The first stone building on the place where the Laval’s house stands now, belonged to Alexander Menshikov, the first governor of St. Petersburg and was built in the 1720s. After Menshikov fell into disgrace, the house became the property of the vice-chancellor A.I. Osterman, and in the end of the XVIII century to the G.A. Stroganov. The house was rebuilt by the architect A. Voronikhin for G.A. Stroganov. Voronikhin was the first Russian architect who started to use lion statues in his compositions. As decorations there are two laying lions near the main entrance, nicknamed "philosophers" for the peaceful expression of their snouts. Countess A.G. Laval bought the house in 1800. The house was rebuilt again by architect J. Thomas de Thomon in the Empire style for her.
In former times Laval’s house was one of the most popular literary and musical salons. Interiors in Laval's house were decorated like in a museum where were collected unique antique sculptures, Etruscan vases, Egyptian rarities and paintings. All this luxury has attracted a huge number of guests. Among them were famous artists and writers, diplomats and musicians. Laval's daughter became the wife of Prince Trubetskoy and she was among wives of the Decembrists, who went to Siberia with their husbands.
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