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Mariinskiy Palace

The Mariinskiy Palace occupies a prominent position in St. Petersburg's historic centre, across St. Isaac's Square and the Blue Bridge from St. Isaac's Cathedral. The land on which it was built had originally been the site of the St. Petersburg residence of Zakhar Chernyshev, a prominent military commander who had played a key role in the Seven Years' War and been Minister of War in the reign of Catherine the Great.

  • Night view of Mariinskiy Palace in St Petersburg, Russia
    Night view of Mariinskiy Palace
  • Dome of the Rotunda inside the Mariinsky Palace, built by Schtakenschneider in St Petersburg, Russia
    Dome of the Rotunda inside the Mariinsky Palace, built by Schtakenschneider

In 1839, Emperor Nicholas I commissioned the court architect Andrey Stackensneider to build a palace as a wedding present for his daughter, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, who was about to marry Duke Maximilian of Leuchtenberg, the step-grandson of Napoleon Bonaparte and a keen amateur scientist and art collector. Stackensneider, who was also responsible for the Nikolaevskiy Palace and the Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy Palace, created a monumental neoclassical building with intricate decor inspired by medieval French and Renaissance architecture. The original palace interiors were equally eclectic, with each hall decorated in a different style.

  • Interiors of Mariinskiy Palace in St Petersburg, Russia
    Interiors of Mariinskiy Palace
  • A Staircase of Mariinskiy Palace in St Petersburg, Russia
    A Staircase of Mariinskiy Palace

In 1884, the Mariinskiy Palace was bought back from Maria Nikolaevna's heirs by the Imperial Estates and assigned by Alexander III to house the State Council of Imperial Russia. The centenary session of the State Council in the Mariinskiy Palace on 5 May 1901 was the subject of a painting by Ilya Repin on display in the Russian Museum. The palace has been used as a government building ever since - as home to the Council of the Russian Republic under the Provisional Government of 1917, to the Leningrad Soviet after the Second World War, and since 1994 to St. Petersburg's Legislative Assembly.

Address:6, Isaskievskaya Ploshchad
Metro:Gostiny Dvor/Nevsky Prospekt
Opening hours:The Mariinskiy Palace is not open to the public.
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