Petroff Palace

Alexander Zelikov / TASS
The magnificent Neo-Gothic palace at Leningradsky Prospect was designed by the great Russian architect Matvey Kazakov. The palace was built at the end of the 18th century on orders from Empress Catherine the Great in honour of the victory in the Russo-Turkish War of 1768-1774. It was assumed that the noble persons of distinction, who were traveling from Petersburg to Moscow, would want to rest here after the arduous road, and to change their clothes before continuing into the city.

Catherine herself had only stopped here once, in 1787, seven years after construction was completed. Legend says that on that night the Empress had sent her guards and retinue fleeing, announcing that the people would guard her. This led to an awful stampede and almost ended tragically. The beautiful park with mighty trees had appeared around the palace a century later, at the end of the 19th century. Napoleon resided here, watching Moscow burn, and they say that the fire was so strong, that some of his hair was singed. Napoleon's stay in the Petroff Palace was passingly mentioned in Alexander Pushkin's novel Eugene Onegin.

Today the palace is managed by Moscow municipal authorities and houses a restaurant, a sauna, a swimming pool, and a small hotel. One of the palace's halls hosts regular concerts of classical music. To have a close look at the building, you can sign up for a tour organized by the Museum of Moscow. Detailed information about the tours is available at the official website.