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Stroganoff Palace in Baroque style built by great Rastrelli

Stroganov Palace was created in the 18th century by the greatest architect Rastrelli and today it is a part of the famous Russian Museum. Magnificent interiors are of particular interest in the palace – they immerse the visitors into the atmosphere of tsarist times and demonstrate a striking variety of styles and trends, sometimes referring to the culture of Ancient Egypt, then to the splendor of ancient Greece and Byzantium. Each visitor can not only plunge into the past centuries and get acquainted with Russian history, but also visit unique exhibits and even dine in the royal restaurant with dishes based on recipes of the court kitchen from original china!

The location of Stroganov Palace

Stroganov Palace is located on Nevsky Prospekt, house 17, in St. Petersburg. You can get to the palace by metro - you need to get off at the Nevsky Prospekt or Admiralteyskaya metro stations. You can also get by land transport - the closest stops to the palace are called "Bolshaya Konyushennaya Street" and "Nevsky Prospekt Metro Station".

You can visit the museum on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and on weekends from 10am to 6pm, and on Thursday the palace is open until 9pm. Tuesday is a day off at the museum, and this should be taken into account when planning a walking route.

Briefly plunge into the history of Stroganov Palace

In 1742, Baron Sergey Stroganov acquired a land plot and a wooden house on Nevsky Prospekt in order to realize his old dream and build a large stone palace. The neighboring house and the neighbor himself, the imperial cook Shestakov, interfered with the idea. The homeowner refused to sell his house and land, and only the case allowed Stroganov to take over what he wanted - a fire broke out on Nevsky and the neighbor’s house was completely destroyed, so the baron could persuade the cook to sell the land.

The famous architect Rastrelli worked on the house - he had never before taken up private houses, preferring large and pompous forms, however, he made an exception for Stroganov, and the palace was built at a record speed - just two years after the start of the construction a solemn ball was held in honor of the palace's opening. Even the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna visited the ball - she appreciated the magnificent palace with 50 rooms and was so impressed that celebrated her next birthday in Stroganovs' house.

Later, Baron’s sons - Alexander and Paul - owned the palace. They made some changes to the interior and facade of the house, but almost all the works of the brothers and architect Rastrelli were destroyed by fire in the late 18th century. Only the Ballroom was saved, and today it is the only room created by Rastrelli, which did not have to be reconstructed.

Over time, Stroganov palace was restored, and the capital cultural life began to boil again - balls and masquerades, which were attended by such bright representatives of the elite as Krylov, Fonvizin and many others. The palace kept valuable works of art - extensive collections of paintings and sculptures, as well as a huge number of books of various eras. At one time the library of the palace was one of the most extensive in the empire.

The Stroganovs did not like to deny themselves luxury and lived richly - 600 people were working in the palace. The family did not skimp on expensive gifts and receptions - open dinners were often held in their house for everyone with rich treats (by the way, it was this family that brought beef stroganoff fashion to Russia).

After the revolution, the palace was nationalized, and its owners had to leave the country. Initially, a historical and household museum was opened in Stroganov Palace, and later the Academy of Agriculture was located. All valuable exhibits were transferred to the Hermitage, and the library was transferred to Tomsk University. Today the palace is a branch of the Russian Museum.

During its existence, Stroganov Palace brought a lot of benefit to the country's culture:

  • The most prominent artists of the epoch studied at the Academy, located within the walls of the palace;
  • The construction of the palaces and the Admiralty began from this palace;
  • A unique library of books was collected in the building, including foreign ones. The Empress Catherine often visited the Stroganovs to read Voltaire;
  • Opera and ballet performances were regularly given at the court theater, contributing to the art development;
  • In the unique collection of paintings there were the works of Rembrandt, Van Dyck and Rober;
  • The castle has collected a magnificent assemblage of coins and medals from different countries.

Interesting facts, legends and myths about Stroganov palace

  • At one time, the palace was visited by Derzhavin, Levitsky, Martos and Karamzin, and people called the house itself a "shelter of muses";
  • It was Stroganov palace that laid the foundation for the "sphinxes of St. Petersburg." The first statues of an unknown sculptor were installed here. It is noteworthy that the architect did not seek to repeat the creations of the Egyptian masters, but tried to create something new and original;
  • The palace set a record for construction speed - no other building in the country could be built in less than two years;
  • The dish of “beef stroganoff” was created by court chefs especially for Alexander Stroganov;
  • On the facade of the castle you can see the coat of arms - it shows two sables, as a tribute to the Siberian origin of the family;
  • The castle did not initially have a bedroom, as Count Stroganov did not like to sleep in the same place and preferred to change rooms and locations;
  • There are many secret rooms in the basement of the palace, and there was a legend that Count Stroganov had problems with his psyche, and it was in the cellars that he could give free rein to feelings and isolate himself from people;
  • Stroganov Palace was built on the site of a house destroyed during a fire. It was believed that the cause of the fire was arson from the count himself, who decided to destroy everything that reminded him of a recently departed to another beloved;
  • There is a legend that the Stroganovs were extremely superstitious, and every Sunday at midnight, they lit candles in the castle to cleanse the family of sins.

What you should definitely see in Stroganov palace

Dining rooms

Lush decor, noble shades and an abundance of elegant decorations - the halls are designed in the canonical Baroque style, as well as in the Rococo and in the direction of classicism. You can stroll through the halls where elite representatives and rulers of St. Petersburg dined, as well as dine at the Russian Empire restaurant and feel like a representative of the royal dynasty - all recipes, interiors and decorations exactly reproduce the surroundings of the times of the Russian Empire: tables are served by china, dishes are served using gilded appliances and real crystal.

Mineralogical cabinet

The cabinet was created according to the project of Voronikhin and it is considered to be a real architectural masterpiece to our days. Count Stroganov was a connoisseur of literature and was fond of collecting minerals, and a separate room was allocated for these two hobbies - on the first tier there was an impressive collection of books, and on the second - a unique collection of minerals. The ceiling of the cabinet was decorated with a lampshade, and the floor was made of the rare wood. Time did not spare the office, and in the 19th century the room was used as a billiard room, but restorers were able to renovate the room to its former appearance, and today it can be seen in all its pristine splendor!

Chocolate Museum

This museum has a separate entrance from the avenue, and it combines a museum exhibition and a store - here you can buy sweets and figurines made of white, milk and dark French chocolate. For example, chocolate busts, animal figures and architectural masterpieces are very popular!

The Wax Museum

It is located directly opposite the chocolate museum and shows life-size figures of the Russian rulers and their families, and an amazing feature of wax sculptures is the strikingly accurate depiction of the manners, facial expressions and people's characters!

Big hall

This hall was ceremonial, and Rastrelli created it with a special love for art - in addition to the rich interiors in the hall you can see the unique chandelier “Hero's Triumph”, created by the Italian painter Valeriani.

Arabesque living room

The room with a surprisingly rich and exotic interior is striking in the richness of decoration, the abundance of expensive and unusual materials, and at the same time with the finest grace and exquisite moderation!

Art Gallery

It was built by the architect Voronikhin in the classical style to house an invaluable collection of French painting. The architectural ensemble of the hall is decorated with majestic marble columns.

The Greek room

The refined hall with marble trim, palm and rosewood parquet floors, a beautiful fireplace and exquisite white bas-reliefs immerses you in the time of the Iliad and delights with its ancient beauty.

The Small office

It belonged to Countess Sofya Stroganova and is made in a sophisticated antique style, echoing the design of the Greek room.

These are not all the halls and expositions that can be visited in the palace, but it is better to see this entire splendor once than to hear about it thousands of times!


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