St. Petersburg of the Romanovs

From the very founding and until 1917, the history of this city was closely intertwined with the Romanov Dynasty. The Emperor, ruling and dowager Empresses, children and grandchildren of Monarchs were all part of it.
Each Emperor and Empress, Duke and Duchess had their own city palace and a country house. The itinerary offers a walk through the main palaces and get into the spirit of the age of Romanovs.

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Constructed by Rastrelli (Italian architect whose career was spent strictly in Russia), it is the main residence of the Russian Emperors. From Elizabeth of Russia to Nicholas II, this was the seat of power of the Russian Empire. Now the palace is part of Russia’s principal museum – The State Hermitage.

Ticket offices: Tue, Thu, Sat-Sun 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Wed, Fri 10:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.

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The Palace of Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, uncle of Nicholas II. He was the most influential relative of the last Emperor. Currently the building houses is the Petersburg Academics' House.
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Built by Andrei Stackenschneider, New Michael Palace was commissioned by was commissioned by Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevich of Russia, the grand-uncle of Nicholas II, Governor General of Caucasia, Chairman of the State Council.

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It successively belonged to the last King of Poland Stanisław August Poniatowski, Count Grigory Orlov (favourite of Catherine the Great), Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich (brother of Alexander I), Grand Duke Constantine Nikolayevich (son of Nicholas I), and to his son – a general, play-writer and a poet – Constantine Constantinovich. Currently it servers as a branch of the Russian Museum.

Ticket offices : Mon, Wed, Fri-Sun 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Thu 1 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
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Alexandr III’s brother Sergey Alexandrovich and the Killer of Rasputin – Nicholas II’s nephew Dmitry Pavlovich – lived here.
Anichkov Palace was built by Rastrelli for the morganatic marriage of Empress Elizabeth to Count Alexei Razumovsky. Catherine the Great bought it and gifted it to her favourite, Grigory Potemkin, who in turn sold it to the Treasury. The palace was occupied by the children of Paul I - Grand Duchess Ekaterina Pavlovna and then the future Grand Duke Nikolai Pavlovich, who in time became Emperor Nicholas I. After Alexander III’s accession to the throne, he decided not to move to the Winter Palace and ruled Russia from here. Nicholas II gave the palace to his mother, Empress Maria Fedorovna, who was its last owner.

The different periods left their marks on the palace. The grand staircase and a second-storey suite of rooms with a winter garden built in the 1870s by Ippolit Monigetti are what remains of the building’s imperial glory. The “fairytale rooms” painted in 1936 by Palekh icon painters based on Pushkin’s fairytales and Gorky’s stories represent the heritage of Soviet times.
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Emperor Paul moved to Saint Michael’s Castle on November 1, 1800. The wall plaster had yet to dry and the huge halls were filled with fog. On the night of March 1, 1801, a group of Guard Corps officers unhappy with the Emperor and his reforms wandered through the foggy rooms to his bedchamber where they strangled and trampled Paul to death.

In 1819, Saint Michael’s Castle was given over to the army’s Main Engineering School and from then on the building was known as the Engineers’ Castle. The most famous graduate of this school was the writer Fedor Dostoyevsky who, it should be noted, never put the knowledge and skills acquired here to any use.

Today the castle is home to a branch of the Russian Museum. The bridge to the only entrance to the castle has been restored. There’s even a monument to Emperor Paul in the inner courtyard.

Ticket offices: Mon, Wed, Fri-Wed 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Thu 1 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.