Architect Rastrelli

This route gives you an opportunity to know more not only about  the works of the greatest architect but also about his personal life, to get acquainted with the concept of "Rastrelli baroque".

  • points of interest 1 ,
  • temples and cathedrals 1 ,
  • squares 1 ,
  • palaces 5
10 km, 276 m
Anichkov Palace

Anichkov Palace

St. Petersburg, Nevsky pr., 39 A

Anichkov Palace is a former imperial palace at the intersection of Nevsky prospekt and the Fontanka River. The oldest building on Nevsky Prospekt that survived until today, it took its name from the nearby Anichkov Bridge

The construction of the Palace commenced in 1741, under the orders of the Empress Elizabeth I who just started reign the state after the latest palace coup. The project of the various-story building, the form of which was similar to letter ‘H’ (‘N’ in Cyrillic alphabet) was developed by one of the most renowned architects in the Russian capital Mikhail Zemtsov. The building works were finished in baroque style upon the guidance of Bartolomeo Rastrelli.

Back then, Fontanka used to be the outskirts of the city, Nevsky Prospekt was a branch trial. So, it was necessary to erect a mesmerizing construction that could adorn the entrance to the capital. There was a special channel with a small pond at the entrance to the palace dug out near Fontanka. That accounts for the unique location of the palace which is situated sideways to Nevsky Prospect. The palace with its beautiful garden, fountains and flowerbeds which resembled the Palace in Peterhof, was presented by the Empress Elizabeth I to her favorite (and likely spouse), Aleksey Razumovsky. Thereafter, the palace used to be a nice wedding present for aristocrats. After the Empress Catherine II’s enthronement, the palace reverted to the crown – the Empress bought the Anichkov Palace from Alexey’s brother Kirill and later donated the palace to her closest favorite Prince Grigory Potemkin. Another part of her present was 100 thousand roubles for fitting out the palace ‘to his own taste’. As a result, the palace undergone reconstruction in 1776-1778 supervised by the architect Starov and turned into a great example of the classical architecture in a strict sense. The building was renewed and considerably altered: for instance, various-story structure as well as stucco decorations were eliminated, and the pond was covered up with sand.

At the end of the XVIII century the palace was restored to the crown and adapted to accommodate Her Imperial Majesty's Cabinet. Later, though, the Imperial Cabinet occupied the new building which was erected on Fontanka Embankment along Nevsky Prospect by Quarenghi. Quarenghi’s construction obstructed the overview of the palace from Anichkov Bridge.

Alexander I bestowed the palace on his sister, Grand Duchess Ekaterina Pavlovna of Russia and her groom Prince Friedrich Ludwig of Mecklenburg-Schwerin as a wedding present. The future Russian Emperor Nicholas I moved into the palace in 1817. At that time, Carlo Rossi supervised architectural re-planning and reconstruction of the interiors of the palace. He also instilled the palace and its garden into a grand architectural ensemble on Alexandrinsky Square (now known as Ostrovskogo Square). After Nicholas I ascended the throne, he often stayed at Anichkov Palace. It was also a place where royal balls and banquets were held. In 1837, at the year when the Winter Palace was being reconstructed after the fire, august family was living in the Anichkov Palace for a while. After the Emperor’s death in 1855, the palace was renamed ‘Nikolaevsky’ but locals kept on calling it ‘Anichkov’. The palace was home for the future Emperor Alexander II, the son of Nicholas I who was educated and brought up by the Russian poet Zhukovsky, Pushkin’s friend. Speaking of, Zhukovsky had his own flat in the palace. He also taught Russian to the Empress Aleksandra Fyodorovna. On October 23, 1836 the poet Alexander Pushkin was invited to Imperial audience, where Nicholas I insisted on his refraining from duel.

In 1841 Nicholas I bestowed the palace to his son Alexander for his wedding, quarter-century later the palace was granted by Alexander II to his son Alexander III. Being afraid of terror attacks to the Winter Palace, Alexander III preferred to stay at the Anichkov Palace and made it his official residence. At that time a blank wall was constructed from the side of the square.

Following the October revolution, the Bolshevik government nationalized the Anichkov palace and designated it the Saint Petersburg City Museum. Since 1925 the palace was closed. In 1934 it was decided to establish "The Palace of Pioneers" there, and after the reconstruction on February 12th, 1937 it was opened. During the Great Patriotic War there was a surgical hospital at the palace. It functioned the first winter during the Siege of Leningrad and housed a lot of wounded people. In the spring 1942 the hospital was moved out of the palace, and ‘The Palace of Pioneers’ welcomed pioneers of Leningrad again.

Vorontsov Palace

Vorontsov Palace

St. Petersburg, Sadovaya ul., 26

A Baroque palace compound which occupies a large parcel of land wedged between Sadovaya Street and the Fontanka River in Saint Petersburg,Russia.

The palace of 50 rooms was built at enormous expense by Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli for CountMikhail Illarionovich Vorontsov, Empress Elizabeth's chancellor and maternal relative. The palace took 8 years to build, starting in 1749. After his niece Elizabeth fell from grace, Vorontsov was effectively exiled from the court and sold his main residence to the crown.

Paul I of Russia gave it to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, of which he was Grand Master. Another Italian architect working in Russia, Giacomo Quarenghi, was then asked to modernise the palace. In 1798-1800, Quarenghi added a Catholic chapel to serve exiled French aristocrats who resided in the Russian capital at the turn of the 19th century. See Russian tradition of the Knights Hospitaller for details.

Since 1810 the Vorontsov Palace has housed a succession of exclusive military schools, including the famous Page Corps (1810-1918) and the Suvorov Military School (from 1955). The palace is screened from Sadovaya Street by an elaborate cast iron grille and is separated from the Fontanka Embankment by a large garden. The Chapel of the Order of Malta went through extensive restoration in 2003 and is currently used for organ recitals.

1 km, 391 m
Stroganov palace

Stroganov palace

Saint Petersburg, Nevsky pr., 17

Late Baroque palace at the intersection of the Moika River and Nevsky Prospect

One of the best samples of the Russian baroque, the only residential building of the XVIII century on Nevsky Prospect, Stroganov Palace up to 1917 belonged to the most ancient family of industrialists Stroganovs. Constructed in the shortest terms upon the project of one of the most demanded architects of the period, F. B. Rastrelli, it stroked contemporaries with its luxury of decor, magnificence of balls of high society and lunches. In the first half of 19 century Stroganovs started to collect large scientific and art collections.

Later the palace became a place of representation of the large collections of books, the West European and Russian painting, numismatics and minerals, and for this purpose there were built Mineral and Physical studies, and also Library and Art gallery, where the count A.Stroganov, during the time he was the president of Academy of Arts were placed, gave students an opportunity (future illustrious Russian painters) to copy works from his collection.

Today the visit to Stroganov Palace may become a fascinating trip through the pages of its architectural history – from the baroque Rastrelli’s Big hall to the magnificent samples of classicism in Sadovnikov and Voronikhin's interiors. After the renovation and restoration of its architectural decor Stroganov Palace is again filled with works of painting, sculpture and applied arts from the storage of the Russian Museum.

1 km, 42 m
 Winter Palace

Winter Palace

St. Petersburg, Dvortsovaya pl., 2

The Winter Palace is the former royal palace. Nowadays  it is a part of the main museum complex of the Hermitage

The monumental and elegant Winter Palace built by order of the Empress Elizabeth Petrovna by the architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754-1762, is a striking monument of the Baroque style. The palace is a brilliant example of a synthesis of architecture and decorative plastic art. All the facades are embellished by a two-tier colonnade. Forming a complex rhythm of verticals, the columns soar upwards, and this motion embraces the numerous statues and vases on the roof. The abundance of stucco decoration - fanciful surbases and window architraves, mascarons, cartouches, rocailles, and a variety of pediments - creates an extremely rich play of light and shade that invest the building's appearance with magnificence.

Developing upon one and the same architectural motif, Rastrelli gave each of the four facades of the palace a different structural rhythm. The southern facade, overlooking the square, has a formal grandeur. Here the architect pierced the building with three arches to create a grand entrance into the courtyard and accentuated it with the vertical elements of paired columns. The majestic northern facade, giving the impression of an endless colonnade, faces the broad expanse of the Neva. The western facade, across from the Admiralty, is reminiscent of the composition of a countryside palace with a small courtyard. The monumental eastern facade with its massive side blocks forming a large courtyard is turned to Millionnaya Street, where the mansions of the nobility were located.

For 150 years the palace served as an imperial residence. In November 1917 it was declared a museum. The exhibition placed in the palace includes grand halls and chambers, collections of the antiquities of Eurasia and the East, as well as collections of European and Eastern paintings, sculptures, and decorative art works.

Ticket price - 800 rubles

Citizens of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus - 400 rubles

Children, students, pensioners of the Russian Federation - for free

771 m
Palace of the sovereign of Moldova Dmitry Cantemir (Gromov's House)

Palace of the sovereign of Moldova Dmitry Cantemir (Gromov's House)

St. Petersburg, Millionnaya ul., 7; Mramorny per.,1; Dvortsovaya nab.,8

The Palace was the first independent project of F. B. Rastrelli

In the first quarter of the XVIII century, the house of captain Ipat Mukhanov was located on this section of Dvortsovaya embankment. In 1715, it was bought by the Moldavian statesman Dmitry Konstantinovich Kantemir, who was forced to move to the Bank of the Neva river after an unsuccessful Prut campaign. The old house was demolished, and a new Palace was built in its place according to the project of the young F. B. Rastrelli.

Now the building is partially occupied by the Institute of Culture. 

1 km, 266 m
Office of the buildings

Office of the buildings

St. Petersburg, pr. Chernyshevskogo, 3
2 km, 782 m
The Resurrection Smolny Cathedral

The Resurrection Smolny Cathedral

Saint Petersburg, pl. Rastrelli, 1

The Resurrection Smolny Cathedral  is an active Orthodox church and an outstanding architectural monument of the XVIII century

The Resurrection Smolny Cathedral was founded in 1748 by the will of empress Elizabeth Petrovna and was consecrated on July 20, 1835.

The project of the cathedral was created by the outstanding architect Franchesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the interior of the church was made by another famous architect Vasily Stasov.

Rastrelli square

Rastrelli square

St. Petersburg, ploshad Rastrelli

The square was renamed in honor of the famous St. Petersburg architect in 1923

Initially, the square was called Smolnaya, and later – the Smolny Convent square, after the Smolny Resurrection Convent located nearby. In 1864, the square was renamed as Mariinskaya, in honor of Empress Maria Feodorovna, who took a number of educational, medical, and charitable institutions under her patronage after the death of Emperor Paul I. She was in charge of both the Smolny Resurrection Cathedral and the Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens located close by.

Since 1884, the official name of the square was Yekaterininskaya (Catherine’s square). On October 6, 1923, this place was named the Square of Architect Rastrelli in honor of the famous architect F.B. Rastrelli. The modern name - Rastrelli Square - appeared in 1929, after the word "architect" was removed from the nam