Anichkov Palace

The first palace on the Nevsky Prospekt was built in 1741 by decree of Empress Elizabeth. Nowadays it is difficult to imagine, but these places were not in St Petersburg, and were built here in the clearing of the forest, because the mansion was intended to decorate the entrance of the city.

Its official name is the Anichkov house. On the other side of the Neva River, it housed the soldiers of the Admiralty Battalion, along with its commander, officer Mihailom Anichkovym. It was this battalion who later built the first wooden bridge, which was named after the commander. By the way, the settlement that housed the military has also received the official name. As a result, almost all future palace documents were referred to as “the palace on the Anichkov bridge.” By 1754 the palace was under the direction of the architect Mikhail Zemtsov who built it, and the empress gave it to his favorite young Alekseyu Razumovskomu for the appreciation that she had him.

Empress Catherine II bought the Anichkov palace to introduce Grigory Potemkin. The new owner with the help of the architect E. I. Starova, the facades were remade in the style of early classicism.

Subsequently, many famous architects at the request of the owners have made their adjustments in the design of the building, but each of them refers to the work of the companions very carefully and tactfully. Largely because this Anichkov palace has survived to this day.

In the time of Catherine, Anichkov Palace made an anecdote: Potemkin was sold as an imperial gift, Catherine bought them and presented it again.

After the Anichkov palace became the office of his majesty and the Direction of Imperial Theaters, which the sister of Alexander I sucesfully led in Pohozyaynichat. The new owner was the future Nicolas I, who also rebuilt the palace to his own taste. Pushkin, was fond of his wife Natalia, reason why on the 23 of November, 1836, the poet was invited for an audience with the emperor who requested that they abstained from the duel. It is interesting that the Anichkov palace had a room of its own for the poet Vasily Zhukovsky. He was teacher of the young Alexander II, who as a child lived in the palace.

The Anichkov palace housed the city museum after the revolution, which not only was intended for St. Petersburg, but also in Moscow and Rome. In the early 30’s, the rich interior decoration was sold, especially abroad. In 1937, the municipal authorities discovered here the Palace of Pioneers, which is the largest in the Soviet Union. During World War II, this architectural monument miraculously survived, although the Nazis planned to destroy it. In those difficult years, the building housed a hospital.

After the war, the Palace of Pioneers was reopened. Now the legendary palace has more than 20 sports clubs for children of school age. But the entrance is open to adults.

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