Palace Square, the main square of Saint Petersburg
Palace Square in Saint Petersburg is a place loved by the guests and the inhabitants of the city, the heart of the northern capital of Russia. It is one of the most beautiful architectural ensemble. It is created by the best Russian architects and named after the Winter Palace on it, the latter being built under the project of F.B. Rastrelli in the middle of XVIII century.
In 1819 by Emperor’s commitment architect K.I. Rossi carried out the design of the single architectural ensemble glorifying the Russian victory in the Patriotic War of 1812. The architect’s conception was combining the existing original interiors and new constructions.
Along the southern border of the square constructed the extensive facade of the General Staff Building was constructed. Its length is 580 meters (the longest facade in the world). In the middle of the building there is the prominent arch decorated with the reliefs depicting the flying geniuses of glory, the architectural composition Cart of Glory with the shapes of warriors nearby, and the winged goddess of victory – Nike (the sculptors - N. Pimenov and V. Demuth-Malinvsky). The height of the sculpture is 10 meters, the height of the arch is 28 meters and the width is 17 meters.
Alexander Column was built in the square in honor of the victory of the Russian armies over Napoleon. It was built under the project of Auguste de Montferrand in 1834. The column was named after Emperor Alexander I. Weighing 600 tons and being 47,5 meters high, it is crowned with the statue of an angel defeating a snake with a cross which is the symbol of the good defeating the bad. The angel’s head is bent to the ground so his face is seen from below (the architect - B. Orlovsky). The bas-reliefs on the pedestal of the column glorify the Russian victory (the sculptors - I. Lepee and P. Svintsov). The connecting link of all the buildings was the construction of the Guard Headquarters Building on the eastern side of the square completed in 1843 (the architect - A.P. Brullov). The facade of the Guard Headquarters Building is decorated with a portico of twenty ionic columns. The most beautiful building on the Palace Square is the Winter Palace.
This prominent building occupies 9 hectares and has about 1500 rooms. There was the time when the Winter Palace was the highest building in Saint Petersburg and in the central part of the city it was not allowed to put up houses any higher.