One of the most beautiful and harmonious ensembles of architecture in the world, Palace Square remains the main public space of St. Petersburg after nearly three centuries.
Palace Square was laid out in 1819-1829 by Carlo Rossi, a neoclassicist architect of Italian descent who designed a large number of streets and squares in St. Petersburg. On the northern side of the square stands the picturesque Baroque Winter Palace (built in 1754-62). Across the square, on the southern side, there is the classical yellow-and-white General Staff building (built in 1819-29 by Carlo Rossi). This building encircles the Southern side of the square and through its central arch, designed as a Triumphal Arch of the Classical World, you can reach Nevsky Prospect. On the eastern side a building of the former Royal Guards' General Staff tastefully closes the panorama of Palace Square, while on the West the square borders with the Admiralty and the Admiralty Garden.
There many significant events took place, including the Bloody Sunday (1905) massacre and parts of the October Revolution of 1917.
Today the enormous square is more peaceful. Locals often gather here and tourists gaze at the architectural delights or stand in line for the Hermitage. Political rallies and official ceremonies still take place here, although today you're more likely to see a concert or festival here.