Russia St Petersburg Architecture Palace Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace

Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace

Reconstructed from an eighteenth-century estate by Fyodor Demertsov for Princess Anna Beloselskaya-Belozerskaya on the corner of 41 Nevsky Prospekt and 42 River Fontanka Embankment in St Petersburg (1799–1800). After the death of the owner’s son, his widow, Elizaveta Bibikova, married Prince Vasily Kochubey. Heinrich Stackenschneider and sculptor David Jensen rebuilt the palace in the Second Baroque style (1847–48).

Prince Konstantin Beloselsky-Belozersky sold the palace to Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich (1884). His widow, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna, took the veil and bequeathed the palace to her nephew, Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich (1905).

After the revolution, it housed various Soviet institutions. In the early 1990s, the palace reopened as a municipal cultural centre, hosting concerts, exhibitions and other events.

Designing the palace facades and interiors, Heinrich Stackenschneider applied the most typical forms and devices of Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli’s Baroque. The interior decor of the state apartments on the first floor has survived virtually unchanged to the present day.

All the parquetry in the palace is based on designs by Stackenschneider. The floors of the Crimson Drawing Room and the Green Drawing Room were made of exotic strains of wood – sandal, tulip and rosewood. In both rooms, the floor compositions consist of a central rosette and a frieze running along the perimeter. The thin graphic lines of the scrolls and rocaille elements were extremely typical of Stackenschneider’s style.

One of the most handsome parquet floors in the palace survives in the Corner (White) Room. This floor was made of maple, box, walnut, tulip, redwood, plane, sandal, amaranth and rosewood. The rosette is designed in the eclectic style, including elements of Baroque and Rococo – scrolls, rocailles, floral ornamentation, heraldic elements in the form of a shield inside a cartouche and trellis work (the background for the main elements of the composition).

Similar parquet floors survive in the Lesser Drawing Room and the Golden Drawing Room.

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