and different people come here. The main thing is to always keep an eye on your bag.
Saint-Petersburg, Russia – July 2020. And I already can’t stand the “licked” center of St. Petersburg, because it was filmed and reshot a million times. And here you can make interesting shots.
This place is the antipode of the neighboring Nevsky Prospekt. If Nevsky is a beautiful facade of houses, wide streets, expensive shops on the right and left, then it is worth turning off Nevsky on Sadovaya a little further and you find yourself in a completely different world.
I believe that we ourselves sometimes initially think in a negative way. The main thing is just to be able to communicate with people and be open, with a clean and bright soul. This woman I caught in the market, while she was sitting Smoking and I politely asked if I could take a picture of her, she said “of course”. It turned out a great shot in my opinion.
The market employs a lot of people from different countries. For example, this good and kind guy came from Nepal to St. Petersburg.
Initially, when we were going to shoot this market, we were worried that there would be a lot of rudeness in our address with a friend. But on the contrary, many people smiled at us, posed, and laughed.
There are a lot of friendly people here who, on the contrary, see that you are walking with a camera and say: “Oh, girl, take a picture.”
While it was raining heavily, we went to a store that sells bags and suitcases and talked to a woman from Tajikistan. She didn’t allow us to take a picture of it, but she had a nice chat with us and told us how hard it was for the market during the pandemic. A lot of stores have been closed, and some have not opened yet.
Apraksin yard reminds me of offline Aliexpress. You’ll find absolutely everything. You can quite safely buy there, if you know the places. For example, I only buy socks there.
We went there just with Nastya for the sake of curiosity. Here at least you can buy a pair of underpants with the inscription “faithful to his wife” or buy socks for 40 rubles, which are sold in the store for 200. I bought a Panama hat for 250 rubles, having bargained with the owner, and it originally cost 600.
On “Aprashka” you can see anything. Even people playing backgammon.
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Anna Fayfer

My name is Anna. I live in Russia and I want as many people as possible to learn about my country.

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