St. Petersburg, the jewel of Russia, is famous worldwide for its Imperial palaces which are dotted throughout the city and its suburbs. These magnificent palaces are a testament to the wealth and opulent tastes of the Russian Tsars, and are amongst the grandest residences in all of Europe.
There is a myriad of palaces to visit in and around St. Petersburg: some are now galleries and museums, others are stately homes. Just a few located in the centre of the city which are worth mentioning include:
- Marble Palace – St. Petersburg’s Marble Palace is a magnificent Imperial residence located at the north-west corner of the city’s Field of Mars, between the Neva River and Millionaya Ulitsa. Neoclassical in design, it was built between 1768 and 1785, and its interiors and exteriors are made from thirty two different varieties of marble. Catherine I presented the palace to one of her grandsons. The palace was refurbished in gothic and renaissance style in 1843, leaving only the Grand Staircase and Marble Hall in their original form. Today it is part of the State Russian Museum.
- Stroganoff Palace – located on the corner of the Nevsky Prospekt and the Moika River Embankment, this fine old aristocratic residence is today home to part of the State Russian Museum Collections. It was the home of a family of prominent Russian merchants who dated from the 1400’s, and they became noblemen after providing financial assistance to Peter the Great’s armies. The baroque palace was built in 1754, and was renovated in neoclassical style in the 1790’s.
- Menshikov Palace – this palace was the home of Alexander Menshikov, a close friend of Peter the Great who came from humble origins but was promoted to status of Duke when Peter became Tsar. He supervised the construction of the Peter and Paul Fortress. His own palace was commissioned on Vasilievsky Island, and Menshikov resided there until 1727 (at which time he was exiled to Siberia). It was the most opulent palace to have ever been built in the city at that time, and was often used for hosting Imperial functions.
- Beloselskih-Belozerskih Palace – this magnificent rococo-inspired palace dates from the 1840’s, and is located on the Nevsky Prospekt. It belonged to the Beloselskih Princes, who were descended from the founder of Moscow. The building was designed by the personal architect to Tsar Nicholas I, and was built in 1848. The palace was owned for a time by the brother of Tsar Alexander III, Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich; he restored and redesigned some of the interiors into what we see today.
No visit to St. Petersburg is complete without a visit to at least a couple of the lavish, opulent, and magnificent palaces located in and around the city. With the above mentioned palaces and no fewer than twenty-five others from which to choose, visitors will be spoiled for choice as they step back to another time in Russia’s grand history. Book today with Scandi Travel for a premium experience – we can take care of all your transportation, accommodation, and touring needs!