This is one of the two Rostral Columns in front of the Exchange Building on Vasilyevsky Island, the largest island in the River Neva's delta. These were erected by Thomas de Thomon between 1805 and 1810 and are modeled after those erected by the Romans after naval victories. They are decorated with models of the prows of the enemy ships that were destroyed destroyed by the Russian fleet. These columns also acted as lighthouses, with hemp oil burned in the bronze bowls at the top, although nowadays they are only lit by gas torches during festivals.
I can't quite remember where I took this, but it was some panoramic stop with lots of tourist wares being marketed and this gentleman with two bear cubs to show off for photographs.