The Anichkov Palace is a unique mix of Russian history and architecture making this central imperial building eye-catching.
As the oldest stone building on Nevsky Prospekt, the Anichkov Palace faces the Fontanka River across from its namesake, the landmark Anichkov Bridge. Once a private residence gifted to favorites of the crown, this home of the Romanov Tsars holds the stories of royal balls, grand weddings, love intrigues and childhood memories of heirs to the Imperial throne of Russia.
Commissioned to architect Mikhail Zemtsov by Empress Elizabeth Petrovna in 1741, it was thirteen years to its completion in 1754. Upon completion, Elizabeth gave it to Count Aleksey Razumovsky, her favorite consort and unofficial spouse.
After his death, Catherine the Great bought it from Razumovsky's brother and in 1776, bestowed it to her lover Prince Grigory Potemkin, who hired architect Ivan Starov to redesign the baroque exterior with neoclassical elements. Visitors say the chandeliers and sumptuous furnishings from the days of Potemkin's lavish balls and receptions are exquisite.
Following Potemkin's demise, it was transferred back to the crown, remodeled and briefly used for offices of the Imperial Cabinet, until Emperor Alexander I gifted it to his sister, the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna. Ultimately, it became a private residence for the Romanov's where Nicholas I, Alexander II and Alexander III lived. Each employed architects to redesign the exterior and each left their personal mark on the palace's regal interiors.
Today, the Anichkov Palace is known as The Palace of Youth Creativity and home to over one hundred organizations offering after-school programs in engineering, sports, sciences, and the arts to over 10,000 children.
Interested to visit the Palace? If so, click on the links below or scroll down the page to learn more.
The Anichkov Palace is located across the Anichkov Bridge, which is one of the top highlights of Nevsky Prospect, and essential viewing for any visitor to the imperial city, both for the stunning views of the nearby palaces from the vantage point of its humped back and for the famous sculptures - the Horse Tamers - that crown its four corners.
Built-in baroque style this magnificent Palace hosts a small museum open at specific times or through privately scheduled tours where visitors experience a journey into the timelessness of royal Russia.
A guided tour here will take you back to the 19th century balls and receptions with couples carried away in the dance. Inside you can see the library, the Study of Emperor Alexander III, The Yellow Drawing Room, and the Anichkov Lycee (One of St. Petersburg's most prestigious secondary schools).
Outside the imperial building, there is also a nice garden where you can walk or relax (Two Park Pavilions).
It is interesting to know that when Alexander III became Emperor, he preferred the Anichkov Palace to the Winter Palace, so he and his wife Maria Feodorovna raised their children there. This was where Nicholas II, the last Russian Tsar, spent his childhood and where his mother, the Dowager Empress kept her official residence until the Bolshevik Revolution. Following 1917, it was used for the Ministry of Provisions, a city museum, and headquarters for Leningrad's Pioneer's Palace, the Soviet version of The Boy Scouts.
It is said that Karl Rossi and Francesco Bartolomeo Rastelli also had a hand in the original design, but with the passing from person to person, the style of several architects was blended into the uniquely beautiful palace we see today.
You should also know that at the beginning the palace was known as “the palace at the Anichkov bridge".
You can buy tickets only at the ticket office inside the building during opening hours. Tickets online are not available. For more information, we recommend to call the facility or visit the official website listed below.
The electric trolley bus number 22 goes along Nevsky Prospekt and is the most convenient way to get to and from the Anichkov Palace and surrounding hotels and attractions on Nevsky. There is also a regular diesel bus number 22 that has a much longer route, so don't get the two confused.
Address: 39, Nevsky Prospect
Metro: Gostiny Dvor
Telephone: +7 (812) 314-9555
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm. Closed on Sundays.
Admission: Museum: 150Rubles; Russian language tours are operated on a schedule. English language tours available by prior appointment only.
Photo and Video: Not allowed/upon request only
Accessibility note: Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible.
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