Mariinsky Palace in Saint Petersburg had an essential role in the political life of Russia. Initially, it was home for the daughter of Nicolas I. Later, alongside with Winter and Tauride Palaces it was one of the political palaces of that time. The Palace served as the Headquarters of the Russian Provisional Government.
In the middle of the 18th century that land belonged to the earl Ivan Chernyshev who built his own palace there and even invited Catherine the Great to celebrate the housewarming. After the earl’s death, the building was transferred to the coffers and got occupied by various state organizations.
During 1839–1844, a new palace was built there under the supervision of an architect Andrei Stackenschneider. The Emperor Nicolas I wanted to present it to his daughter Maria, who married the Duke Leuchtenberg. The palace got the name of its owner – Maria, and it became the official residence of Knyaz Leuchtenberg in 1845.
The palace had to be comfortable, and the Emperor even picked up its location, which appeared on the Isaac’s Square opposite to the St Isaac’s Cathedral if crossing the Moyka river via the Blue bridge. Only modern materials and technologies were applied during the construction process. To avoid the risk of catching on fire, the ceilings of the palace were made of metal, not wood.
Although, the facade of the palace looks classy, it’s very “hi-tech” for that time. For instance, Maria Nikolaevna suffered from leg pains, and it was hard for her to move long distance. Thereby, the palace was equipped with a special ramp which was adorned with various plants and looked like a forest trail.
Almost right after the palace was finished, it opened its doors for free visiting of city residents and guests.
Maria lived in the Palace up till her death, but her children sold it. Thus, Mariinsky palace became state-owned. The State Council, a chancellery and Ministers’ Committee situated there. After the Revolution of 1917, Mariinsky Palace was utilized by the Russian Provisional Government. During the Great Patriotic War, there was a council of war, a political department of Leningrad militia army and an editorial office of the newspaper. In 1991 on the days of the August Coup, there was a resistance centre, and since 1994 the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg is located in the palace.
Apart from being a governmental entity, the palace also has a museum function. The palace is open for tourist visits. However, it is necessary to sign up in advance.
The palace can be visited upon signing up in advance.
|Isaac's Square 6|
|Metro / Subway|
|Isaac's Square||3, 10, 22. 27, 70, 71, 100|
|Isaac's Square||K-169, K-252|