New Holland has long been hidden away from the world. The austere grandeur of its arches and warehouses – the only elements visible to the outside world – have thus far constituted the architectural identity of the entire island, giving New Holland a reputation as one of the most romantic corners of St. Petersburg, while its inaccessibility has spawned legends of what lies beyond the red bricks.
From the moment of its founding, New Holland has been under naval control. The sizable territory has been used for maintenance of the Russian fleet: in one spot they stored lumber for ship-building, in another they constructed rows of warehouses, a water tank for testing ships and submarines, a naval prison and one of the first radio stations in the country.
The history of the island is one filled with illustrious names, the leading specialists, engineers and architects of Russia, while the buildings themselves are lauded as pre-eminent examples of early Russian Classicism. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the island has been given over to the city, launching a new chapter in its incredible history.