Saint-Petersburg is famous for its numerous palaces. Most of them are situated in the city but there are some in the suburbs of St. Petersburg. It is not a surprise why there are so many of them. For more than two centuries St. Petersburg was a capital of Russian Empire. Not only Imperial family but lots of noble families lived here too. According to the projects of famous foreign and Russian architects numerous palaces were build for them. In spite of the revolutions and wars we can still admire some of the palaces nowadays.
The most famous and popular palace among Russian and foreign visitors is the Winter Palace. It is used to be the official residence of the Royal Family till the Communists Revolution of 1917. Nowadays it is the main building of the world famous Hermitage Museum. Almost all visitors start there tour of the Hermitage museum with the Winter Palace.
The present day Winter Palace is the fifth one that was built on the shore of the Never River. It was erected for Elizabeth I who was daughter of Peter the Great. Unfortunately she never lived in the palace. She died in 1761 before it was finished. The palace was decorated in Russian Baroque style upon the project of Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastelli. Nowadays you can see only two interiors in Baroque sty – The main staircase and the Grand Palace Church.
The Palace suffered a lot during the fire of 1837. It took two years to restore it. The interior decoration of the palace changed a lot influenced by the taste of the new century.
The Winter Palace belonged to the Royal Family till 1917. It was the evidence of numerous gala receptions and balls, happy and memorable events in the life of the Imperial family. And even it was involved into the events of the WWI and Communists Revolution. After Revolution it was nationalized and became part of the biggest museum of Russia – the Hermitage Museum.
If you decide to come and visit St. Petersburg you have definitely to include this palace into the list of ‘must to see’ attractions.0