When you enter the Mikhailovsky Palace, you simply cannot help but notice the neatly laid out pebbles along the beautiful facade of the Russian Museum – this is stone paving, it is already over 100 years old.
Let’s plunge into history, in 1714 Tsar Peter I issued a decree by which he imposed on the inhabitants of the city on the Neva the obligation to collect savage – stones – for paving the streets of the capital. The owners of urban estates received a demand to build roads in front of their possessions as soon as possible, and according to the rules: first fill in the sand, and then smoothly pave the road with stones. How many of the then merchants, landlords and boyars do you think listened to the emperor?
The first cobblestone pavements in the city were laid somehow, the streets were in a state of permanent repair work. Over time, amateur performances were replaced by professionals, and streets paved with granite cobblestones appeared in the city.
The impulsive Peter was replaced by the thoughtful Catherine II, who assembled a special commission for the improvement of the city, which took up the systematization of the legacy of the founder of the imperial capital. In 1824, for example, there was a recommendation to paving the streets with “an ordinary style of one-dimensional cobblestones.”
On the territory of the Russian Museum, both cobblestone paving and professionals who know their business have been preserved, but the technology of laying stones on a sandy base has remained since Peter the Great.