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 in 1830-s when the Yusupov’s became owners of this palace . This time the modern appearance of the palace was formed.

From 1830 to 1917, the palace belonged to the House of Yusupov, an immensely wealthy family of Russian nobles, known for their philanthropy and art collections. Thus in the time of Imperial Russia, the palace became known as the Yusupov Palace. Fantastic and luxuries interiors of the palace were not inferior the royal palaces. More than 40,000 works of art including works by Rembrandt, jewelry, sculptures kept in the palace. Yusupov collection was nationalized and placed into the Hermitage and other museums.

The palace is most famous, however, because of the actions of its last prince Felix Yusupov. He was thought to be even as rich as the tsar. In Russia Yusupov owned 57 palaces, including four in St. Petersburg. The palace on the Moika was the prince’s favorite residence in the capital. The exact events surrounding Rasputin's death are much in dispute. The story, according to Yusupov, is that on the night of December 16, 1916 he, along with Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich of the House of Romanov, invited Grigori Rasputin to the Moika Palace. Supposedly, they served Rasputin cakes and red wine laced with cyanide — supposedly enough poison to kill five men. Concerned that Rasputin appeared unaffected, Yusupov retrieved a gun and shot Rasputin in the back. Taking him for dead, the party prepared to leave. Yusupov returned a short while later to find Rasputin still alive. He and his conspirators shot Rasputin, at close range, three more times, but Rasputin was still attempting to stand back up and flee. Desperate they clubbed Rasputin in the head repeatedly with an iron bar, wrapped him in a blanket, walked outside and tossed him into the Moika River. His autopsy supposedly found that neither the poison, nor the multiple gunshot wounds, nor the clubbing caused his death — instead he died of hypothermia. Much of the account, from Yusupov, is considered implausible.

The Russian Revolution followed shortly after Rasputin's death and once the Soviets came to power, they confiscated the property of the nobles. In 1925, the palace was handed over to the city's Education Commissariat. While most nobles' palaces were converted to mundane use, the Education Commissariat decided to preserve the mansion as a public museum. Today the palace serves as a Palace of Culture for Educators and it also functions as a museum to Rasputin's murder. The courtyard where Rasputin attempted to flee from his killers is now occupied by a kindergarten playground adjacent to the palace.

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Founded: 1770
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Russia

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

nico_cktail (19 months ago)
Very overrated on my opinion. When your take the normal tour you don’t learn much about history of true palace unless you buy a book at some point. Organization of the audio guide is very bad and the guide does not work properly. Very expensive also compared to other attractions in the city.
Guillaume Le Page (2 years ago)
I paid 700 rub (the same price of Hermitage) and half room were closed, great...
Anthony Williams (2 years ago)
Interesting and impressive building full of history without the jostling crowds found in the other palaces. Very educational and gives a real insight into Russian history. Well worth a visit.
Henrik Praesthus (2 years ago)
Very interesting palace. It is one of the smaller ones. But unlike many of the others this one has a more homely feel. To me the biggest highlight was the home theater and the library. Well worth the visit. Only 4 stars as only the main tour was available. So if you want to see where rasputin was killed you need to take one of the Russian options.
Piyaras Uboldejpracharak (2 years ago)
Nice to have audio guide of the palace. It is an interesting palace although it is rather small. My favourite room in the drawing room downstairs. For the Rasputin exhibition you need extra ticket to go inside. And bags are not allowed.
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