The Mariinsky Palace of St. Petersburg is one of the most notable sights of the Northern capital. The building is built in the style of classical architecture with numerous signs of eclecticism. Perhaps such a loose interpretation of classicism was due to the fact that the palace was built for Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, the daughter of Nicholas I, who temporarily lived with her new husband, Duke Maximilian Leuchtenberg in the Winter Palace. The Emperor wished that the newlyweds had their own residence.
History of the Mariinsky Palace
The northern capital of Russia is a recognized center of world culture. The architecture of St. Petersburg is diverse. In this city there are many religious buildings, palaces and memorials. Most of them were built in the eighteenth century. The southern part of St. Isaac's Square, on which today is located Mariinsky Palace of St. Petersburg, was acquired in 1761 in the ownership of Count Chernyshev, Ivan Grigorievich, who intended to build a multi-storey mansion on a vast plot. The erection was entrusted to the French architect Jean-Baptiste Wallen-Delamot, professor, a major specialist in the construction of palace complexes. Thanks to him, the architecture of St. Petersburg received such masterpieces as Gostiny Dvor, Yusupov Palace on Moika, Imperial Academy of Arts.
In the spring of 1765, lieutenant-general Count Ivan Chernyshev with his whole family drove into a new three-story mansion. Luxury - so it was possible to characterize the palace, trimmed with white marble, brought from Italy.
In December 1766 the Empress Catherine II visited the mansion of Count Chernyshev, for which a special chair with her name was prepared, sitting in which she played cards. In the absence of the crowned person, the armchair was covered with a velvet veil before the next visit.
In 1839, the Count's mansion was demolished and in its place the construction of a grand building that was named after the future mistress of the Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna began and is still named after the Mariinsky.
Refusal of marble
The palace was built according to the project of architect A. I. Shtakenshneider, who conducted the work in accordance with the latest technologies. The architect tried to use as little wood as possible to reduce the risk of fire. The ceilings were made of metal and stone slabs. With the favor of the emperor, the architect refused the marble, and all the interior decoration was made of sandstone, thanks to which the walls kept the heat for a long time.
The classical facade of the palace assumed a traditional layout in the form of a long suite of rooms communicating among themselves, but the actual arrangement of the premises was fundamentally different. The main staircase was removed from the center of the main facade to the left of the lobby. The pomposity level decreased, but it became warmer.
On the second floor, the traditions of palace architecture were observed. Two suites, located perpendicularly, intersected, forming a hall-rotunda. Next was the Pompeian drawing room, next to the Oval Living Room and the Oval Dining Room.
The rooms of Princess Mary Nikolaevna began with the reception room, followed by the office. A row of rooms was continued by a bedroom, a boudoir, a toilet room and another room, Corner, or Oval. In the right wing there was a special ramp for passage to the upper floors. It was a series of gently sloping spans, along which it was possible to walk or ride a small stroller. On both sides of the passage planted exotic plants that create an atmosphere of the tropics. Walking along the improvised mountain road beneficially influenced the tone of the inhabitants of the palace.
Rest of the Duke of Leuchtenberg
Spouse Mary Nikolaevna lived in rooms with windows on Isaakievskaya Square. His chambers began with the Parade Reception, which was continued by the billiard room, the living room and the Turkish cabinet. There was also an extensive collection of weapons. On the first floor for Maximilian was equipped with a chapel with stained-glass windows. Stained glass was brought from the German city of Munich, the birthplace of the Duke.
Completion of construction
After the Mariinsky Palace of St. Petersburg was built, it was opened for free visits. Everyone could examine it and even visit the house church located in the attic. Visitors climbed up the stairs leading from the lobby, the ramp was only half open, and there was no exit to the roof.
The attendants and courtiers lived on the third floor and in the wings of the palace, which were called Officer and Hofmeister. It is characteristic that all the premises of the Mariinsky Palace were freely communicated, there were no forbidden zones or closed rooms anywhere. Princess Maria Nikolaevna confessed an open way of life, she herself was available for communication and demanded from her subjects the same.
Death of the Duke
In 1852, at the age of 35, Maximilian Leuchtenberg died, leaving Maria Nikolaevna with two sons - Eugene and George, who after the marriage settled with their wives in the eastern part of the palace, where they lived until the death of their mother, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, who died in 1876. By that time, the Mariinsky Palace of St. Petersburg was burdened with debts, and the heirs considered it the only right decision to sell the parental home. However, there were no buyers, and then the building was registered in the royal treasury department.
Center of Russian Statehood
In 1884, the Mariinsky Palace of St. Petersburg went to the tsarist treasury for three million rubles and became state property. July 14, 1884, Emperor Alexander III signed a decree, according to which the palace was declared an official place for meetings of the State Council. And in February 1885, the Mariinsky Palace accommodated the committees of the Council of Ministers, the State Chancellery, and the Special Office for Applications for the Highest Name.
On February 11, 1885, the Mariinsky Palace was proclaimed the center of Russian statehood. The priests who were present held a special divine service with the consecration of the building and the interior.
When the State Duma was established in 1905, the State Council expanded considerably. The rotunda of the palace no longer held all the participants. Under the courtroom, the Winter Garden was reorganized, which was radically reconstructed, and on October 15, 1908, the State Council was already working under new conditions.
The February Revolution of 1917 changed a lot in the country. First of all, the Provisional Government arose, which was located in the Mariinsky Palace and operated until August. Then there is the All-Russian Commission for Elections to the Constituent Assembly. After the October Revolution, the People's Commissariat of Property and the Supreme Council of the National Economy were moved to the Mariinsky Palace in full.
Excursions in Saint-Petersburg
In the city on the Neva are collected many masterpieces of architecture, ancient and modern. Cathedrals coexist with civil buildings, but each building is a piece of history. The northern capital as a whole is a cultural heritage of Russia, a conglomerate of achievements in art and architecture. Everywhere grandiose tourist objects, to inspect a small part of them, it will take more than one week. Therefore, excursions around St. Petersburg are organized, which include a maximum of visits with minimal time. Each group of tourists is accompanied by a guide, and as a transport used comfortable buses.
The Mariinsky Palace today is also a cultural heritage of Russia, its visit is included in all tourist routes. In ordinary days, the palace can be viewed from the outside, and on the weekends its interior becomes accessible. The program of visits to the city's historical sights also includes the entire St. Isaac's Square with monuments to Peter the Great and Nicholas I, palaces, the legendary Angleterre hotel. Particularly interesting for visiting St. Isaac's Cathedral with unique malachite pilasters from floor to ceiling, a unique mosaic floor, an incredibly accurate architectural model made from lime-trees by serf Maxim Salin.
After visiting the cathedral, you can go to the Mariinsky Palace, whose address is: Isaakievskaya Square, 6.