Stroganov Palace in the centre of Saint Petersburg is a unique building of baroque style, constructed in the 18th century. This huge house belonged to the ancient merchant family of Stroganov. The construction of the Palace takes special attention.
History of construction
In 1742 baron Sergey Stroganov bought a wooden house on Nevsky Prospekt. Next to him was a house of Emperor’s cook Shestakov. Dreaming of a huge stone house, Stroganov always asked his neighbor to sell his plot of land. But Shestakov did not want to do that, so Stroganov decided to rebuild his own house. For that purpose he hired the most famous architect of St Petersburg – Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Later baron’s dream came true. Wooden constructions on Nevsky Prospekt suffered from the fire, and neighbor’s land appeared in Stroganov’s assets.
Rastrelli was never involved in building private houses, as he was a court architect. However, for Stroganov an exception was made.
The Palace was built very fast – within two years only. Already in 1754 Stroganov arranged a magnificent ball to celebrate the housewarming, and even Tsaritsa Elizabeth Petrovna was among the guests. He liked a luxury building of 50 rooms. Interestingly, her next birthday Elizabeth celebrated at the Stroganov Palace.
Photo by George Shuklin, CC BY-SA 1.0
Later, the Palace was owned by Sergey’s descendants. His sons Alexander and Pavel made some changes to the internal and external design of the Palace. But at the end of the 18th century, fire destroyed almost everything. Only the Ball hall stayed. Nowadays it is the only parade premise by Rastrelli that was never restored.
Gradually the Palace was recreated, and it again became the centre of Petersburg cultural life. Such famous people like Kryulov, Derzhavin, Fonvizin visited balls and masquerades in Stroganov Palace. Apart from that, the Palace stores a wonderful collection of paintings and sculptures, while its library was considered among the largest in the country.
Stroganov’s family lived big. There were 600 people of personnel. The Palace’s owners were very generous, they often arranged open dinners in the inner yard, where even strangers and not rich city residents could come. During the meals, Stroganovs treated guests with various dishes. Actually, the beef stroganoff meal, so popular in Russia, appeared there.
After the Revolution of 1917, the Palace was nationalized, and its owners went abroad. At first the Palace served as a historical-household museum, later it was a place for the Academy of Agriculture. All Stroganov’s collections were transferred to the Hermitage, the library – to the University of Tomsk. Since 1998 Stroganov Palace has been a part of Russian Museum.
|Mon, Wed, Fri-Sun||10:00-18:00|
|Cashiers close 30 min before the closing hour.|
|Nevsky Prospekt 17|
|Metro / Subway|
|Admiralteyskaya, Nevsky Prospekt|
|Bolshaya Konushennaya St.||3, 3M, 3МБ, 7, 22, 24, 27, 191|
|Bolshaya Konushennaya St.||1, 5, 7, 10, 11, 22|