Palaces of St. Petersburg
They are majestic and solid, decorated with gold and precious stones, which keep the centuries-old history of the state and the secrets of the rulers, repeating in one voice: “This is Russia, this is the glorious city of Peter!”.
Of course, the speech is about the beautiful palaces of the northern capital, which are so fit into the modern city that sometimes it becomes difficult to imagine how hundreds of years ago, great emperors and empresses strolled along the corridors of current museums and colleges.
Most of the presented architectural objects have undoubtedly become the hallmark of the city, they inspired artists and sculptors hundreds of years ago, and with the same success do it today, attracting, thereby, a huge flow of tourists from all cities and countries.
All this is no accident, because such a variety of styles and forms can not be found in any other place on the planetю Petersburg is a unique city in which the emperor's residences and skyscrapers adjoin, and the strict brick facades are friends with baroque delights. This is a city that mixed centuries and brought them into one beautiful melody that you want to enjoy day by day.
The Winter Palace
The Winter Palace is a stately facility, located near the Neva river, in the heart of the Northern capital. One of the largest palaces and museum complexes in the world annually opens its doors to millions of tourists who are ready to stand for more than one hour in line to admire the exquisite decoration of the Winter Palace.
What a rich history keeps this place and these walls! It is hard to believe but once Peter I himself lived here in a tiny wooden house which was built solely because of its proximity to the workplace. Peter at that time considered himself to be just a shipmaster. Did he realize that he is making history? Did he think that he lives in the center of the future city known to the whole world for its beauty?
The palaces were rebuilt, styles and architects changed, emperors and empresses changed in the following years and centuries, but the main thing remained: stateliness, scale and chic, which seemed to show the whole world: «We are Russia, it cannot be broken by water or fire.» Unfortunately, the Winter Palace really survived the strongest fire which left behind only the walls covered with ash. But he was reborn from the ashes like a phoenix and became even more powerful and stately!
The palace has been associated with the Hermitage for many people for several centuries, some even confuse these two historical objects and do not assume that they divide one roof into two. And in some ways they are even right, because the Hermitage in St. Petersburg is not one, and this word is translated from French as “secluded corner”, it is in Pushkin and in Peterhof. However in any of these places you will not be able to hide. But if you look at it from the other side, an exciting and warm feeling appears on your soul, because as long as people remember and honor their history — the country continues to live!
The address of the Winter Palace is 2 Palace Square.
The Mariinsky Palace
The Mariinsky Palace is a luxurious and at the same time cozy palace, named in honor of his young mistress who did not want to leave the beloved city after the new husband as required by tradition. The site for construction was chosen by Nikolay I himself, looking for the most convenient and worthy of his daughter. Much in this palace was done under Maria Nikolaevna. It was majestic palace but at the same time quiet and family-friendly although open to the visit which at that time was a rather unusual phenomenon.
However, the interior of the palace was very different from the other palaces that were built in the same century. The layout of the living rooms has also changed; this was due to the lingering construction of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, which was next door. Many new techniques were used in the construction. There was a ramp in the palace with which it was possible to get to any floor.
But the palace looked very strict and formal with all its fragility and sophistication. Perhaps it was precisely this clarity and conciseness that made it attractive for subsequent inhabitants, because the majority remembered it as the historical center of Russian statehood. In our time, the legislative assembly of St. Petersburg is located within the walls of this monument of architectural art. The Mariinsky Palace is one of the few palaces that have not become a museum, but it still observes the principle of openness to visitors.
The address is 6 St. Isaac's Square.
The Mikhailovsky Palace
All the stateliness and luxury of this work of art tells us that once, the palace belonged to a member of the imperial family. And indeed, it was built for Grand Duke Michael brother of Alexander I. And thanks to the fact that a vacant lot was set aside for future construction, we now have not only a magnificent building, but also the most beautiful garden and park complex around.
Surprisingly, the funds were spent much more for decoration inside the palace than for its construction itself. Elegant sculptures, prototypes of which were antique designs, parquet made of the rarest species of wood demonstrated chic with a Russian scale. Unfortunately, little of the original performance has survived to this day. But even now the distinctive features of the luxury of a classic interior are easily traced.
An incredible number of magnificent celebrations has seen this beautiful palace in his lifetime. The balls were not inferior in their scope and sophistication of the public even to the imperial events. Decades and all sorts of historical events led the Mikhailovsky Palace to its modern destination. For more than a century, it regularly plays the role of the Russian Museum, which has gathered under its roof a unique collection of Russian fine art, from the eleventh century to our contemporaries. The museum collection continues to grow to this day.
The address of the Mikhailovsky Palace is 4 Inzhenernaya St.
The Menshikov Palace
The Menshikov Palace is a remarkable creation that emerged from under the hands of the great masters of architecture, the first stone building of St. Petersburg, built specifically for Governor General Alexander Menshikov, the friend and comrade of Peter I.
Menshikov literally bathed in luxury and could not stop improving his palace, being at the mercy of a powerful patron. Governor regularly supplemented palace rich trappings: crystal chandeliers, Venetian mirrors in gilt frames, masterpieces of painting. Even then his house was filled with all sorts of objects of art like a museum.
The palace many times saw ceremonial receptions of notable gentlemen of the city of Peter and its surroundings, every time they are struck by its scale and grandeur. It was here that the future Russian Empress Anna Ivanovna played her wedding. So, it is not at all surprising that the palace remained the keeper of unique exhibits after the owner himself fell into disgrace. Now for about half a century it has the proud title of a museum, in essence, being a continuation of the Hermitage known all over the world.
The address of the palace is 15 Universitetskaya embankment.
Yelagin Palace is one of the few palaces that began their construction not from scratch but on the basis of an already existing manor. The place was not chosen by chance: a beautiful secluded location on the bank of the river could not be better suited for the summer residence of Empress Maria Feodorovna.
It was the first single architectural ensemble that completely created Rossi, even the interior, including furniture and the smallest details, was painted by the great architect, who was able to create a magnificence from an ordinary manor worthy of royal personages!
An interesting feature of this complex is the doors. Yes, it is the most ordinary doors of which there are a huge number in the palace. But nobody can find two identical doors among them, and some of them are fake, misleading their visitors. That’s so mysterious and fascinating!
Unfortunately, the Elagin Palace like the Winter Palace did not bypass the fire which destroyed almost all the interior decoration. Of course, each room was restored but the original drawings of the architect Rossi did not remain. So today we can observe only the distant greatness of this immortal work of art which has become a museum in our day.
The address of the Palace is 4 Elagin Island.
The Vorontsov Palace
There is one of the most beautiful palaces of St. Petersburg. Even after several centuries it still attracts admiring glances. The magnificent facade which on a sunny day fascinates with the play of numerous shadows as if reminds of its rich history and noble origin. The palace was built according to the project of the great Rastrelli and despite financial difficulties was nevertheless completed in accordance with a unique idea. It is a pity that the magnificent regular garden, which had already freed up a place for modern construction, did not live up to our days.
Vorontsov failed to enjoy life in a new refined palace due to financial difficulties. The palace changed its purpose after the sale from year to year. However, the building is in the use of the Suvorov Military School for more than fifty years. Unfortunately, because of this fact the interior decoration did not retain its former luxury and was adapted to the training and needs of the students. Now the palace is closed to the public. However, he still remains one of the most famous works of architectural art of our city and a vivid example of baroque style.
The address of the Vorontsov Palace is 26 Sadovaya St.
The construction of the Anichkov Palace began after the ascension to the throne of Empress Elizabeth. Who would have thought that in our day he would become the oldest surviving building on Nevsky? Similarly, it does not fit into the head that a couple of hundred years ago the location of this complex was right on the border of St. Petersburg and it was built initially of entering the city.
The Anichkov Palace was often passed from hand to hand by the empresses' favorites, like many of its architectural counterparts. Occasionally the palace became the residence of the royal family. For example, the emperor moved here after a fire in the Winter Palace at the time of restoration. There were attempts to rename the Palace to Nikolaevsky, but the name did not stick to the people and it remained Anichkov.
The complex existed as a museum for some time. But in the end it continued its further life in the city, like the Palace of Pioneers. And now it serves children by placing dozens of art sections and sports sections in itself for more than half a century.
The address of the palace is 39 Nevsky Prospect.
Priory Palace definitely should be given a share of attention, despite the fact that the palace is located in Gatchina not in St. Petersburg. The style of this architectural work of art is strikingly different from the classics represented in most buildings of St. Petersburg of the 18th centuryю It looks new and fresh. Moreover, it is a unique construction of its kind the only one in Russia built using unusual clay technology.
This palace was erected not for royal persons, but for the knights of the Order of Malta. Pavel I started the construction and later became the owner of this complex. The palace was built on completely different, non-classical rules. It did not have symmetry, so it looked unique on each side, although unpretentious simplicity was visible in the forms.
Throughout its life, the Priory Palace was both a local history museum, a tourist base, and a pioneer home, but now returns to the roots, telling its long-term, interesting and rich history to visitors, while still being the hallmark of Gatchina.
The address of the palace is Priory Park, Chkalova str., Gatchina.
The Catherine Palace
The famous Catherine Palace was formerly called the Big Tsarskoye Selo. This is a unique architectural complex with a facade length of about 300 meters and a beautiful park, which only emphasizes the overall magnificence of the composition. This masterpiece appeared thanks to the efforts of the three Russian empresses who settled not only Petersburg but also its suburbs.
The most famous and popular object of the Catherine Palace is the Amber Room which in its filling is in no way inferior to the famous museums of Kaliningrad. Unfortunately, most of the objects were lost during the Great Patriotic War, but thanks to the efforts of the restorers the Amber Room opened its doors again and it took about 6 tons of amber to restore.
Restoring the remaining rooms continues to this day and the daily huge queues at the palace-museum indicate that for many this complex is a very important part of the story, and the efforts and resources that are spent on returning the original appearance are not in vain!
The address is 7 Sadovaya Street, Pushkin city.
The palace, which in its beauty and scale can stand on an equal footing with the Winter Palace. Also, this palace was one of the beloved and sought-after residences of Russian emperors. The most famous masters of architecture applied their hands to its creation. Despite the fact that this complex is located outside the city, it is considered to be one of his business cards. Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world come to the shores of the Gulf of Finland to see this magnificent work of art with their own eyes.
Once Peter I decided to create a complex, which in its beauty could be ahead and outshine Versailles. It is safe to say after years that his plan was a success. The magnificence of parks and fountains perfectly conveys the full scope and power of our Great country!
The Grand Palace has several times been able to prove its strength and invincibility. Once the building was almost destroyed, and the exhibits were stolen. But several decades later, the complex once again delights with its rich decoration, beautiful facades and the richest collection of exhibits: figurine finest porcelain, domestic and foreign painting, sculpture and a unique library. And this is only a small part of what the palace can offer you!
You do not have enough weeks to pay attention to every detail in this large-scale work of art. So huge and beautiful is the park with its hidden little squares and fountains, unique landscaping and fancy flower gardens. Definitely this is the place where you want to return again and again.
The address is 2 Razvodnaya St., Petergof.