Nelson's Courtyard – Saint Petersburg, Russia - Atlas Obscura
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Saint Petersburg, Russia

Nelson's Courtyard

A surreal pile of colorful junk fills a small yard in an otherwise gray neighborhood.  

Discovering this strange yard feels like stepping into a surreal dream. Your eyes instantly dart among the bizarre array of random objects packed within the space to try to make sense of it all.

The courtyard is a medley of what many would consider to be junk. Bright old cars driven by cuddly, plush toys rest beneath bicycles suspended in the air and a rocking horse climbing a tree. Musical instruments stand among fake tropical trees, all backdropped by vivid graffiti and other odd objects.

Some locals view the yard as piece of contemporary art, while others are convinced it’s just another than a pile of trash. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the objects or their arrangement, which gives it a clear sense of randomness some say is the entire point of the display. 

The jolting sight of all the colorful oddities is in stark contrast to the surrounding gray buildings. It’s definitely a hard-to-miss spot within the neighborhood. Though the courtyard is in front of a private residence, some local guides have begun including it on their Saint Petersburg tours as a quirky point of interest.

Know Before You Go

The yard is a short walk distance from Petrogradskaya or Chkalovskaya metro station.