The ensemble of Palace Square
In front of us there is a view of Palace Square which is considered to be the city’s main square and gives an excellent example of how different architectural styles can be combined in a most elaborate and aesthetically pleasing way. On the northern side of the square stands the earliest and most celebrated building on the square, the picturesque Baroque Winter Palace of Russian tsars, which gave the square its name. It was built between 1754 and 1762 by Italian architect Rastrelli. Rossi made a huge impact on the architectural appearance, bringing the ensemble to its logical conclusion. Across the square, on the southern side, Rossi built the classical yellow-and-white General Staff Building to emphasize the nature of the main central square of St. Petersburg. The building encircles the Southern side of the square and combines a central arch designed as a Triumphal with chariot of victory on the top. On the eastern side the building of the former Royal Guards' General Staff tastefully closes the panorama of Palace Square, while on the West the square borders with the Admiralty and the Admiralty Garden. In the middle of the square the Alexander Column creates an important focal point for this great architectural ensemble. Although the adjacent buildings are designed in the Neoclassical style, they perfectly match the palace in their scale, rhythm, and monumentality. Especially spectacular view of the Palace facade opens from Bolshaya Morskaya street leading to the Arch of the General Staff Building. The Square size is almost double the size of the Red Square in Moscow and is about 5 hectares. Also the Palase Square is enrolled to the UNESCO world heritage list. The Alexander Column
This is the monument to the Russian military victory in the war with Napoleon's France. It was named after Emperor Alexander I, who ruled Russia between 1801 and 1825 (during the Napoleonic Wars). The column is a terrific piece of architecture and engineering. It was designed by the French-born architect Auguste de Montferrand and built between 1830 and 1834. The body of the column is made of a single monolith of red granite, which stands 25,6 meters high and about 3,5 meters in diameter. The monument is topped with a statue of an angel holding a cross (the face of the angel is said to be modeled on the face of Emperor Alexander I). It is a terrific feat of engineering that this enormous column, weighing an incredible 1,322,760 pounds (600 tons), was erected in under 2 hours without the aid of modern cranes and engineering machines. The pedestal of the Alexander Column is decorated with symbols of military glory. The monument is particularly impressive on a sunny evening shortly before dusk, when the last beams of sunlight are reflected in the polished red granite of the column. The Winter Palace
It was built between 1754 and 1762 by Italian architect Rastrelli. Until 1917 Winter Palace was the main residence of the Russian Tsars and afterwards of the Provisional Government. Many visitors also know it as the main building of the Hermitage Museum. The green-and-white three-storey palace is a marvel of Baroque architecture and boasts 1,786 doors, 1,945 windows and 1,057 elegantly and lavishly decorated halls and rooms, many of which are open to the public. The Winter Palace was built 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 most of the building. This is the cultural heritage object of federal importance and UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the historical center of St. Petersburg. Today the Winter Palace together with four more buildings houses the extensive collections of the Hermitage. The other...
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