Grand Ducal Petersburg

This route will guide you through the most significant palaces of Saint Petersburg which were owned by members of royal family

Life of grand dukes and princesses of imperial blood always remained in the shadow of crowned persons, however their role in the history of the capital and the country isn't less interesting, than imperial. Palaces will be told, what people were and what grand dukes and princesses, behind whose walls some intrigued, kept secrets, organized magnificent balls and conducted home-style cozy life, are memorized for

  • palaces 4
4 km, 733 m
Mariinsky Palace

Mariinsky Palace

St. Petersburg, Isaakiyevskaya Square, 6

The palace was named after the daughter of Emperor Nicolas I, the Great Princess Mary

The palace that is now considered an architectural landmark was designed by A.Stackenschneider. It was built in 1844. For one day it was open to public, which was a bright and memorable event for that time.

After great princess Mary died in 1876 the palace was inherited by her sons, who were forced to sell it to settle the debts. In 1884 emperor Alexander III signed an order to announce Mariinski palace the residency on the State Council.

In February 1917 the palace was the seat of the Provisional Government, later on – of the Pre-parliament (the Council of Russian Republic established by the Mensheviks). Since December, 14, 1994 Mariinski palace is the seat of the Legislative Assembly of Saint-Petersburg (the city Parliament).

According to a city legend, Princess Mary refused to live in the palace built specially for her for the reason that she was not pleased by the location of the monument to Emperor Nicolas I in the centre of Isaakiyevskaya square. The monument backs the main entrance to the Mariinski palace, which was a sign for the Princess that her father turned her back on her. 

The palace is open for visits by previous appointment.

Marble Palace

Marble Palace

St. Petersburg, Millionnaya ul., 5/1

The palace is an outstanding sample of early Neoclassicism in Russia

The Marble Palace is a unique architectural monument of the second half of the 18th century. Built on the place of the Post Yard of Peter the Great's times, it has become a splendid end of the gala Palace embankment of the Neva.

The construction of the palace, started in 1768, lasted for 17 years and was completed in 1785. The main construction material of the exterior and interior decorations of the building was a natural stone: granite and marble of different colours, that imparted the palace a unique originality and afterwards gave it the name of the Marble Palace.

The Marble Palace amazed contemporaries by its luxury, magnificence of interiors, and beauty of sculptural and painterly decorations.

However, the first owner of the palace Grigory Orlov did not live to see its magnificence. He died in 1783 when the interior decoration of the palace had not been completed. Catherine II bought it from Grigory Orlov's heirs and gifted it to her grandson Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich on the occasion of his marriage to Princess Julianna Henrietta of Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld. She accepted Eastern Christianity and got the name of Anna Fyodorovna.

The Main Staircase is decorated with grey Ural marble. The stairs are made of dark grey sandstone. Paris' Judgement plafond by the German painter of the 18th century J. Krist is located in the centre of the Main Staircase ceiling.

Stone decoration of the Marble Room amazes by the variety of colours, elegance, richness, perfection of marble's processing, excellent style of its selection, and overall arrangement. Seven marble sorts of Greek, Italian, Ural, Karel, and Siberian rocks were used in the decoration of the Marble Room. The room is decorated with bas-reliefs by F. Shubin and M. Kozlovsky and Venus's Triumph plafond by S. Torelli.

A new stage in the life of the Marble Palace began in 1992, when the building was rendered to the Russian Museum.

2 km, 426 m
Anichkov Palace

Anichkov Palace

St. Petersburg, Nevsky pr., 39 A

Anichkov Palace is a former imperial palace at the intersection of Nevsky Avenue and the Fontanka River

1 km, 768 m
Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace

Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace

Saint Petersburg, Nevsky pr., 41

Belosselsky Belozersky Palace is a Neo-Baroque palace at the intersection of the Fontanka River and Nevsky Prospekt

The palace belonged to the Princes Beloselskiy, a family who claimed descent from Yuri Dolgorukiy, the founder of Moscow. Their first palace was built on the same site by the Fontanka River in 1747, but it was a much more modest affair. The family's fortunes increased thanks to the close relationship between Prince Alexander Mikhailovich Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy and Emperor Paul I, and through marriage to two heiresses to Urals mining fortunes. It was one of those heiresses, the widowed Princess Elena Pavlovna Beloselskaya-Belozerskaya, who commissioned the present palace, petitioning Emperor Nicholas I to allow his court architect, Andrey Stackensneider, to design the building (his only civil commission in the city).

The palace was built 1847-1848, and became renowned for the lavish parties thrown there by Elena Pavlovna. A few decades later, however, the family found the palace too expensive to maintain, and it was sold to Grand Duke Sergey Alexandrovich, brother of Emperor Alexander III, in 1884. He had part of the interiors redesigned in 1888, and in 1897 the facades were restored and first painted in the deep pink that can be seen today.

Nationalised after the October Revolution, the Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy Palace became the headquarters of the Regional Committee of the Communist Party for the centre of Leningrad. In this role, its historic interiors were carefully maintained during the 20th century, despite significant damage in the Second World War, and the original rococo decorations have largely survived intact. The building is now home to a Municipal Cultural Centre (along with several smaller institutions), and hosts regular concerts of chamber music as well as offering occasional guided tours of the state rooms (three or four times per month or by appointment).

350 m