On Spassky Island

Anichkov Palace

Anichkov Palace (October 2014)

The Anichkov Palace is a former imperial palace which is named after the nearby Anichkov Bridge.  It was designed by Bartolomeo Rastrelli for Empress Elizabeth and built between 1741 and 1753. Back then the palace's location was considered the outskirts of the city.  Elizabeth gave the palace to her favourite Aleksey Razumovsky.  Catherine the Great bought it back and then gave it to her own favourite Grigori Potyomkin.  In the late 1700s the place was given a classical makeover and once again repurchased by the imperial family.  Emperor Alexander I gave it to his sister Yekaterina Pavlovna on her marriage to Duke George of Oldenburg and then their brother Nikolai Pavlovich made use of it and kept it when he became Emperor Nicholas I, during which time it became known as the Nikolaevsky Palace.  The future emperor Alexander II (Nicholas I's son) grew up here.  In 1841 Nicholas I gave the palace to his grandson, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich (the future Emperor Alexander III) who used it as his main residence.

After the revolution the palace was nationalised and briefly used as a museum.  However in 1937 a Pioneer Palace was opened here (the pioneers being the Soviet equivalent of the boy scout movement).  During the war the building was turned into a military hospital and remained open throughout the siege. Today the palace is used to hold the St Petersburg City Places of Youth Creativity and although excursions of the palace are occasionally offered, it is not generally open to the public.

Location 39 Nevsky Prospekt
Metro Gostiny Dvor
Website http://www.anichkov.ru/