(formerly Alexander Square; renamed in honor of the playwright A. N. Ostrovskii), one of Leningrad’s central squares.
Together with Architect Rossi Street (previously Theater Street) and Lomonosov Square (previously Chernyshev Square), Ostrovskii Square is an organizational element that provides articulation to a large part of the city. (The area that it unifies was built up between 1816 and 1834 according to designs by the architect C. Rossi.) The square opens onto Nevsky Prospect. At the opposite end of the square is the A. S. Pushkin Leningrad Academic Drama Theater. In the center of the square there is a monument to Catherine II (bronze and granite, 1862–73, based on a sketch by M. O. Mikeshin). The theater is flanked on the west by the M. E. Saltykov-Shchedrin Public Library and on the east by the specially built pavilions of the Anichkov Palace.
The imposing Empire-style buildings have numerous sculptures and are united by common architectural motifs and by the unhurried, measured rhythm of the colonnades, whose columns rise from high bases. All these elements impart to the square a ceremonial, gala character. Other monumental structures are the twin buildings on Architect Rossi Street—which extend for the entire length of the street (220 m)—and the buildings on Lomonosov Square.