Mariinsky Palace

The Mariinsky Palace was built between 1839 and 1844 by Heinrich Stackenschneider for the eldest daughter of Tsar Nicholas I, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna, who later became president of the Imperial Academy of Arts. The palace was a present to celebrate her marriage to Duke Maximilian Josephe Eugene of Leuchtenberg (1839) and was built on the site of the former palace of Count Ivan Chernyshev designed by Jean-Baptiste-Michel Vallin de la Mothe (1762–68). After the death of the Duke of Leuchtenberg (1852), Maria moved to Italy with her second husband Count Grigory Stroganov (1862). The palace was bought back by the crown for meetings (1884) and housed the State Council, State Chancellery, Committee of Ministers, Imperial Petitions Office and, later, the Council of Ministers. Between March and July 1917, the palace was the residence of the Provisional Government. After the October revolution, it was occupied by various Soviet institutions. The Mariinsky Palace is now the home of the Legislative Assembly of St Petersburg.

The Mariinsky Palace boasted the only state enfilade arranged perpendicular to the main facade in the history of nineteenth-century Russian architecture. The enfilade consisted of a Reception Room, Rotunda and Pompeii Room, with a passageway leading to the Winter Garden. The interiors were decorated in the historical style, with the application of ancient motifs.

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