Gilze van der Pals Villa

This villa on Angliysky Propsekt (English Avenue) is one of the finest Art Nouveau mansions in St. Petersburg. It was built in for the Dutch businessman and general consul of the Netherlands, Henrich Gilze van der Pals. The mansion was decorated with elements of the National Romanticism imported from St. Petersburg's nordic neighbours: semi-circular windows, gray tiles, and turrets. Most aesthetically valuable is the interior of the building, designed in a variety of styles including Renaissance, Rococo, Gothic, and early modernist. There is every reason to believe this mansion with its interior is equal in artistic value to the Ryabushinsky Mansion in Moscow.

Mansion of Gilse van der Palse on Angliyskiy Prospekt in St Petersburg, Russia
Mansion of Gilse van der Palse on Angliysky Prospekt

After the Revolution, the mansion was transferred to the Union of German Youth, then used as the House of Enlightenment, and from 1939 housed the military draft board. The interiors have survived remarkably well: today you can see the Dutch manor-style front wrought-iron staircase; the smoking room with Persian motifs; interior doors in Art Nouveau style; a tiled stove in the style of Finnish National Romanticism; the green living room; the library with elegant art nouveau designs; the veranda with winter garden and fountain, and much more.

Dutch yard at the Mansion of Gilse van der Palse in St Petersburg, Russia
Dutch yard at the Mansion of Gilse van der Palse

The courtyard is of great interest as it was designed in the form of a Dutch farm. It is particularly admired because of its elegant half-timbered octagonal dovecote tower, covered with green tiles. A wainwright building (later used as the garage) is similar to those on the country estate of the North Brabanda Castle. Even if one does not take a look inside the mansion, be sure to have a peek at this "Dutch Petersburg" yard, which is absolutely unique.

Address:8-10, Angliysky Prospekt
Getting there:From anywhere on Nevsky Prospekt take bus number 22 to the intersection of Ulitsa Dekabristov (Decembrists Street) and Angliysky Prospekt.
What's nearby? Palace of Grand Duke Alexey Alexandrovich / House of Music, Moyka River