Circus Ciniselli was the first stone-built circus in Russia. The building, which still stands, was opened on 26 December 1877, with a large stage (13 meters in diameter) and stables (housing 150 horses). The architect was Vasily Kenel. The Italian circus performer Gaetano Ciniselli (1815-1881) first visited Saint Petersburg in 1847, as part of the troupe of Alessandro Guerra. He returned to Russia in 1869, this time working with Carl-Magnus Hinne, his brother-in-law, in his circuses in Moscow and Saint Petersbrug. Ciniselli settled in Russia, and inherited Hinne's circuses in 1875.

The Ciniselli family managed the circus until 1921, when they emigrated. They would often lease the building to stage high-profile entertainment events, such as the World Wrestling Championship in 1898 and Max Reinhardt's production of Oedipus Rex which featured Alexander Moissi in 1911. In 1918 Iury Iurev revived the play using the original set. This was followed by the production of Macbeth featuring Maria Andreeva and Feodor Chaliapin.

Two halls in the building house the first circus museum in the world, opened in 1928.

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    Founded: 1877
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    User Reviews

    Viktor Vasilec (3 years ago)
    Excellent!!!
    Danesh Rustomfram (3 years ago)
    Enjoyed the circus a lot. The best part was the clown who involved the audience which was hilarious. The acrobats were also superb
    Vladimir Andronov (3 years ago)
    Went there with my children, but enjoyed myself a lot. Nice and clean place with gentle personnel. The show itself is just amazing. I remember when I was kind I was pretty sure I could do half of what gymnasts were doing then, when I grow up. That's maybe the case, yes. But performance nowadays is just beyond the borders... Incredible skills. Definitely will go back with my children.
    AFAF AlSharaf (3 years ago)
    kids loved it. I needed some time to get used to the show but then started to enjoy myself. very well organized
    Joe Ma (3 years ago)
    Enjoy the show sooo much. Is a must for adult and family. Well done to all the performers
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