Millionnaya Street (literally, Street of Millionaires; Миллионная улица) connects the Swan Canal Embankment and the Palace Square. Тhis is one of the oldest streets in the city. The first mention of the street is found in city records from 1713, and by 1733 it was known under three names at the same time: German Street, Greek Street, and Millionnaya Street. A German settlement occupied the major portion of the street, while a smaller portion was occupied by a Greek settlement. The origin of the name Millionnaya is usually attributed to the Sheremetev Palace which stunned contemporaries with its luxury. Now it is building number 19 on the street; the modern, but no less luxurious facade is an 1862 redesign by Andrei Stakensneider.
A decree issued on 20 April 1738 by the Empress Anna Ivanovna officially assigned the name “German Street” to the street, and the name remained in use until 1789, when it reverted back to Millionnaya street. Apparently, it was more prestigious to live on “Millionaires” Street.
In October 1918, Millionnaya Street was renamed Khalturina Street. Stepan Khalturin (1856-1882), cabinetmaker by trade, in 1875 became friendly with the Populists. Together with Obnorsky they set up the Northern Union of Russian Workers, and organized city factory strikes. In 1879 Khalturin joined the terrorist organization Narodnaya Volya, and carried out a series of bombings in 1880, some of them on the Millionnaya Street. That explosion killed and wounded more than 40 people, mostly innocent soldiers, while Alexander II, the target of the attack, was not injured.
On October 4, 1991 Millionnaya Street was returned its historical name.
For a walking tour of Millionaya Street, be sure to see the following historical buildings:
Millionnaya, 1 – Prince Oldenburg Mansion
Millionnaya, 5 – Marble Palace
Millionnaya, 5 – Monument to Alexander III
Millionnaya 22, 24 – Abamelek-Lazarev Mansion
Millionnaya,35– New Hermitage