Palaces, manors and town halls in Russia

Winter Palace

The Winter Palace was built between 1754 and 1762 for Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great. Unfortunately, Elizabeth died before the palace’s completion and only Catherine the Great and her successors were able to enjoy the sumptuous interiors of Elizabeth’s home. Many of the palace’s impressive interiors have been remodeled since then, particularly after 1837, when a huge fire destroyed mo ...
Founded: 1754-1762 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Kremlin Senate

The Kremlin Senate was initially constructed from 1776 to 1787. It originally housed the Moscow branch of the Governing Senate, the highest judiciary and legislative office of Imperial Russia. Currently, it houses the Russian presidential administration and is a highly secured and restricted area closed to the public. At present, only the southern corner façade, opposite the Tsar Cannon can be viewed. The triangular str ...
Founded: 1776-1788 | Location: Moscow, Russia

Kremlin Presidium

he Kremlin Presidium, also known as Building 14 was constructed in 1934. It formerly housed the Supreme Soviet, the highest legislative body of the Soviet Union. Currently, it houses various offices of the Russian presidential administration, the Kremlin Commandant’s office and offices of the FSO and is thus a highly secured and restricted area closed to the public. At present, only the southern corner façade ...
Founded: 1932-1934 | Location: Moscow, Russia

Peterhof Palace

The Peterhof Palace is a series of palaces and gardens laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These Palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the 'Russian Versailles'. The palace-ensemble along with the city centre is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Peter the Great first mentions the Peterhof site in his journal in 1705, during the Great Northern War, as a good place to construct a landing f ...
Founded: 1714 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Amusement Palace

The Amusement Palace is located at the Kremlin’s western wall. It is situated between the Commandant and Trinity Towers. It was built in 1652 for Ilya Miloslavsky, who was the father-in-law of czar Alexei Mikhailovich. After the death of Miloslavsky, the palace went to the state. It was then used as a theatre. In the theatre performances were staged to amuse the family of the czar and his court. Hence, it got the na ...
Founded: 1652 | Location: Moscow, Russia

Catherine Palace

The Catherine Palace is a Rococo style palace which was used as a summer residence of the Russian tsars. The residence originated in 1717, when Catherine I of Russia engaged the German architect Johann-Friedrich Braunstein to construct a summer palace for her pleasure. In 1733, Empress Anna commissioned Mikhail Zemtsov and Andrei Kvasov to expand the Catherine Palace. Empress Elizabeth, however, found her mother's residen ...
Founded: 1717 | Location: Pushkin, Russia

Grand Kremlin Palace

The Grand Kremlin Palace was built from 1837 to 1849 on the site of the estate of the Grand Princes, which had been established in the 14th century on Borovitsky Hill. Designed by a team of architects under the management of Konstantin Thon, it was intended to emphasise the greatness of Russian autocracy. Konstantin Thon was also the architect of the Kremlin Armoury and the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. The Grand Kreml ...
Founded: 1837-1849 | Location: Moscow, Russia

Beloselsky-Belozersky Palace

The Beloselsky-Belozersky palace belonged to the Princes Beloselskiy, a family who claimed descent from Yuri Dolgorukiy, the founder of Moscow. Their first palace was built on the same site by the Fontanka River in 1747, but it was a much more modest affair. The family"s fortunes increased thanks to the close relationship between Prince Alexander Mikhailovich Beloselskiy-Belozerskiy and Emperor Paul I, and through ma ...
Founded: 1747 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Stroganov Palace

The Stroganov Palace is a Late Baroque palace was built to Bartolomeo Rastrelli"s designs for Baron Sergei Grigoriyevich Stroganov in 1753-1754. The interiors were remodeled by Andrei Voronikhin at the turn of the 19th century. The first house for the Stroganovs was built on the site probably in 1720s. It was a building of one storey. Аrchitect Mikhail Zemtsov erected a second two-storey house in the 1740s. In ...
Founded: 1753-1754 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Moika Palace

The Moika Palace or Yusupov Palace was once the primary residence of the House of Yusupov. The building was the site of Grigori Rasputin"s murder in 1916. The palace was first built around 1770 by the French architect Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe. Over the years numerous well-known architects worked on the palace, and it is known for the hodgepodge of architectural styles. A. Mikhailov reconstructed the building ...
Founded: 1770 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Saint Michael's Castle

St. Michael"s Castle, also called the Mikhailovsky Castle, is a former royal residence built for Emperor Paul I by architects Vincenzo Brenna and Vasili Bazhenov in 1797-1801. The castle looks different from each side, as the architects used motifs of various architectural styles such as French Classicism, Italian Renaissance and Gothic. St. Michael"s Castle was built to the south of the Summer Garden and replac ...
Founded: 1797-1801 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Admiralty building

The Admiralty building is the former headquarters of the Admiralty Board and the Imperial Russian Navy and since 2012 once again the headquarters of the Russian Navy.The building was re-built in the 19th century to support the Tsar"s maritime ambitions. The original design was a fortified shipyard which was later surrounded by five bastions and further protected by a moat. The Empire Style edifice visible today lini ...
Founded: 1806-1832 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Anichkov Palace

Anichkov Palace is a former imperial palace, named after the nearby Anichkov Bridge across the Fontanka. Designed for the Empress Elizabeth of Russia in a dazzling Baroque style, the palace came to be known as the most imposing private residence of the Elizabethan era. Some suggest architects Bartolomeo Rastrelli andMikhail Zemtsov were responsible for the design, though it"s yet to be substantiated. The main frontag ...
Founded: 1741-1754 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Gatchina Palace

The palace and park at Gatchina dates back to the time of Empress Catherine II. In 1765, the tsarina gave her favourite, Count Grigory Orlov, a lavish gift – the Gatchina estate. The picturesque landscape, spring-fed lakes with connecting tributaries and rivers made it possible to create here the unique landscape park with the palace of remarkable architecture as its focal point. The design for the palace was devel ...
Founded: 1766 | Location: Gatchina, Russia

Ostankino Palace

Ostankino Palace is a former summer residence and private opera theatre of Sheremetev family. Extant historical Ostankino includes the main wooden palace, built in 1792-1798 around a theater hall, with adjacent Egyptian and Italian pavilions, a 17th-century Trinity church, and fragments of the old Ostankino park with a replica of Milovzor folly. Ostankino Palace is the real gem of Russian art of the 18th century, w ...
Founded: 1790 | Location: Moscow, Russia

Mon Repos

Mon Repos or 'Monrepos' is a manor house and landscaped English park in Vyborg. Between 1788, when Ludwig Heinrich von Nicolai bought it, and 1943, 'Monrepos' was owned by the family of Baron Nicolai (better Nicolay). The historic core of the museum complex is a manor from the early 19th century. This consists of the Main house and the Library house, monuments of wooden classical architecture, and the ...
Founded: 1788 | Location: Vyborg, Russia

House of Soviets

The House of Soviets is the office building built in Stalinist style in the late 1930s. According to Soviet projects, the House of Soviets was planned to host the administration of Soviet Leningrad government. The location was chosen on undeveloped south outskirts of the city away from the downtown area which was prone to frequent floods. The construction was completed just before the Nazi invasion of Soviet Union at the ...
Founded: 1936 | Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Catherine Palace

The Catherine Palace is a Neoclassical residence of Catherine II of Russia on the bank of the Yauza River. It should not be confused with the much more famous Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo. The residence is also known as the Golovin Palace, after its first owner, Count Fyodor Golovin, the first Chancellor of the Russian Empire. After his death Empress Anna commissioned Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli to replace the G ...
Founded: 1752 | Location: Moscow, Russia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hochosterwitz Castle

Hochosterwitz Castle is considered to be one of Austria's most impressive medieval castles. The rock castle is one of the state's landmarks and a major tourist attraction.

The site was first mentioned in an 860 deed issued by King Louis the German of East Francia, donating several of his properties in the former Principality of Carantania to the Archdiocese of Salzburg. In the 11th century Archbishop Gebhard of Salzburg ceded the castle to the Dukes of Carinthia from the noble House of Sponheim in return for their support during the Investiture Controversy. The Sponheim dukes bestowed the fiefdom upon the family of Osterwitz, who held the hereditary office of the cup-bearer in 1209.

In the 15th century, the last Carinthian cup-bearer, Georg of Osterwitz was captured in a Turkish invasion and died in 1476 in prison without leaving descendants. So after four centuries, on 30 May 1478, the possession of the castle reverted to Emperor Frederick III of Habsburg.

Over the next 30 years, the castle was badly damaged by numerous Turkish campaigns. On 5 October 1509, Emperor Maximilian I handed the castle as a pledge to Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg, then Bishop of Gurk. Bishop Lang undertook a substantial renovation project for the damaged castle.

About 1541, German king Ferdinand I of Habsburg bestowed Hochosterwitz upon the Carinthian governor Christof Khevenhüller. In 1571, Baron George Khevenhüller acquired the citadel by purchase. He fortified to deal with the threat of Turkish invasions of the region, building an armory and 14 gates between 1570 and 1586. Such massive fortification is considered unique in citadel construction.

Since the 16th century, no major changes have been made to Hochosterwitz. It has also remained in the possession of the Khevenhüller family as requested by the original builder, George Khevenhüller. A marble plaque dating from 1576 in the castle yard documents this request.

A specific feature is the access way to the castle passing through a total of 14 gates, which are particularly prominent owing to the castle's situation in the landscape. Tourists are allowed to walk the 620-metre long pathway through the gates up to the castle; each gate has a diagram of the defense mechanism used to seal that particular gate. The castle rooms hold a collection of prehistoric artifacts, paintings, weapons, and armor, including one set of armor 2.4 metres tall, once worn by Burghauptmann Schenk.