Sankt Petersburg, the City of Palaces

The Marinskiy Palace in Sankt Petersburg

Marinskiy Palace in St Petersburg ©archer10 (Dennis)/Flick

Sankt Petersburg is one of the most famous cities and the second biggest in Russia. It is also known as the City of Palaces.

Many things could be told about this stunning town with gorgeous and famous buildings, about the vibrant history of the city and the numerous islands connected with beautiful bridges.

Today we would like to offer you a brief presentation of the twenty most known palaces in Sankt Petersburg, breathtaking baroque and neoclassical buildings made in the 18th and the 19th century.


The famous Winter Palace and other baroque palaces

One of the oldest is the Summer Palace, a modest house built for Peter the Great in the Summer Garden.

More impressive are his companions baroque palaces, as the Menshikov Palace, built by architect Domenico Tresini in the early 18th century. An annex to the palace was built for Peter II and now houses the Saint Petersburg State University.

The Winter Palace in Sankt Petersburg was built in the mid 18th century in baroque style as the winter residence of the Russian tzars. It is a huge green building with luxurious interiors. Today, the palace is part of the Hermitage Museum, which houses one of the largest art collections in the world.

The Winter Palace in Sankt Petersburg

The Winter Palace in Sankt Petersburg ©Ed Yourdon/Flick

Architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli also design three more palaces: the pink Stroganov Palace which today is The Wax Museum, the yellow Vorontsov Palace, which is military school today and it is closed to the public and the pink Anichkov Palace, which is children’s palace today.

Other baroque palaces in Sankt Petersburg are the Shermetev Palace also known as ‘the Fountain House’, today State Museum of Theater and Musical Art and the Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy Palace from the mid 19th century. This deep pink building gives place to the Municipal Cultural Center and you can attend concerts of chamber music here.

Saint Michael’s Castle and other neoclassical palaces

Of neoclassical palaces, the most famous is Saint Michael’s Castle (Mikhailovsky Castle or Engineers’) built for Emperor Paul I in the late 18th century to replace the older Summer Palace.

Saint Michael’s Castle in Sankt Petersburg

Saint Michael’s Castle in Sankt Petersburg ©marissas23/Flick

The Tauride Palace (Tavricheskiy Palace) of Prince Potemkin, located in the immediate vicinity, gave place to the first Russian parliament.

The Marble Palace, situated next to the Hermitage was built in the mid 18th century from different types of marble.

The Michael Palace (Mikhailovsky Palace) from the early 19th century is famous for its opulent interiors and now houses the Russian Museum.

Other palaces built in neoclassical style are the Yusupov Palace, the Razumovsky palace, the Shuvalov Palace and the Elaghin Palace.

The Yupusov Palace in Sankt Petersburg

The Yupusov Palace in Sankt Petersburg ©wwhyte1968/Flick

Other beautiful imperial palaces

Less important palaces in Sankt Petersburg were built as residence for the children of Tzar Nicholas.

Two of them are located in the center of the city: The Maria Palace (Mariinskiy Palace) which always was a government building and the Nicholas Palace (Nikolaevskiy Palace). Both of them are closed to the public, but you can attend a folk music or dance performance in the latter.

The New Michael Palace (New Mikhailovskiy Palace) lies between the Winter Palace and the Marble Palace.

The Vladimir Palace was built in the second half of the 19th century for the son of Alexander II, being the last imperial palace in Sankt Petersburg.

The Marinskiy Palace in Sankt Petersburg

Marinskiy Palace in St Petersburg ©archer10 (Dennis)/Flick

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