The history of this building began in 1781, when among the first 6 schools in Saint-Petersburg a “small public” specialized school was founded by the decree of Catherine the Great. The Vedensky Gymnasium was considered the largest educational institution.
In 1804 the building was transformed into the Vedensky Specialized School. In 1834, the school comprised four classes of education, and a guesthouse was open thereat. Pursuant to the project of the architect Yevgraf Ivanovich Martynov, this building was overbuilt as the third floor.
In 1883-1885, pursuant to the project of the gymnasium architect A.I. Ackerman, the old building was overbuilt as the third floor and was extended by lateral wings. At the same time, the directorate decided to found a small church school, calling it after the name of St. Methodius – “teacher of the Word”, on the occasion of millennium of his death. The altar was placed on the second floor, in a special annex to the elevation facing yard, being connected to the assembly hall through an archway and separated from it by an operable partition.
The great Russian poet Alexander Blok studied at the gymnasium in 1891-1898. In 1900s, he was a regular visitor of Merezhkovsky salons, the “Wednesdays at the Ivanovs”, Sologub salons, etc. He published in Saint-Petersburg a collection of poems, such as: “The Snow Mask” (1907), “Poems of Russia” (1915), “Gray Morning” (1920) and many others. Such literary movement as Russian symbolism has been embodied in the poetry of Blok to the fullest possible extent. The poet saw in the ambient objects and phenomena certain hints of another, perfect world. However, despite the poetics based on the symbols and allegories, the poems of Blok reflected many specific landscapes of Petersburg and suburbs thereof, being often subject to precise topographical definition – Strelna, Lahti, Shuvalov, Ozerkov etc. (“The Stranger”, “In a Restaurant”, “On the Islands”, etc.). Many details of the city life are recorded in Blok’s diaries and notebooks. His vision of Saint-Petersburg was largely influenced by the prose of F.M. Dostoyevsky, N.V. Gogol and A.A. Grigoriev. Blok sought to ensure that all his work would be treated as a single novel in verse, in which the city would be one of the main characters (poetic cycles “The City”, 1904-08; “Retribution”, 1908-13; “Iambus” 1907 - 14). In the poems “The Twelve” (1918), “Retribution” (1910-21, unfinished) and a number of poems, Blok has embedded death of the old Saint-Petersburg and birth of a new town.
Pursuant to the project of V.M. Elkashev, a second building was built behind the main construction. The church was also moved therein, being consecrated upon its redevelopment in 1899. Prior to the temple closure in 1918, it represented a priesthood of the farther Nikolai Mikhailovich Gurev, who defrocked himself the next year. The iconostasis had been moved from the closed church to the poorhouse of the Vedensky church, where on February 18, 1920 a warm temporary chapel was consecrated.
At the beginning of the XXth century, it was the place of studies made by S.D. Vasiliev, a Soviet actor, film director and screenwriter, People’s Artist of the USSR (1948), director of the movie “Chapaev”.
In 1913 the Vedensky Gymnasium was renamed into the “Peter the Great Gymnasium”.
Since 1950s the building had been delivered to the engineering tradesman school, thereafter to the technical school of sewers. By the year 1990, the building was under the emergency conditions.
Since 1999, the Vedensky Gymnasium has been considered as a regionally significant monument of architecture. In October 2011, the “Vedensky” Hotel was opened therein.