Anichkov Palace is the oldest building on Nevsky Prospekt in the style of Classicism, in Saint Petersburg. Mikhail Zemtsov originally designed the project of the former imperial palace in 1741, and after two years the architect died, and later the palace was built under the supervision of other masters, first by Dmitriev and then Bartolomeo Rastrelli. The construction was completed in 1754. The Empress Elizabeth Petrovna presented the Palace to her favorite Count, Andrey Razumovsky. Later the treasury bought the palace, and Catherine II presented it to her lover – Prince Grigoriy Potemkin. The new owner, with the help of architect Ivan Starov, reconstructed the facades in the style of Neoclassicism and Baroque, the building received more precise appearance. Subsequently, many well-known architects made their adjustments to the building plan at the request of the owners, but each of them treated it very carefully and tactfully. In 1803-1805, along with the Nevsky Prospekt and the Fontanka embankment, under the project of D. Quarenghi, the buildings of the Cabinet-institution were built. A building for the Public Library was built, and one of the garden pavilions was converted for the performances of the Italian theater.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the palace changed its owner and became the property of the Imperial family; a new tradition arose among the imperial nobility – Anichkov Palace began to be transferred as a wedding gift. In 1809 Alexander I presented Anichkov Palace to his sister Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna, on the occasion of her marriage with Prince George of Oldenburg. For their family, the building was rebuilt by L. Ruska, the Ballroom and the Great Dining Room were built. Georg Oldenburgsky died in 1812, and in 1816 Catherine Pavlovna married the Crown Prince Wilhelm of Württemberg, and she left for the new homeland. Before leaving the palace, she sold the palace to the treasury for 2,000,000 rubles.
In 1817, Alexander I presented the palace to his brother (Nicholas I) on the occasion of his marriage with Alexandra Fyodorovna (Princess Charlotte of Prussia). The reconstruction of the palace according to the tastes of its new owners was carried out by Carlo Rossi for three years: from 1817 to 1820. During this time, He built the Service Corps, two garden pavilions. Near the Anichkov Palace from the side of Nevsky Prospekt, a stone fence with a gate was built. In the Anichkov Palace, Carl Rossi re-designed the Ballroom, Music, Sofa, Cabinet, Boudoir, bedrooms. In other rooms, the walls were painted under marble, installed new stoves, fireplaces, chandeliers, sconces and floor lamps. All the interior items were made according to the drawings of Rossi. As a result, the interiors of Anichkov Palace became a single whole ensemble. In 1825 Nicholas I became Emperor, and he gave Anichkov Palace the status of the “Imperial Palace.”
The next owner of the Anichkov Palace was Grand Duke Alexander Nikolaevich (future Alexander II) in 1841. In 1865, the architect Anthony Gibert worked for Anichkov Palace for the heir to the throne, son of Alexander II, Grand Duke Nicholas Alexandrovich. But Nicholas Alexandrovich suddenly died. In 1866 the palace became the residence of the Grand Duke Alexander Alexandrovich, the future of Alexander III. At the same time, the wedding of the Grand Duke and the Danish Princess Dagmar (the future Empress Maria Fyodorovna) took place in the palace. Alexander III often lived in Anichkov Palace, where he spent not only his private time but also engaged in public affairs. In the Anichkov Palace, the childhood of Alexander III’s son, the future Emperor Nicholas II, passed. The last owner of the estate was the mother of Nicholas II, Empress Maria Fyodorovna. In 1914, the niece of Nicholas II, Grand Duchess Irina Alexandrovna and Prince Felix Yusupov, was married in the Anichkov Palace Church.
Immediately after the revolution, the Anichkov Palace was nationalized. The Museum of the History of the City was opened there (1918-1935), and later the Palace of Pioneers was opened there. At this time, the decoration of the palace suffered particularly badly. Now the Palace of Young Creativity and Anichkov Lyceum work here. In September 1941, an artillery shell hit the main building of the Anichkov Palace and destroyed the winter garden. The military field hospital was located in the palace. The Palace of the Pioneers did not stop its work in the blockade, and the palace was restored in 1945. In 1990, the Palace of Pioneers was transformed into the Palace of Youth Creativity.
If you are planning to Visit Saint Petersburg, do not miss the Anichkov Palace, an architectural masterpiece of the 18th century. Today, interesting exhibitions and children group’s work are held there. Our Russia tour is the great opportunity to visit Saint Petersburg and Moscow on one trip. Russia is full of wonders and always surprises its guests. Are you ready for an amazing journey? Book your Russia tour now!
Address: Невский просп., 39, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 191023
Architectural style: Baroque architecture
Architects: Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, Mikhail Zemtsov