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The winter Palace

The winter Palace was built for Empress Elisabeth on the project of Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1754-1762 years and until 1917 it remained the main Imperial residence. This fourth stone the Winter Palace.

In the first third of the eighteenth century Peter the great on the Palace embankment, in the place where today is the Hermitage theatre was built the Winter Palace. He did not survive, but in the end of XX century during the reconstruction of the Hermitage theatre was reconstructed some interiors of the Winter Palace of Peter I is a Museum.

During the reign of the Empress Anna Ioannovna there was a need of construction of a new Imperial winter residence. The site was chosen on the Palace embankment, so that the main facade of the Palace faces the Admiralty. The construction of the second of the Winter Palace by the project of F. B. Rastrelli was completed in 1735.

After the accession to the throne Elizabeth’s former residence was expanded and rebuilt, but seemed new Empress too modest. In 1752 it was decided to build a new more luxurious Winter Palace with lots of rooms. At the time of construction Elizabeth moved to a Temporary wooden Winter Palace, which was built upon the project of Rastrelli and occupied a large plot on Nevsky Prospekt from the Moyka river to Bolshaya Morskaya street (not preserved).

When Rastrelli designed the third stone Winter Palace, was intended in its construction use of the building, built on this site before. In particular, the Palace of General-Admiral F. M. Apraksin, erected in Peter’s time on this stretch of the Neva river.
The first project of F. B. Rastrelli was not implemented. Following the project architect was approved on 16 June 1754-this date is considered the beginning of construction of the fourth Winter Palace. The building was completed in 1762, but work on the interior continued.

The building has a clear logical plan similar to a square, a rectangle, a complicated large projections (protrusions) on the corners. Here were located the most important Palace interiors. In the North-West – the Throne Room, in the North–East of the main staircase (Jordanian, or Embassy), in South-East – a Church in the South-West – theatre. The second, main floor, corbels was supposed to bind solemnly decided by the enfilade of rooms. The construction was carried out in the period of greatest prosperity a lush Baroque style (Elizabethan, or the Rastrelli’s Baroque).

Portrait of Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli Jordan staircase of the Winter Palace.To.And.Ukhtomsky Winter Palace from the Admiralty. F.-V. Perrault 1841
The main entrance served as the front gate of the southern facade, which given the form of a broad three – Bay triumphal arch. Behind them was a huge courtyard surrounded by Palace buildings. The main entrance led in the North building, which stretches along the banks of the Neva. In the interiors of the Palace are numerous mirrors create the effect of expansion of space, as well abundantly for the decoration of the premises used was the gold leaf and many decorative elements. Originally the facades of the Palace were sand-colored, the background of which was gilded decorative elements.

Elizabeth died in December 1761, was succeeded by her nephew, the Prince of Holstein Peter III. Then there was a Palace coup of 28 June 1762 that brought to power his wife Catherine II.

1760-ies proved to be a turning point in art. Replaced the magnificent Baroque came a more rational style-classicism. Francesco Rastrelli retired and went abroad. Decorative and finishing works in the Winter Palace continued on projects by other architects. At the end of XVIII-early XIX century worked in the Palace of the masters of classicism (Y. M. Felten, G. Quarenghi, C. I. Rossi, O. Montferrand, etc.)

During the reign of Catherine II the Neva river from the Winter Palace dressed in granite and was called the Palace.

The winter Palace.St. Petersburg
A huge fire in 1837 destroyed almost all of the interiors of the Palace. The restoration work was supervised by the architects V. P. Stasov and A. P. Bryullov.

Today the designs of Rastrelli in the Winter Palace meet: Main lobby, first floor gallery (rightly bears the name of its architect), the Jordan staircase and the Palace Church, restored by V. P. Stasov without significant changes.

Winter fronts do not repeat each other, they still retain their shape. Alternating projections, three-quarter columns, placed in two tiers. On the corners of many columns of projections are collected by beams, running from one front surface to the other. Sculpture and vases above the cornice, like blurring the top edge of the building. Varied patterns and architraves of Windows and numerous moldings adorn doorways around the perimeter. All these features make the Winter Palace the clearest example of the lush Baroque and restless.

The fire in the Winter Palace on December 17, 1837.Green Boris the Winter Palace.The war gallery of 1812.G. G. Chernetsov View of the arch of General staff building from Palace square.Beggrov, Karl Petrovich
In the first half of the nineteenth century, before the southern facade of the Palace was resolved, gradually to 1840-th years it formed the architectural ensemble of the main square of St. Petersburg – Palace.

In addition to the Winter Palace, the ensemble included: the General Staff building, built by the architect K. I. Rossi, as well as the Headquarters building Guards corps, created by the architect A. Briullov. In 1834 at the Palace square was solemnly opened a monument dedicated to the victory of Russian troops in the war with Napoleon-Alexander’s column, executed at the project Montferrand.

Simultaneously with the creation of the Palace square ensemble, Rossi has created a memorial arrangement that is associated with the memory of Patriotic war of 1812 in the Winter Palace. Gallery of 1812 settled in the form of a long hall covered by a dome with skylights. On the walls of the gallery, opened in 1826, were placed 332 half-length portraits of war heroes, the artist DOE. Here ceremonial monumental image of the Emperor and generals.

The gallery of 1812 in the Winter Palace the Jordan staircase in the Winter Palace the malachite room of the Winter Palace
After the February revolution of 1917, the Winter Palace housed the Provisional government. After the October revolution of 1917 the former Imperial residence was nationalized.

From the Neva to the Winter Palace joined the buildings included in the ensemble of the Hermitage buildings: the Small Hermitage, Large (Old Hermitage), the Hermitage theatre, and from the perspective of Millionnaya St. the building of the New Hermitage. Today, all these masterpieces of world architecture together with the Winter Palace are part of the world-famous Museum – the State Hermitage Museum. The Hermitage is one of the largest museums in the world. It holds about 3 million monuments of culture and art from ancient times to our days; the paintings, graphic sheets, sculptures, objects of applied art, coins and medals.

Among the treasures of the Hermitage works by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, Matisse, Picasso and many others. World famous collection of Scythian gold and the antiquities of the Northern black sea.

If you stop at each exhibit for at least 1 minute, for exploring all the attractions have to spend several years.