Mariinsky Palace
Mariinsky Palace, also known as Marie Palace , was the last Neoclassical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

 imperial palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

 to be constructed in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. It was built between 1839 and 1844 to a design by the court architect Andrei Stackensneider.

The palace stands on the south side of St Isaac's Square
St Isaac's Square
Saint Isaac's Square or Isaakiyevskaya Ploshchad , known as Vorovsky Square between 1923 and 1944, in Saint Petersburg, Russia is a major city square sprawling between the Mariinsky Palace and Saint Isaac's Cathedral, which separates it from Senate Square...

, just across the 99-metre-wide Blue Bridge
Blue Bridge (Saint Petersburg)
The Blue Bridge , is a 97.3 metre wide bridge that spans the Moika River in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The Blue Bridge is the widest bridge in Saint Petersburg and is sometimes claimed to be the widest bridge in the world — a claim, however, that has not been recognized by international reference...

 from Saint Isaac's Cathedral
Saint Isaac's Cathedral
Saint Isaac's Cathedral or Isaakievskiy Sobor in Saint Petersburg, Russia is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the city...

. In the 18th century, the plot belonged to Zakhar Tchernyshov
Zakhar Tchernyshov
Count Zakhar Grigoryevich Chernyshov or Tchernyshov was the eldest of three brothers, Zakhar, Ivan Tchernyshov, and Pyotr Tchernyshov, close friends of Timofei Evreinov, and the sons of Grigory Chernyshev, the first count Chernyshev and one of Peter the Great's generals, enlisted in the Russian...

 and contained his mansion (1762-68), which was occasionally let to Prince of Condé
Prince of Condé
The Most Serene House of Condé is a historical French house, a noble lineage of descent from a single ancestor...

 and other foreign worthies visiting the Russian capital. In 1825-39, the Tchernyshov mansion housed a military school, where Mikhail Lermontov
Mikhail Lermontov
Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov , a Russian Romantic writer, poet and painter, sometimes called "the poet of the Caucasus", became the most important Russian poet after Alexander Pushkin's death in 1837. Lermontov is considered the supreme poet of Russian literature alongside Pushkin and the greatest...

 studied for two years.
Stackensneider's palace was conceived by Emperor Nicholas I
Nicholas I of Russia
Nicholas I , was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855, known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. On the eve of his death, the Russian Empire reached its historical zenith spanning over 20 million square kilometers...

 as a present to his daughter Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia on the occasion of her marriage to Maximilian, Duke of Leuchtenberg
Maximilian, Duke of Leuchtenberg
Maximilian Joseph Eugene Auguste Napoleon de Beauharnais , 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg, 3rd Prince of Venice Prince des Français and Hereditary Prince of the Kingdom of Italy and claimant to the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt was the husband of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna of...

, Eugène de Beauharnais
Eugène de Beauharnais
Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Prince Français, Prince of Venice, Viceroy of the Kingdom of Italy, Hereditary Grand Duke of Frankfurt, 1st Duke of Leuchtenberg and 1st Prince of Eichstätt ad personam was the first child and only son of Alexandre, Vicomte de Beauharnais and Joséphine Tascher de la...

's son. Although the reddish-brown facade is elaborately rusticated
Rustication (architecture)
thumb|upright|Two different styles of rustication in the [[Palazzo Medici-Riccardi]] in [[Florence]].In classical architecture rustication is an architectural feature that contrasts in texture with the smoothly finished, squared block masonry surfaces called ashlar...

 and features Corinthian columns arranged in a traditional Neoclassical mode, the whole design was inspired by the 17th-century French Baroque messuage
In law, the term messuage equates to a dwelling-house and includes outbuildings, orchard, curtilage or court-yard and garden. At one time messuage supposedly had a more extensive meaning than that conveyed by the words house or site, but such distinction no longer survives.A capital messuage is the...

s. Other eclectic influences are apparent in the Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 details of exterior ornamentation and in the interior decoration, with each main room designed in a different historic style.

The Mariinsky Palace returned to imperial hands in 1884 and remained imperial property until 1917, housing the State Council of Imperial Russia
State Council of Imperial Russia
The State Council was the supreme state advisory body to the Tsar in Imperial Russia.-18th century:Early Tsars' Councils were small and dealt primarily with the external politics....

, State Chancellory, and Soviet of Ministers. The grand hall for the sessions of the State Council was designed by Leon Benois
Leon Benois
Leon Benois was a Russian architect. He was the son of architect Nicholas Benois, the brother of artists Alexandre Benois and Albert Benois, and the grandfather of the actor Sir Peter Ustinov...

 in 1906. On 2 April 1902, a terrorist assassinated the Minister of Interior, Dmitry Sipyagin
Dmitry Sipyagin
Dmitry Sergeyevich Sipyagin , a Russian statesman.Born in Kiev, Sipyagin graduated from the Judicial Department of St Petersburg University in 1876. Served in the MVD as Vice-Governor of Kharkov , Governor of Courland and Governor of Moscow...

, in the palatial vestibule
Vestibule (architecture)
A vestibule is a lobby, entrance hall, or passage between the entrance and the interior of a building.The same term can apply to structures in modern or ancient roman architecture. In modern architecture vestibule typically refers to a small room or hall between an entrance and the interior of...


The Provisional Government
Russian Provisional Government
The Russian Provisional Government was the short-lived administrative body which sought to govern Russia immediately following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II . On September 14, the State Duma of the Russian Empire was officially dissolved by the newly created Directorate, and the country was...

 took full possession of the palace in March 1917 and gave it over to the Council of the Russian Republic, also known as the pre-parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

. After the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

, the palace housed various Soviet ministries and academies. During the German-Soviet War, it served as a hospital and was subjected to intensive bombing. The war over, the palace became the residence of the Leningrad Soviet, succeeded by the Saint Petersburg Legislative Assembly in 1994.
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