The largest architectural monument that closed the architectural history of the XVIII century
The Mikhailovsky Castle is the only Russian palace constructed in style of romantic classicism. It is the unique building, which involves a lot of stories and legends, often rather mystical. It amalgamates features of a medieval knight's castle and a European palace of XVIII century. Constructed for Paul I (1797 – 1801) upon the project of architects V. Bazhenov and V. Brenna, the Castle became the place of its owner’s mysterious death. That is why during the long time here, in the very heart of the imperial St. Petersburg, two windows of the emperor’s bedroom where his life came to a tragic end were thoroughly curtained during traditional festive illuminations of the city.
At the beginning of the XIX century the Castle, "a deserted monument of the tyrant, a palace consigned to oblivion", accepted in its walls military men and cultural figures, and later it became the residence of the Engineering school, and magnificent interiors of the former imperial palace were reconstructed and adapted for its needs. During a long time the Castle was named Inzhenernyi, and this name was connected to the Engineering school. Throughout the Soviet period the Castle was occupied by various military organizations.
And now the restored rooms of the Castle you can visit an interactive exposition "The Romanov Saga" and an open storage of XIX - the beginning of the XXI centuries sculpture, as well as the original marble sculpture of the Summer garden that is also stored here, and equally it is a place where temporary exhibitions are held.
Belsky brothers (Ivan (1719-1799), Alexey (1729-1796) and Efim (1730-1778)) were the greatest masters of the painting team of The Chancellery (later The Office) of buildings of Her Imperial Majesty. For more than half a century they performed the most responsible painting work commissioned by Empresses Elizabeth and Catherine the Great.
February 26, 2020, marks the 175th anniversary of the birth of Emperor Alexander III, whose name was given to The State Russian Museum in April 1895. Special mention is made of Alexander III's merits in museum construction and art education, which was due to his undoubted passion for history and fine arts.