The Marble Palace, located in the center of the northern capital, is considered one of the most elegant and colorful buildings in the city. This 18th century architectural monument is truly unique. The fact is that this was the first building in St. Petersburg, the decoration of the facade was made of natural marble materials. It is worth noting that the building was used for 32 types of marble brought from different countries.
Initially, the site of the marble palace was a two-storey building, designed by Domenico Trezzini. This is where Pedro held his assemblies and celebrations. The building was also an office, restaurant, hotel and post. Curiously, it was fine weather, Peter came walking from the Summer Garden. In winter, hotel guests lived in a powder keg. If the king suddenly reached the post-court, all the tenants would immediately vacate the place. After a while there they built the Arena and the mail moved to another place.
In 1769 by decree of Catherine II the large-scale construction of the Marble Palace under the direction of the architect Antonio Rinaldi began. This magnificent building was a gift for the favorite queen, Grigory Orlov. Catherine chose generously to Grigory by the fact that he helped her to become empress. Of course, the Eagles could not reciprocate so they awarded a luxury diamond chosen by “Nadir Shah.” The cost of the stone was 460 thousand rubles, a fabulous price for that moment. By the way, about the same amount of money was spent on the construction of the marble palace.
There is a version of the sketch of the Marble Palace personally made by Catherine II. The lining of the building’s marble building was brought from Italy, Greece and Russia. Curiously, the large coin box, which is also made of marble, was placed at the base of the building. On the site of the construction of the marble palace, about 300 people worked every day. The Empress personally supervised the progress and encouraged the most active builders.
The interior of the marble palace stands out for its splendor. Everything was left to chance. The grand staircase is decorated with statues of morning, afternoon and night, as well as sculptural groups that personify the spring and autumn. In addition to the deluxe rooms, there is a library, a large art gallery, bedrooms, living room, study and Turkish baths. The construction of this huge house was delayed. Count Orlov died, and he could not see the palace in finished form. However, in those years, he was not a favorite of the Empress.
Later, the Marble Palace belonged to the grandson of Catherine II Constantine Pavlovich Romanov and his sons. After the revolution, the building was nationalized, and all the rich collections were transferred to the Hermitage. In the palace, several events were organized, such as the People’s Commissariat of Education, the Palace Museum Department, the Central Office of local history and others. In 1992, the Chamber gave it the jurisdiction of the Russian museum. Before the building, the equestrian statue of Alexander III was established.