I guess very few people know that under Truda (“Labor”) square in Saint Petersburg one can find not only shops and coffee spots but also a monument. I found it myself walking towards New Holland island (see the Bottle article). Admiralteysky canal was built in 1717 and connected the New Holland water system to the waters of Admiralty building. Back in the day, it was used for moving the ship timber from the warehouses on New Holland island to Admiralty’s shipyards.
But in the 19th century, parts of the channel had gone dry, and Emperor Nicholas I decided to put what remained of it inside a tube. Then Konnogvardeyski Boulevard was laid out where the canal was situated.
By the way, before triangular New Holland became a handy warehouse spot, there was a small building for Peter the Great where he stayed when he came to overlook the surroundings. He liked the landscape so much (it reminded him of Holland) he started to call the island “New Holland” (pretty pretentious, right? Well, he was a tsar).
Now, the island is moving towards Europe even more: grass to sit on, street food, hipster cafeterias! The downside is that so many people like it that it’s crowded on weekends. If you have time, come here during the week.