Dom Knigi ("House of the Book")

St. Petersburg's largest and most famous bookshop, Dom Knigi ("House of the Book") occupies one of the most beautiful buildings on Nevsky Prospekt - the Singer Company Building, an innovative and richly decorated Art Nouveau masterpiece.
The site at the intersection of Nevsky Prospekt and the Griboedov Canal, opposite Kazan Cathedral, was the location of the riding school of Duke Ernst Johann von Biron, the powerful favourite of Empress Anna. When this building burnt down, it was replaced by three-storey residential building, where St. Petersburg's first photographer, Sergey Levitskiy, had his workshops in the 1850s. In 1902, the plot of land was bought for a million rubles by Singer Manufacturing Company, the world-famous maker of sewing machines.Dom Knigi, the main state bookseller, was opened in the building in 1938. During the Siege of Leningrad, the shop continued to operate even when a bomb was dropped on the neighbouring building, shattering all of Dom Knigi's windows and flooding the storage rooms. It was only in the winter of 1941 that the shop, lacking electricity and heating, closed temporarily. The building was closed in 1948 to repair war damage, and again for restoration in the middle of the last decade. Otherwise, it has been St. Petersburg's most popular bookshop for over seventy years.