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Entries / Menshikov Palace

Menshikov Palace


Categories / Architecture/Architectural Monuments/Palaces

MENSHIKOV PALACE (15 Universitetskaya Embankment), an architectural monument of late Peter's Baroque, the largest stone building of the first half of the 18th century in St. Petersburg. The building was constructed in 1710-1727 (architects D.M. Fontana, G.J. Schadel) for Prince A.D. Menshikov on the right bank of the Neva River. The decoration work was carried out under the guidance of architects J. B. Le Blonde, A. Schluter, B.K. Rastrelli and others. The Menshikov Palace formed the centre of an extensive mansion and consisted of a four-storied main building and three wings adorned with open galleries resting on columns that the inner courtyard was encircled with. Near it was a regular garden. The facades were adorned with floor pilasters with fretted stone capitals; the central part of the northern facade is crowned with an attic, side corbels have figured pediments. The inner planning is symmetrical with the internal space creating an enfilade. Chambers are adorned with faience tiles, wooden Dutch fireplaces. In the 18th century, the building was reconstructed and redecorated several times. Under Emperor Peter the Great, Menshikov Palace was a centre of Petersburg life: there official diplomatic receptions, assemblies and celebrations took place. After Menshikov fell into disgrace (1727) the Palace was forfeited, and since 1731 it housed the Land Corps (in 1800 it was renamed the First Cadet Corps). In 1730s-40s, to adjust the building to the needs of the Corps a two-storied hall (architect G. Trezzini) and a residential house (currently 1-5 Siezdovskaya Line), in 1758-60 - Eastern Wing on the embankment. The large garden was walled and partly transferred into a parade-ground. In the second half of the 19th century the Soviet of the Main Department of Military Schools of Ministry of Defence and the museum of the Cadet Corps were housed in the Menshikov Palace. In summer of 1917, in the assembly hall the First All-Union Congress of Soviets took place (memorial plaque). In 1926-57, in the Menshikov Palace the Engels Military-Political School was located (the head of the project was architect A.E. Hessen): the interiors of the front staircase, hallway, Menshikov's chambers and other premises were recreated (now they house the exposition devoted to Russian culture of the first third of the 18th century).

References: Калязина Н. В., Калязин Е. А. Дворец Меншикова в Санкт-Петербурге: История, реставрация, музей. СПб., 1996; Трубинов Ю. В. Палаты светлейшего князя Меншикова. СПб., 2003.

S. V. Boglachev.

Persons
Fontana Giovanni Mario
Hessen Alexander Ernestovich
Le Blond Jean-Baptiste Alexander
Menshikov Alexander Danilovich, Gracious Prince
Peter I, Emperor
Rastrelli Bartolomeo Carlo de
Schadel Johann Gottfried
Schluter Andreas
Trezzini Domenico

Addresses
Siezdovskaya Line of Vasilievsky Island/Saint Petersburg, city, house 3
Siezdovskaya Line of Vasilievsky Island/Saint Petersburg, city, house 5
Siezdovskaya Line of Vasilievsky Island/Saint Petersburg, city, house 1
Universitetskaya Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 15

Bibliographies
Калязина Н. В., Калязин Е. А. Дворец Меншикова в Санкт-Петербурге: История, реставрация, музей. СПб., 1996

Chronograph
1710
1731
1981
2002


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