Since the time of Peter the Great Vasilievsky island has been the scientific and educational centre of the city; so it is today. St.-Petersburg State University is the oldest university in Russia founded in 1724 by Peter the Great. The administration of the University is located in the Twelve Collegiums Building, one of the earliest aedifices in St.-Petersburg. This red 400 meter long building today also houses the school of biology and the university library. However, this was not a University building originally: as the name suggests, Peter placed there his twelve ministries, with the idea, that the officials will easily and eagerly communicate with each other by means of a long passage running through all twelve sections of the building. The plan collapsed soon after Peter’s death.
Between the University and the central maternity house you can see a statue of the famous Russian scholar M. Lomonosov: a versatile self-made man, son of a peasant, often referred to as the Russian Leonardo da Vinci, he came to the capital on foot from a derelict Northern village willing to study and later contributed extensively to sciences, humanities and literature.
For more http://www.spbu.ru/