The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation Awarded the “Universe of Water” the status of a federal platform for museum and exhibition events


At the end of June, the Complex was registered as a federal platform for museum and exhibition events by the decision of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. This will allow SUE “Vodokanal of St.Petersburg” to enhance cooperation with national museums and to display their collections’ exhibits at 56 Shpalernaya Street.

As early as on July 1st, the “Man and Water” project was launched in the «Universe of Water” Exposition and Exhibition Complex, organized jointly with the Russian Ethnographic Museum. The “Universe of Water” in a new status and within the first long-term project framework opens the exhibition “Hurrying Okhta-girl with a jug”.

The exhibition will run until September 26, 2021 and will be located on the 3rd floor of the Water Tower at 56E Shpalernaya Street. It will be a part of the “St.Petersburg Water World” historical exhibition tour.

The complex is open from 10:00 to 18:00, Wednesday to Sunday (ticket office closes at 17:30). Information about the costs and conditions of visiting the “Universe of Water” and the Complex activities is provided on the official website.


Many famous Petersburgers of 18th - early 20th centuries spoke and wrote about the ethnocultural identity of the population of the Okhtinskaya Sloboda (large commercial settlement), located at the confluence of the Okhta River into the city main waterway - the Neva.

The townspeople called the local residents as “Okhtians” or “Okhtens”, first of all, linking their special way of life and culture with the location of their settlements – “beyond the Neva, on the Okhta”. Indeed, the Okhtians were separated from St.Petersburg not so much by a considerable distance as by the nearly unfordable natural border - the Neva. In winter, the inhabitants of Okhta crossed the river to the city along the ice, and in summer - only via crossing, since there were no bridges across the river.

Okhta-people were known in St.Petersburg as good carpenters and furniture makers, and their wives were called “Okhten milkmaids”, since they traded milk, which was highly valued by the townsfolk. Okhta-women could have been easily recognized by their distinguished peculiar costume, which included elements of Russian and Dutch folk dress. Another distinctive detail of their appearance was jugs or cans of milk, and often milkmaids carried them for convenience in baskets on a yoke. The Okhten milkmaids are central figures of the images of St.Petersburg artists and photographers, and recently a monument to the Okhten milkmaid has appeared in the “Neva” park on Okhta.