The Stroganov Palace is the creation of Bartolomeo Rastrelli, a magnificent pink baroque building. It is located in St. Petersburg at the corner of Nevsky Prospekt with Moika.
About the owners of the palace
The palace is interesting because it belonged to one clan, the Stroganov family. Seven generations of barons and counts of the Stroganovs were replaced in the house - the ancestral nest. Natives of the peasants of the Vologda Oblast, merchants and industrialists, the Stroganovs were famous for their fabulous wealth. They owned factories, lands, thousands of serfs, were engaged in fur and fishing, mining.
In 1558, Tsar Ivan the Terrible issued a letter to the family for the development of the territory of the Cis-Urals. The Stroganovs equipped Yermak's campaign to Siberia to reclaim new lands for Russia. In the Time of Troubles, the family helped Tsar Vasily Shuisky, for which they received a noble title.
During the time of Peter I, the Stroganovs helped the tsar end the war with the Swedes with generous monetary donations. During the Northern War, Grigory Dmitrievich Stroganov presented the tsar with two combat frigates. Genuine joy and sincere gratitude from the sovereign inspired the donor so much that he built and armed two more warships with cannons.
The legend has kept episode from the life of the Stroganovs... Treating Peter I to dinner, the owner of the huge salt pans and mining operations, the Stroganov, presented the tsar with a barrel of gold for dessert, asking him to kneel down to accept the treat.
Peter I noted the services of the Stroganovs to the throne by a decree in 1722 that bestowed the title of baron on the sons of Grigory Dmitrievich Stroganov. Therefore, the youngest son of an associate of the Russian emperor, Sergei Grigorievich Stroganov, allowed himself to build a house in the center of St. Petersburg, inviting the favorite architect of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna Bartolomeo Rastrelli.
The court architect did not take private orders, but made an exception for Baron Sergei Grigorievich Stroganov, and with the consent of the empress.
Interesting facts about construction
The creation of the Stroganovs' palace is the only case in Russia when a court architect designed a building for a private customer. Construction was carried out at an unprecedented pace 1753 to 1754 years.
The customer was delighted with the built house and paid tribute to the architect. Using his influence and paying big money, Sergei Grigorievich Stroganov made sure that the famous Italian painter Rotary, invited to Russia by the empress, also wrote portrait of Rastrelli... Having received the portrait, Stroganov hung it in the most elegant hall of the palace.
When creating the Stroganovs' house, the architect worked selflessly. The capricious Empress Elizabeth constantly humbled the architect's flight of imagination. Here, not constrained by anyone, Rastrelli creates an incomparable building in the Baroque style. Wealth and splendor can be seen in everything: in the facade, lavishly decorated with stucco, elegant columns, sculptures, the family coat of arms of the Stroganovs in the form of two sables.
The Empress, having attended the magnificent ball of the Stroganovs, arranged in honor of the opening of the palace, admired the beauty and splendor of the decoration, ordered to celebrate her name day in the Stroganovs' house.
The palace was built "verbally" - in the plan the three-storey building has the shape of the letter G. The houses of the Stroganovs, located at the intersection of the Moika River with Nevsky Prospect, were combined by the architect with a common Baroque facade. This explains the unprecedented pace of construction: Rastrelli created the palace on ready-made foundations using the walls and vaults of the lower floors.
The facades overlooking Moika and Nevsky Prospect are decorated with exquisite Italian-style architecture with a similar composition. In the center there is a portico, on the pediment of which the Stroganovs' coat of arms (two sables holding a shield with a bear's head in their front paws), topped with a baronial crown.
Sable and bear head - a symbol of Siberia, in the conquest of which the ancestors of the Stroganovs participated, having equipped Yermak's campaign there.
Every detail in the architectural appearance of the palace testifies to the wealth and nobility of the Stroganov family. The solemn appearance of the building in a refined light pink color beckons with grandeur. The facade impresses with its sophistication and originality. In the piers between the windows there are medallions with a male profile, giving the facade a unique look - a relief image of Count Sergei Stroganov. From the side of Nevsky Prospect, the facade is decorated with figures of caryatids.
At the entrance there are Stroganov granite sphinxes, the guards of the palace, in which there are 50 spacious halls and ceremonial rooms, skillfully decorated with stucco molding. The ground floor is reserved for servants, on the second and third floors - the ceremonial and residential apartments of the owners.
The beauty and luxury captures the spirit: gold, mirrors, stucco molding, parquet flooring, each room is unique. The ballroom, dining rooms, library, music lounges, playrooms were all finished with Rastrelli's help.
In 1790, a fire destroyed the interior of the palace. The dance hall decorated by Rastrelli has miraculously survived. The rest of the rooms have been restored according to the drawings and plans of the architect.
After the fire, the palace was rebuilt by the architect Andrei Voronikhin, a former serf of the Stroganovs, who was redeemed by them at will and sent to study abroad, where he received his education. The wings attached by the architect turned the palace into a quadrangular building.
Overview of halls and rooms
Over time, interiors were redesigned to meet the demands of changing fashions and the needs of the owners. 20 architects worked on the interior of the palace, including Rastrelli, Voronikhin, Sadovnikov, Ivan Kolodin, Karl Rossi.
Large two-story hall - for balls and concerts. The hall with an area of 128 square meters with a high ceiling and choirs for orchestra, huge mirrors decorated with stucco floral ornaments, seems to be airy. Large decorated windows, arranged in two tiers of five each, occupy the wall.
Figures of Atlanteans and Caryatids support a cornice that encircles the hall along the perimeter. Near the balconies - cupids with garlands of white flowers. The ceiling is covered with a picturesque plafond "Triumph of a Hero" with an area of 125 square meters. Made by the Italian artist Giuseppe Valeriani on 13 separate canvases, framed by a luxurious colonnade with niches and sculptures. The walls are decorated with moldings according to Rastrelli's drawings. The decoration of the hall is complemented by inlaid parquet made of exotic wood species.
Main staircase decorated with stucco and gilded iron railings.
Picture gallery created by the sculptor Voronikhin. The room, 28 meters long, is divided into three parts - a central one and two loggias located at the beginning and at the end of the gallery.
The central part is highlighted by columns of artificial marble, on the bas-reliefs - allegories of Painting and Sculpture. The silk-lined walls are filled with paintings framed with gilded baguettes. For the convenience of guests, expensive carved furniture is placed: 6 sofas and 14 armchairs upholstered in green silk. The Gallery is decorated with a malachite vase with a height of 134 cm and a diameter of 107 cm.
Art historian and critic Alexander Benois called the Art Gallery the “soul” of the Stroganov palace. Here is the famous collection of paintings that Alexander Sergeevich Stroganov has been collecting for 40 years. President of the Academy of Arts, he used the collection as a teaching class. On Sundays, the Gallery with paintings by renowned artists Rembrandt, Botticelli, Van Dyck, Poussin opened for art lovers in St. Petersburg.
The pearl of the ceremonial interior - Mineralogical office, which was originally intended to exhibit the collection of minerals collected by the Stroganovs, but then they were supplanted by books. Therefore, the Mineralogical Office is two-tiered, in the first - a huge collection of books, in the second - minerals.
The first tier is decorated in antique style with bas-reliefs of the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The ceiling is decorated with a plafond, the floor is made of rare types of wood. The vaults on which the second tier rests are supported by marble columns.
Arabesque living room decorated with picturesque panels with grotesque images of the animal world - copies of Raphael's Vatican frescoes. Above the entrance to the living room, there are copies of the images that adorned Cicero's villa.
Front dining room, small in area, looks spacious, thanks to huge mirrors, placed in the walls between the semi-columns.
What made the Stroganov Palace famous
After the completion of construction, Baron Sergei Grigorievich Stroganov settled in the new palace with his wife Sofya Kirillovna and son Alexander, who became the owner of the estate (his father died after 2 years) and a famous representative of the Stroganov family.
The top of the society gathered in the Stroganov house. Noisy balls and masquerades were held in the residence. The beauties of St. Petersburg shone here, musical and poetry evenings were held, theatrical performances, ballet and opera were demonstrated. Here educated representatives of Russian culture argued about science and literature: Krylov, Fonvizin, Derzhavin, Karamzin.
Alexander Sergeevich is an educated person and art critic, he collected collections of paintings and sculptures, the owner of mineralogical and numismatic collections. The initiators of the creation in St. Petersburg gathered in the Great Hall Public library, of which Count Stroganov became the director.
A well-known philanthropist, president of the Academy of Arts, helped artists, sculptors, bought Andrei Voronikhin from serf bondage and sent him to study abroad. The count encouraged theatrical art, his house was called "the haven of the muses."
In 1766, in the presence of Catherine II in the Stroganov palace, elections were held for the deputies of the commission for drawing up the New Code. Count Alexander Sergeevich Stroganov devoted ten years of his life to the construction of the Kazan Cathedral on Nevsky Prospect. On his submission, the project of the cathedral was approved, the construction of which was sponsored by the count.
Hospitality in the Stroganovs' house
The Stroganovs lived on a tsarist scale, maintained 600 servants and were famous for their generosity, hospitality and hospitality. The house regularly hosted "open" free lunches. In the courtyard, decorated with sculptures, tables were laid, which were "bursting" with all kinds of Russian treats. All comers dined.
The legend says that for many years a modest Petersburger came to dinner every day. Once he did not come, they decided that the man had died, but no one could remember the name: people came here freely, regardless of social status.
Restoration of the palace
Palace transferred to the management of the Russian Museum April 4, 1988 The building has been assigned the status of a cultural heritage site.
In 1992, Russia was visited by Baroness Helene de Lüdingausen, the grand-niece of Count Sergei Alexandrovich Stroganov, who lives in the United States. The heiress of the Stroganovs, seeing the fading temples and the palace, established the Stroganov Charitable Foundation to financially support the restoration projects of the Stroganov Palace and the reconstruction of Russian churches.
By 2003, the solemn appearance of the building was restored. The palace attracts tourists from all over the world with its grandeur. The restoration continues.
The attraction is located in the historical center of St. Petersburg, the nearest metro station is "Nevsky Prospect". You need to leave the hall on the odd side, so that the Kazan Cathedral is on the left. Further - straight, without turning anywhere, across the Griboyedov embankment 400 meters, the pink-white building of the palace will be clearly visible from afar.
Tourists will get even easier and faster by land transport, the bus and trolleybus stop "Bolshaya Konyushennaya" is located directly opposite the front entrance to the palace. All that remains is to cross the road at the nearest traffic light.
There is no shortage of taxis in St. Petersburg. Popular mobile apps Uber, Maxim and Yandex work without interruptions. The only difficulty is the constant traffic jams on Nevsky Prospekt, so it is better to book a car at least 12 hours before the trip. It is not recommended for anyone to contact street taxi drivers - the tariffs will be such that it is easier to walk.
Travelers with their cars are less fortunate - the nearest free parking is located behind the Kazan Cathedral (59.933679, 30.325089), from where to go further than from the metro station. Parking is allowed along the Moika embankment, but finding a free space there is a great success even in winter, so you should think about public transport.
Working hours of the Stroganov Palace
The following are eligible for free admission:
- Participants of the Great Patriotic War, residents of besieged Leningrad;
- Conscripts, cadet corps and naval academies;
- Heroes of the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation, holders of the Order of Glory;
- Children under 16 years old (over 14 years old - upon presentation of a passport);
- Students of art schools, colleges, the Academy of Arts, current employees of state museums in Russia, members of creative unions;
Doors open days:
- May 18 (for everyone);
- The 18th day of each month - for schoolchildren over 16 years old and students.
The opening hours of the Stroganov Palace depend on the day of the week - from Friday to Monday and Wednesday the doors open at 10:00 to 18:00, on Thursday the schedule is shifted by 3 hours - from 13:00 to 21:00. Tuesday is a day off, working hours on holidays and vacations are announced in advance.