Circus on Fontanka

By on July 9, 2013
St.Petersburg Circus

The Circus on Fontanka hospitably opens its doors to kids and…and grown-up kids, offering spectacular shows by the best circus actors from Russia, Europe, America, Asia and South Africa. Agile acrobats, funny clowns, skillful trainers, Indian fakirs, swift jugglers and mysterious magicians show their incredible mastery. Brown bears, elephants, lions, sea bears, monkeys and many other rare and exotic animals perform on the huge arena too. The official programme of the Great St. Petersburg Circus contains of acts such as: pair balancing of air gymnasts, Russian stick, performing dogs, crisscross rope, Oriental frescos on the camels, trapeze and many more. The show changes from season to season. For instance, during summer time different visiting performers showcase their acts on St. Petersburg Circus’s Stage.

The origins

Open air acrobatic performances with elements of humor and buffoonery have been famed in Russia since Peter’s times. The history of the Circus takes its’ beginning in the year 1877 when a modern ground with a huge dome was erected at the embankment of Fontanka river. V. A. Kennel – a talented Russian architect – engaged himself in the implementation of this project. He managed to have a circus that can stage the greatest entertainment of all European arenas, making the dream of Petersburg’s citizens come true… But credit for the idea and efforts to create the circus belong to the Italian equestrian and trainer Gaetano Chinizelli.

In the 19th Century, citizens of St. Petersburg loved to attend spectacular and unusual performances. Therefore, Chinizelli (the owner) was always improving the programme; he invited interesting guests like jugglers, stunt men, fakirs and trainers from Europe and Asia. Including features like the Water Pantomime cascading down onto the arena impressed and attracted visitors from all over Russia as well.

In soviet times the most popular circus actors – Zapashniys, Durovs, Filatovs, Kio and Kantemirovs – rose to fame here. Funny clowns Vitaly Lazarenko, Pavel Alekseevich, Mikhail Rumyantsev were generally recognized for their sparkling and witty jokes, which made audiences, laugh a lot.  Maitres, humourists and trainers that are still beloved in Russia, Yuri Nikulin, Mikhail Shuidin, Oleg Popov, Yuri Kuklachev, also worked under the dome of Leningradsky circus.

Performances start at 11:30, 12:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 19:00 and usually last about 2 and a half hours.

Ticket prices range from 300 to 2000 rubles.


Address: St.Petersburg, Fontanka river embankment, 3.
Metro station “Gostiny dvor”. Then a 10 to 15 minute walk from Nevsky prospekt by Karavannaya ulitsa to the circus building.
Т: (+7812) 570 53 90, 570 54 11

Translation by Igor Todorov
Edited by Joan Akatukunda

About Julia G.

I am from Moscow, but very frequent in S.Peter. Love it!


  1. kamyar

    September 4, 2016 at 10:49 am

    hello dear julia i am visiting moscow and st petersburg this week .i am looking forward a live russia concert in moscow or st petersburg from 7th to 12 sep please give me informations thx (or moscow days)

    • kamyar

      September 4, 2016 at 10:50 am


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