Barrack of the Pavlovsky Regiment

The former barracks of the Pavlovsky Regiment of Life Guards stretch along the west side of the Field of Mars, forming an integral part of one of St. Petersburg's most impressive architectural ensembles.

The barracks were built 1817-1819 by Vasily Stasov, among Russia's foremost neoclassical architects. He used the walls of buildings already standing on the site, the most prominent of which was a three-storey pawnbrokers built by Yury Felten in 1780. Before that, it had been the site of the Palace of Princess Elizaveta Petrovna who, when she became Empress Elizabeth and moved to the Winter Palace, handed the building to her favourite, Alexey Razumovsky.

  • View of the former barracks of the Pavlovsky Regiment in St Petersburg, Russia
    View of the former barracks of the Pavlovsky Regiment
  • Former barracks of the Pavlovsky Regiment in Saint-Petersburg, Russia on a winter night
    Former barracks of the Pavlovsky Regiment on a winter night

The 150-meter facade of the building comprises three monumental columned porticoes decorated with martial friezes (adapted in the 1920s to remove the more obviously Tsarist symbols). By contrast, the building's interiors were modestly fitted, with the exception perhaps of the chapel, with colonnade of ionic columns.

The Pavlovsky Regiment was among the most celebrated in the Russian Imperial Army, particularly for their exploits in the Napoleonic Wars. They were also one of the few regiments that declined to remain neutral during the October Revolution, declaring for the Bolsheviks and participating in the storming of the Winter Palace.

The regiment was disbanded soon after, and in 1928 the building became the headquarters of Leningrad's main electricity company, later Lenergo. It served the same function until 2010, and is now being redeveloped as a luxury hotel.

Address:1, Marsovo Pole
Metro:Nevsky Prospekt / Gostiny Dvor
Getting there:Exit the metro onto the Griboedov Canal and turn right along the embankment. Walk round the Church on the Spilled Blood and follow the fence of the Mikhailovsky Garden until you cross the Moyka River. The Field of Mars is then in front of you, with the barracks ahead to your left.
What's nearby? Field of Mars, Church of Our Saviour on the Spilled Blood, Griboedov Canal, Moyka River, Mikhailovsky Garden, State Russian Museum, Millionaya Ulitsa, Marble Palace, Adamini House, Kantemir Palace