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Yelagin Palace is a royal summer palace on Yelagin Island in Saint Petersburg

The palace as well as the land was named after their first owner, Ivan Yelagin, a historian, poet and statesman during the reign of Catherine the Great. Despite the fact that the palace was passing over from hands to hands, it still retained its original name. The palace is also known as Yelaginsky or Yelaginoostrovsky.

It is not known for certain who supervised architectural project of the palace built in Palladian style. Some historians suppose that the project was the authorship of Giacomo Quarenghi. The original appearance of the villa on the island has not survived.

At the beginning of the XIX century the Emperor Alexander I bought the villa for his mother - Maria Fyodorovna who was already old enough to endure long trips to such distant country residences as distant residences as Pavlovsk Palace and Gatchina Castle. So, the work to reconstruct the palace was entrusted to the renowned architect Carlo Rossi. The architect built several constructions on the island – besides the main three-storied palace topped with a dome, there were also three additional pavilions as well as Kitchen House and Stables yard.

Its lavish Neoclassical interiors were decorated by the most outstanding and famous sculptors Vasily Demuth-Malinovsky and Stephan Pimenov, and the decorative artists Scotti, Medici and Vigi.

After Maria Feodorovna's death, the palace remained the alternative imperial residence, however, the emperors didn’t often stay there.

At the beginning of the XX century, the palace lost its value and significance and was never again the official residence of any member of the Imperial family but turned into the resting place for prime ministers of the Russian Empire. Prime ministers Sergei Witte, Pyotr Stolypin, Kokovtsov and Ivan Goremykin stayed there. After the October Revolution in Russia, the Bolsheviks turned the Yelagin Palace into ‘a museum of the old lifestyle’. At the beginning of the new epoch, there were a lot of such museums in Saint Petersburg but soon most of them were either closed of used as a place for various cultural and social organizations. That’s what happened to the Yelagin Palace – it was reformed into a cultural and educational center.

During the Great Patriotic War, the palace was heavily damaged – a shell fell into the chimney which resulted in the fire. The palace burnt to the ground. Right after the victory in the war, the preparation works for palace reconstruction were guided by the Soviet architect Savkov. He carefully examined survived pieces of marble, fragments of stucco decorations and some paintings. These fragments and sketches were later used to restore the interiors of the Yelagin palace as precisely to the original as possible.

After the palace had been reconstructed under the guidance of the architect Plotnikov, it became home to the Museum of Decorative and Applied Art and Interiors from the XVIII-XX centuries. The collections of glass art and decorative porcelain, embroidery, wooden and metal handicrafts can be seen there. At the beginning of reconstruction works, the collection of artefacts was granted to the Yelaginoostrovsky Museum from the closed Leningrad Museum of Glass Art.

The Yelagin Palace is currently a place where temporary art exhibitions and amusing event in styles of various historical epochs (epochs of Peter the Great, Elizabeth I or Catherine II) are held. In front of the museum, on the territory of the central Culture and Leisure Park there are picnics, banquets and other attractions are carried out.

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  • Address: St. Petersburg, Yelagin ostrov, 4
  • Phone Number: +7(812)430-11-30; +7 (812)430-09-11
  • Fax: +7 (812) 430-30-90
  • Site: elaginpark.org
  • Email: elaginmuseum@elaginpark.org
  • Working time:
    Monday: Free
    Tuesday: 10:00 - 18:30
    Wednesday: 13:00 - 21:00
    Thursday - Sunday: 10:00 - 18:30
    On days before national holidays the museum and exhibition halls are open from 10:00 to 17:30 Ticket offices stop selling tickets half an hour before the museum closes
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