The Exchange building is central to the entire architectural ensemble. It was built in 1805−1810 according to the project of Toma de Thomon. It roughly divided empty area on which it was situated, into two parts, which became separate squares — the Exchange and Kollezhskaya (Collegia). Its construction fully answered the needs of the booming economy of Russia then. The building is remarkable by itself: it was made as an imitation of an ancient temple. Rostral columns, which we have already mentioned above, are located just in front of the Exchange.
Beside Zoological and Kunstkamera museums, Strelka also has the Central Museum of Soil Science named after V. V. Dokuchaev and the Literary Museum, better known as Pushkin House or the Institute of Russian literature of Russian Academy of sciences.
The history of the area began simultaneously with the founding of St. Petersburg. The plots of land on the banks of the Bolshaya Neva and the embankments of the supposed canals (on the site of modern lines) were assigned to the wealthiest nobles and monasteries with the obligation to build two-story stone houses according to the "exemplary" project. But the utopian nature of the project became apparent very quickly — the dug channels were filled up. The subsequent restructuring in the XVIII — XIX centuries almost wiped out the internal pathways in the district. As a reminder of those times, only Repin Street and Dneprovsky Lane remained. Gradually, on Vasilyevsky island, a whole complex of administrative buildings was formed, including the University, the Stock Exchange building, the Twelve Collegiums, the Academy of Sciences, the Kunstkamera, the Mining Institute, the Academy of Arts, the Marine Corps and many others .
The promontory in the east of Vasilyevsky Island, which divides the Neva into the Small and Large ones, is called the Arrowhead, or Spit of an Island. For a long time, from the 1730s to 1885, there was a city port there, but today Strelka is an idle and careless place: here the newlyweds drink "Soviet champagne" and tourists, let out of their buses for a minute, click their camera's shutters. The widest and most picturesque panorama of the city opens for your view from this vantage point: right ahead of the course — Trinity Bridge, on the left hand — the Peter and Paul Fortress, on the right — the Hermitage and other solemn facades on Palace Embankment, and behind you there is another classic ensemble of Birzhevaya (Stock exchange) Square. It was formed in the first third of the XIX century. First, French architect Toma de Thomon built the Exchange (1810) in the form of an ancient temple with a Doric colonnade, then he also designed descents to the Neva and installed two Rostral columns with ship's prows (rostra) protruding from them, the pedestals are decorated with sculptural allegories of rivers: closer to the Palace Bridge are the Neva and Volkhov, on the opposite side — the Volga and the Dnieper. A little later, Italian architect Lukini built two warehouse buildings (1832), that is, a warehouse on each side of the Exchange. Zoological Museum is open for visitors in the southern warehouse. Until recently, the stock exchange was also a museum — Naval, but it was moved to Labor Square; Hermitage is going to place an exhibition dedicated to heraldry in the empty halls of the building.
Torches on the Rostral columns are now lit only on special festive occasions, but anyhow during the summer time there's a constant festival at the Arrowhead: various Latin dancing, salsa, boogie-woogie and tango enthusiasts hold their open-air parties there.