This is a narrow and twisting canal flowing through the very centre of St. Petersburg, between - and for most of its length parallel to - the Fontanka and Moyka Rivers. Although the canal is less than six kilometers in length, it is traversed by more than 21 bridges.
Griboedov Canal was built along the course of the small Krivusha River, which was here long before the construction of St. Petersburg. The new channel was named Konyushennaya, and the houses and barns of the Court Stables were located here. On June 3, 1766, the Krivusha River was officially renamed the Ekaterinsky Canal. It took 25 years to fully dredge the channel and strengthen the banks. New bridges were built - the Kazansky, Kamenny, Malo-Kalinkin, Pikalov, Alarchin and Kokushkin Bridges. At the end of the 18th century, the Assignation Bank building was constructed by the renowned architect Giacomo Quarenghi on the site of the former Sea Market (Morskoy Rynok). It was here that Russia's first banknotes were printed. Near the entrance is a pedestrian suspension bridge spanning the canal - the Bank Bridge. The bridge's four griffin sculptures with gilded wings have become one of the symbols of St. Petersburg.
The Griboedov Canal reflects in its waters the cuppolas and belltowers of some of St. Petersburg's grandest and most beautiful churches. The Kazan Cathedral is the largest, with its immense curving colonnades, but the most famous is undoubtedly the Church of Our Saviour on the Spilled Blood.
During the 19th century many houses and apartment buildings were being constructed on the waterfront of the Ekaterinsky Canal. Of particular interest are several magnificent buildings by the great French-Russian architect Pavel Suzor: the St. Petersburg Society of Mutual Credit building, the two Ratkov-Rozhnov Apartment Houses and, most famously, the Singer Building (now the Dom Knigi bookstore)
In 1923, the Ekaterinsky Canal was renamed in honor of the Russian playwright and diplomat Alexander Griboedov who had lived in a house on the embankment. Today, traveling along the Griboyedov Canal - on foot or by boat - is an indispensable part of exploring St Petersburg.