Mosaic Courtyard – Saint Petersburg, Russia - Atlas Obscura
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Saint Petersburg, Russia

Mosaic Courtyard

A city block packed with whimsical sculptures that seem to be plucked from a tiled fantasy world. 

Whimsical sculptures fill a courtyard nestled within a nondescript city block. Each one is covered in dazzling mosaics, making them look like characters plucked from some sort of tiled fantasy world. All colors of the rainbow shimmer beneath the open sky, adding vibrant pops of pigment to even the grayest day.

The courtyard’s extravagant decor is the work of children at a nearby art academy. Under the tutelage of local artist Vladimir Lubenko, the students have transformed the space into a vivid open-air gallery. Lubenko began the project in 1984, when he decided to jazz up his workspace. He, alongside the students, continued adding new artwork after he opened a school.

Their imaginative fairytale figures cover the walls and benches. Plump figures glint and glitter like abstract, shaped disco balls. Large sculptures, both animal and human, dot the grounds. There’s even a small jungle gym covered entirely in brilliant mosaics. The planters, too, boast their own shiny glass scenes.

People who wander in often think of renowned artists when they stumble across the display. It’s a delightful surprise to realize the curious creations are largely the work of children, able to use the courtyard as a canvas for transforming their imaginative ideas into artistic reality.