Nevsky prospekt was laid out in the early days of the city, it was first known as the Great Perspective Road, running 4,5 km (3 miles) from the Admiralty to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, to which it owes its name. It resembles the string of a bow formed by the curve of the Neva. The Neva is behind us and the Neva is far ahead. In the early years of the city’s existence in spite of roaming wolves and uncontrollable flooding from the Neva which made the avenue navigable in 1721, fine mansions started to appear. Shops catering for the nobility and inns for travelling merchants followed. By the mid-18th century the avenue had become the place to see and to be seen, to meet for gossip, business and pleasure. Nevsky prospekt also shows a wealth of cultural interest: theatres, concert halls, museums, churches, etc. All this ensures that people from all over town regularly visit the main street, which is practically never empty.