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Michael Garden

The Michael (Mikhailovsky) Garden takes its name from the Michael (Mikhailovsky) Palace (better known to visitors as the main building of the Russian Museum) which it adjoins. Throughout its long and varied history it has been a formal French garden, a hunting reserve and nursery, and during the reign of the Empress Elizabeth it housed labyrinths and fountains. Under the Emperor Paul the Garden was used for horseback riding, and it began to acquire its present features at the beginning of the 19th century. The construction of the Michael Castle and after that the Michael Palace, both of which border the garden, fixed the Michael Garden in its present boundaries.

  • Wrought-iron fence of Mikhailovsky (Michael) Garden in St Petersburg, Russia
    Wrought-iron fence of Mikhailovsky Garden
  • Russian Museum seen from Mikhailovsky Garden in St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian Museum seen from Mikhailovsky Garden
  • Winter view of Mikhailovsky Garden's wrought iron fence in Saint-Petersburg, Russia
    Winter view of Mikhailovsky Garden's wrought iron fence

The Michael Palace from which the Garden takes its name was built in 1819-1825 by Carlo Rossi for Grand Duke Michael, brother of the Emperors Alexander I and Nicholas I. When construction of the Palace finished in 1825, the Garden was turned into a landscaped park.

In the north-east corner of the Garden, on the banks of the Moika River, is a small pavilion built in Empire Style by Carlo Rossi in 1825; a century earlier, this site had been occupied by a wooden palace belonging to Peter the Great's wife, Catherine. Next to the pavilion is a symbolic composition called the Tree of Freedom, made out of old oak by the sculptor Anatoly Solovyov.

The Michael Garden was closed after the summer season in 2002 for restoration, and opened again for St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary in 2003. Today it is once again a favorite place for Petersburgers to go for a walk, or simply to relax and do nothing. It is an interesting combination of two landscape style: regular French around the edge, and English landscape in the center. Classical music concerts are often held here in late spring and summer.

Mikhailovsky Garden and the Moyka River in St Petersburg, Russia
Mikhailovsky Garden and the Moyka River
How to Get There:

From Nevsky Prospekt or Gostiny Dvor metro station exit onto Griboedov Canal. Walk along the canal on the same side as the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood. One entrance to the Michael Garden is located opposite the Church.

Timeline:
1819 - 1825 - Michael Palace built to a design by Rossi.
1825 - Pavilion, also designed by Rossi, erected in the Michael Garden.
2002 - May 2003 - Michael Garden overhauled.
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