This classical gray-and-white mansion stands in the lovely park, which covers the whole of St. Petersburg's small Yelagin Island. Once the property of the prominent nobleman, Ivan Yelagin, the palace was bought by the Imperial family and rebuilt between 1818 and 1822 by the famous Italian architect for Empress Maria Fedorovna, the mother of Emperor Alexander I. The palace remained a royal residence until 1917.
After having been virtually destroyed by the Nazi bombardments of 1942, the palace's stylish interiors have now been fully restored to their former elegance. The palace became a museum in 1987 and visitors are free to roam around the building's Oval Hall, the Porcelain Room, the Dining Room and the other impressive interiors. Frequent temporary exhibitions are held in the palace and the garden pavilions. The adjoining park and Butter Meadow (Masliany Lug) is a delight to wander through and provides some fantastic photo opportunities.
Other St. Petersburg buildings designed by the architect Carlo Rossi include the Army General Staff Building on Palace Square, the Anichkov Palace on Nevsky Prospekt, the Aleksandrinsky Theater and the Mikhailovsky Palace (the Russian Museum).
Address: 197000, Yelagin Ostrov 1
Metro: Chernaya Rechka
Telephone: 239-1130, 239-0141
Open: 10am to 6pm
Closed: Monday and Tuesday