The gorgeous Stroganov Palace built between 1752-1754 on the corner of Nevsky Prospekt and the River Moika was designed by Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Those days, court architects were not allowed to take private orders, but Stroganov Palace was an exception, because Empress Elizabeth was fond of Baron Stroganov.
The Palace is considered one of the most chic residences of St Petersburg. With an abundance of decorative fixtures, columns, sculptures and ornate architraves. The Stoganov emblem and relief profiles hang over the windows of the second floor. There is still a lot of doubt about the portrait on the circular medallions – if it is the portrait of the first owner of the Palace Sergei Grigoriyevich Stroganov or a self-portrait of the architect.
The residence immediately became one of the cultural centers of St Petersburg, where fancy balls, masquerades and Italian opera concerts were held. Theatrical performances and social functions were also frequent at the Stroganov Palace and on December 15th 1754 Empress Elizabeth even held her birthday reception there.
The Stroganov Palace was also famous for its «open dinners» in the courtyard, where everyone could dine on account of the baron.
In 1756 after the death of S.G. Stroganov, his son, Alexander became the owner of the Palace and carried on the family’s traditions. Alexander Stroganov was a man of knowledge and intelligence, a connoisseur and collector of art, coins and minerals. Catherine II and Paul I both highly appreciated Alexander. He alsotook part in the creation of the National Library of Russia and prosperity of the Royal Academy.
InХIХ century, the family architect A.Voronikhin made some renovations, incorporating additional buildings to the Palace design.
It should be pointed out that the interior of the Stroganov Palace underwent many changes, inspired by time and fashion. Alexander Stroganov gathered in the chambers of the Palace amazing collections of paintings and works of art, which were always open to viewing by the royal Academy students and connoisseurs of art.
The Stroganov Palace and its exhibitions
Nowadays the Stroganov Palace is open to the public. The ballroom attracts people to its unique interior, with the original decoration created by Rastrelli, as well as the ceiling picture “Adventure of the Hero” painted by Valeriani. In the past, the 128-sqm hall hosted the most famous balls of the city. The decoration of the Mineralogical Cabinet and reconditioned enfilade of staterooms on the third floor are also well-known for their beauty. They were created by the best architects from the XVIII-XIX centuries –F. Demertsov, A. Voronikhin, P. Sadovnikov and I. Kolodin.
The Stroganov Palace also has a permanent exhibition of wax figures and many thematic exhibitions. You can find more information about the exhibition program on the Russian Museum web site.
There is a nice restaurant in the palace courtyard called Gloss. It offers a wide selection of Mediterranean, European, and Asian cuisine.
Address: Nevsky prospekt, 17, Subway station ‘Nevskiy prospekt’
Working hours: 10.00 to 18.00 daily, except Tuesday. Monday from 10.00 to 17.00. The box office closes at 17.00 and 16.00 respectively.
Translation by Leila Ismailova
Edited by Joan Akatukunda