Palace at Anichkov Bridge
Palace at Anichkov Bridge today is the Palace of creativity of young people and one of the main attractions of St. Petersburg. Its history began in 1741.
The first building made in the Baroque style in St. Petersburg was the Anichkov Palace on Nevsky Prospect 39, on which the famous Rastrelli worked besides Dmitriev and Zemtsov. The building was three stories high with domes resembling the shape of bulbs and two wings with the front entrance turned towards the Fontanka River. Among the building’s owners were Potemkin and Razumovsky. This building was also the Emperor’s study, i.e. the room where the property of the tsar’s family was located. During its existence the building has greatly changed its internal and external appearance. All the halls, except the Yellow and White halls, are decorated in the classical style, and have survived almost unchanged to this day.
The palace fulfilled the role of royal residence until the nineteenth century. When the revolution was over, the old Petersburg museum was opened inside, and then the Palace of Pioneers. In the early nineties it was renamed the Palace of Young People’s Art. To find out why Anichkov Palace is so called, it is recommended to read its history from beginning to end. Today there are more than 20 active sections or circles for children inside the building.
Located along Nevsky Prospekt between Fontanka Street and Sadovaya Street, the territory is now occupied by the Anichkov Palace. Originally these lands in the early eighteenth century belonged to the first general of police A. M. Devier, who in 1727 was exiled. The territory was given to D. Lukyanov. At that time the land closer to the Fontanka River was occupied by the regimental court, belonging to the Preobrazhensky Regiment. The destiny of the estate was abruptly changed by the coup d’etat of November, 25 1741. Meanwhile, Elizabeth, who was Peter I’s daughter, occupied the throne. He was able to come to power with the help of the Preobrazhennye. As the history of the Anichkov Palace tells, it was built for Elizabeth, but no one was the news that her favorite Count named Alexei Grigorievich Razumovsky would live there. M. G. Zemtsov worked on the project in 1741. Construction began under his leadership. After the death of Zemtsov, which dates back to 1743, the construction was undertaken by the architect G. Dmitriev, but he also died in 1746, completing the building only to the eaves.
The Italian architect Rastrelli finished the construction and had to adjust the side risalites, completing them with two domes with numerous decorative vases.
Anichkov Palace in St. Petersburg got its name from the Anichkov Bridge, located nearby. It differs from other buildings along the avenue in that its main facade did not look in its direction. The chosen location indicates that for those times Nevsky Prospect was not considered the main street of St. Petersburg. This was because most guests arrived at the palace by water, and so the front door faced the Fontanka River. There was also organized a harbor, where visitors to Elizabeth could leave their sailing and rowing vessels. According to the plan of Grigory Dmitriev there were also open galleries along the Fontanka embankment.
The courtyard ensemble consisted of a three-storey side wing and a central wing with two-storeyed halls inside. They were connected with two-storeyed lower volumes. This kind of architecture belongs to the baroque of the “pre-Rastrelli” period. The Baroque style, as seen in the photo of the Anichkov Palace in St. Petersburg , also refers to the use of pilasters, and the columns decorated only the main portico. However for Peter’s Baroque a great number of sculptures and other decorative elements was used. The side of the facade bordering Nevsky Prospect is topped with a dome of the Resurrection of Christ. At the same time from the prospect the estate was separated by a high stone wall with three gates.
The construction process lasted a long time, so it was completed in 1756. The next change of ownership is dated 1771, when Count Razumovsky died, and the estate passed into the possession of his brother academic scholar Kirill Grigorievich Razumovsky. The year 1775 was the time of a large masquerade for 2,500 people. For that period the palace was rented by the St. Petersburg merchant class. It is not enough to know where Anichkov Palace is, to feel the history of the place you need to know its main owners:
- 1776 – the estate was transferred by Catherine II to Count G. A. Potemkin. He rebuilt the palace according to his own requirements. At that time the building had changed its appearance from baroque to classical. During the reconstruction the height of the building was leveled, the harbor was filled up, the open galleries were dismantled, and the gardens were redesigned.
- The year 1779 was the time when the gallery with tropical plants was created, where the prince organized masquerades, at which about a hundred musicians performed simultaneously. The room was then leased to a community of Italian musicians. Once the guests of such a masquerade were Pavel Petrovich (Grand Duke) with his wife Maria Feodorovna and the Empress Catherine II.
- In 1784, Potemkin sold the mansion to the merchant Shemyakin, but in 1985, Catherine II bought the palace at Anichkov Bridge and returned it to the former owner. The Empress decided that it was unseemly to refuse the Tsar’s gifts.
- In 1809, Catherine Pavlovna, sister of Alexander I, became the owner of the building. Such a present was given to her as a present on the occasion of her marriage. The family also decided to rebuild the palace. L. Ruska worked on the new layout. His works include the Great Dining Room and the Dance Hall.
- After her husband’s death in 1812, a few years later Catherine married again and moved, selling the manor to the state treasury. Since that time, the famous poet V. A. Zhukovsky, who was the tutor of the heir to the throne, who eventually became Emperor Alexander II, lived in the house.
If history is to be believed, the Anichkov Palace, whose address is 39 Nevsky Prospect, is overflowing with literature. It was here that A. С. Pushkin read out his recently completed poem “Ruslan and Lyudmila” to Zhukovsky. The next owner of the building was the future Emperor Nicholas I. He also wanted to rebuild the palace in his own way. The alterations were carried out by K. Rossi. He built a service building and two pavilions in the garden, which also underwent changes. Carlo Rossi redesigned the Dance and Music Rooms, the boudoir, the sofa room, the study and the bedroom. Inside the seventeen rooms, freshly painted ceilings were made and the walls were covered with velvet, silk or satin. The walls of the remaining rooms were painted in marble. Remarkably, any details were made according to sketches prepared by Rossi. Full-scale construction work allowed the interiors to become a unified ensemble.
Find the considered Anichkov Palace on the map of Nevsky Prospekt 39 in two minutes, but due to the lack of full-fledged tours of the place, it is recommended to get acquainted with its history in more detail on your own. For example, the next owner of the structure in 1841 was Prince Alexander Nikolayevich. The modernization of the building came in 1853, when a sewage system and a water pipeline were installed. In 1897 cinematographic films were shown here, and in 1899 a school for the children of clerks was opened.
When the revolution ended, the palace was nationalized. The Ministry of Food was situated inside it. From 1918 to 1935 the building was used as a city museum. Not of Leningrad, but of the city, i.e. Moscow and other Russian cities. This is what kept Anichkov Palace on the map of St. Petersburg as it was under the last Emperor. Inside the building, which formerly housed a cabinet, since 1918, a branch of social and communal hygiene, as well as the city library have been functioning. The museum’s closure is dated 1928. Since that time most of the property has been sold off.
The Palace of Pioneers on the territory of the former manor was opened in 1937 according to the idea of S. M. Kirov. It became the largest on the territory of the former USSR. The architect D.L. Krichevsky and A.I. Gegello worked on the reconstruction of 1936-1937. It was they who closed the cabinet building in the carcass, their masters painted two rooms based on A. M. Gorky and A. S. Pushkin. Initially there were over a hundred children’s groups. Boris Spassky, Lev Dodin, Elena Obraztsova, Sergey Yursky and others attended the chess club here. The year 1941 was a turning point for the building. Then it was crushed by an artillery shell, which completely destroyed the winter garden. The walls of the surviving buildings became a military hospital, which worked here for about 18 months. Despite the hostilities, most of the sections continued their work.
Today, almost every tourist knows where on the map of St. Petersburg Anichkov Palace, because by 1945 it had been restored. Opposite the main building also grows the famous birch, planted there by the famous cosmonauts Vladimir Komarov and German Titov. The modern name of the Palace of Young People’s Art was given to the building in 1990.
Anichkov Palace: History and Present
In February, St Petersburg’s Palace of Young People’s Art celebrated its 80th anniversary. About the history of the oldest building on Nevsky Prospect – in the material of Goroda+.
St. Petersburg City Palace of Young People’s Art occupies a historical and architectural ensemble on the corner of the Fontanka River and Nevsky Prospect, including the Anichkov Palace and the Imperial Study. Anichkov Palace became a second home for many generations of Petersburgers – by participating in circles for many the way to the profession began, here lit the real “stars”, which now demonstrate achievements in various sciences and arts. Gorod+ decided to conduct a little literacy, and set out the basic milestones in the history of this remarkable building on Nevsky Prospect.
The first palace on Nevsky Prospect
The territory between Sadovaya Street and Fontanka along Nevsky Prospect, where Anichkov Palace is located now, belonged to A. M. Devier – the first general-policeman of St. Petersburg – at the beginning of the 18th century. After the palace coup of November 25, 1741 Elizabeth, Peter the Great’s daughter, ascended the throne, and ordered the palace to be built in place of the regimental court of the Preobrazhensky Guards. It was no secret that the palace was being built for Elizabeth’s favorite – Count Alexei Grigorievich Razumovsky.
The creation of the project and the actual construction of the palace was engaged in the architect MG Zemtsov in 1741, then the case was transferred to GD Dmitriev, and completed the construction of Anichkov Palace famous architect Rastrelli.
Anichkov is the first palace on Nevsky Prospect. It got its name from the Anichkov Bridge, located nearby. Unlike other buildings on the avenue, the main facade is not turned to its side – this shows that at the beginning of 1740s Nevsky Prospect was not yet perceived as the main street of the city. Many guests arrived to the palace by water, and then the main side of the building faces the Fontanka, by the time the palace was built – the border of the city.
Anichkov Palace in the 18th century
Completed construction of the building in 1756. After Count Razumovsky passed away, Anichkov Palace was inherited by his brother Count Kirill Grigorievich Razumovsky, the president of the Academy of Sciences. Later in 1775 the estate was rented by a Petersburg merchant family who arranged a big masquerade for 2500 people.
In 1776, Catherine II bought the palace from Razumovsky and presented it to Count Potemkin. In the next two years the palace was rebuilt for Potemkin under the project of I. E. Starov – since that time the palace has had a classic rather than baroque appearance. In 1779 in the garden was created a gallery with exotic tropical plants. In the gallery the prince used to organize masquerades, at which up to a hundred musicians played, and other entertaining events. Then Potemkin sold the Anichkov Palace to the merchant Shemyakin. Catherine II bought the palace back from the Tsar and gave it to Potemkin. However, in 1785 the manor was sold again, this time to the treasury.
In 1794 it was decided to place in the building the Cabinet of His Imperial Majesty. The Anichkov Palace became the personal office of the tsar. In 1795 in one of the palace pavilions the book collection of Joseph Zalussky that became the basis for creation of the Public Library was temporarily kept there, and in 1799 the western part of the estate was given to the Theatre Directorate.
The palace is the best wedding gift
In 1809 Alexander I gave Anichkov Palace to his sister, Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna, on the occasion of her wedding to Prince George Oldenburgsky. Since the 1810s, the poet V. A. Zhukovsky lived at Anichkov Palace. He was the tutor of the heir to the throne, the future Emperor Alexander II. Exactly here Pushkin read his finished poem “Ruslan and Lyudmila” to Zhukovsky.
In 1817 Alexander I gave Anichkov Palace to his brother Grand duke Nikolay Pavlovich (future emperor Nikolay I) as a wedding present. As is the custom with the tsars, the building was rebuilt again: From 1817 to 1820, C. Rossi was involved in it. He built the Service Building, two garden pavilions and redesigned the garden. The estate joined the ensemble of the Theater Square (now Ostrovsky Square) designed by Rossi.
In 1825, Prince Nikolai Pavlovich became the Emperor and a year later he gave the Anichkov Palace the status of an imperial palace. During the reign of Nicholas I balls were held in Anichkov Palace. Alexander Pushkin despised them and his wife Natalia Nikolaevna loved them so much.
The last owner of the palace was the mother of Nicholas II, Empress Maria Feodorovna. In 1897 she was shown a cinema here, and since 1899 in Anichkov Palace started a school for the children of employees.
The fate of Anichkov Palace in the Soviet era
Immediately after the revolution Anichkov Palace was nationalized – at first the Ministry of Food worked there, in 1918-1935 a museum of the city (not only of Leningrad) functioned in the Palace. In the buildings of the Cabinet from 1918 worked the Department of Municipal and Social Hygiene, the library of the City Museum.
On February 12, 1937, at the initiative of S. M. Kirov, the Palace of Pioneers was opened here, the largest in the USSR. The Anichkov Palace was reconstructed by architects A. I. Gegello and D. L. Krichevsky. The buildings of the Cabinet were given a square shape. Over a hundred children’s hobby groups were opened, the most famous of which was the chess group visited by Viktor Korchnoi, Boris Spassky and Mark Taimanov. In addition, Stanislav Zhuk, Lev Dodin, Sergey Yurski, Alisa Freindlikh, Lev Lurie and Elena Obraztsova visited the Palace of Pioneers.
The Palace of the Pioneers worked throughout the siege, and on June 28, 1942 it held a solemn evening for graduates of Leningrad schools, and by 1945 the palace complex was restored.
In 1990 the Palace of Pioneers was reorganized into the Palace of Young People’s Art.
Today the Palace
To this day, the doors of the Palace are open to young residents of St. Petersburg: there are many different circles on art, science, technology, sports, social activities, etc. One of the largest divisions of the Palace of Young People’s Art is the department of humanitarian programs and children’s social initiatives. Children can choose any of the areas of interest: Journalism, the basics of etiquette, local history, museum business, a guide’s speech culture course, the basics of modeling and design, join a tourism and local history club, go to school counselor.
For students who are interested in technology, the Palace also provides a variety of clubs: modeling, construction of drones, robotics, fun math, 3D-modeling, space exploration, modeling in graphics editors, photo studio, basic programming, electrical engineering and more.
A lot of attention in the St. Petersburg Palace of Young People’s Art is paid to musical education of young Petersburgers – here they teach playing various instruments, singing, and even the art of speech! In addition, Anichkov Palace has its own orchestra, theater studio, choreography class and art studio. All in all, there are more than 200 clubs in the Palace of Young People’s Art – everyone can find an activity to his or her liking!
Festivals and contests, game programs and performances, subject Olympiads and scientific conferences are held here all year round. Among the graduates of Anichkov Palace are several generations of prominent cultural, scientific and sports figures. During 80 years of its existence the palace as an educational institution for young Petersburgers stepped far beyond the walls of Anichkov estate. In the resort area on the Karelian Isthmus there is a Suburban Center for Children and Youth Creativity “Zerkalny”, two modern complexes, opened in the 21st century: ecological and biological center “Krestovsky Island” with modern laboratories, greenhouses and aviaries, and an educational and health center, which includes a swimming pool, gyms, gymnasiums and choreography.