Domenico Trezzini 2003
Distributed by Chip Taylor Communications, 2 East View Drive, Derry, NH 03038-4812; 800-876-CHIP (2447)
Produced by TSI, Inc.
Directed by Jiri Havdra
VHS, color, 88 min.
College - Adult
Architecture, History, European Studies
Date Entered: 05/05/2004Reviewed by Michael Fein, Coordinator of Library Services, Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg, VA
This excellent production profiles the architect and planner of St. Petersburg, Domenico Trezzini. An ethnic Italian from Switzerland, he was trained in Rome and, while working as an engineer for the Danes in 1703, was hired to plan and execute the dream of Peter the Great to build a “Window on the West.” Saint Petersburg has been also called the “Venice of the North” because it is built on a number of islands at the mouth of the Neva River and criss-crossed by numerous canals and streams. This reviewer spent the summer of 1978 studying at the University there and can testify to the beauty, charm, and majesty of the city that Dostoevsky calls “the most premeditated.” The narration of this production is an overall chronological retelling of the most salient points of Trezzini’s life: origins, his hiring, and his labors. To illustrate this the video presents views of the town of the architect’s birth and the valley in which it sits, views of St. Petersburg and its environs, as well as historic plans, drawings, and engravings of the city. All of this is done exceptionally well. The narrator is very clear and this program is, overall, very informative. Programs in Russian studies will be most interested, however those who want to delve deep into the history of architecture and/or urban planning may wish to consider.