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The subject index / Mikhailovsky Castle

Mikhailovsky Castle

Categories / Architecture/Architectural Monuments/Palaces

MIKHAILOVSKY CASTLE (since 1823, Engineer's Castle) (2 Sadovaya Street), a Neoclassical architectural monument. It was constructed in 1797-1801 (architects V.I. Bazhenov, V. F. Brenna) at the behest of Emperor Pavel I on the location of the demolished wooden Summer Palace of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna. It was named in honour of archangel Michael. The square building with an octagonal inner yard was enclosed with canals (filled over in 1823). The main (southern) facade is adorned with an Ionic portico, accomplished with a three-angled pediment (relief - sculptors brothers P., D. and L. Staggi), and two marble pylons with arms on both sides of the entrance. The Northern facade, facing the Summer Garden, is emphasised with a high attic, an open terrace on paired Doric marble columns and wide granite staircases with bronze statues of Hercules and Flora (copies of antique sculptures). The apartments are of various configurations: round, oval, multi-angular, with niches. Masons Staggi, F. Thibaud, P. Triscorni, artists P. and K. Skotti, A. Vigi, P. Maderni, Y. Mettenleiter and others took an active part in the creation of the decor of the Mikhailovsky Castle (the original decor of the front staircase, Throne hall, Rafael gallery, Oval and Church halls have been partially preserved). The ensemble of the Mikhailovsky Castle comprises two guardhouses with round premises, the Mikhailovsky Manege and the palace stable (1798-1800, architect Brenna; reconstructed in 1824, architect K.I. Rossi). In 1800, in front of the Mikhailovsky Castle the equestrian statue to Emperor Peter the Great (sculptor B. Rastrelli, model of 1716-1724, cast in 1744-1746; architect F.I. Volkov) was erected. On 1 February 1801, Mikhailovsky Castle became a residence of the Imperial family and remained as such until conspirators assassinated Emperor Pavel I on the night of 12 March 1801. In 1820, the castle housed the Main Engineering School (hence the castle's second name, as well as the names of Inzhenernaya (Engineers') Street, First and Second Inzhenerny Bridges and Zamkovaya (Castle) Street). In the 1820s-1840s, the greater part of the decor was demolished, exported and sold. In 1855, a number of apartments were given over to Nikolaevskaya Engineering Academy. Until 1917, Mikhailovsky Castle housed the Main Engineering Department of the Ministry of Defence. From 1918, there was First Engineering Petrograd Command Courses, in the 1920s-30s - the Military Engineering School and the Military Engineering Historical Museum of RKKA (Workers' and Peasants' Red Army), in 1925-32 - the Military-Technical Academy. In 1941-1944, Mikhailovsky Castle suffered damage from artillery and aerial bombardment; restoration work were conducted in 1947-1949, 1952-1964, 1974-1979 and in 1998-2003. Since 1994, Mikhailovsky Castle has accommodated an exposition of the State Russian Museum and Central Naval Library.

References: Михайловский замок / Авт.-сост.: М. Б. Асварищ и др. СПб., 2001; Михайловский замок: Страницы биографии памятника в документах и литературе / Сост., авт. вступ. ст. и коммент.: Н. Ю. Бахарева, Е. Я. Кальницкая, В. В. Пучков и др. М., 2003.

S. V. Boglachev.

Bazhenov Vasily Ivanovich
Brenna Vikenty Franzevich (Vicenzo)
Elizaveta Petrovna, Empress
Maderni Peter
Mettenleiter Jacob
Paul (Pavel) I, Emperor
Peter I, Emperor
Rastrelli Bartolomeo Carlo de
Rossi Carl Ivanovich (Carlo Giovanni)
Scotti Carlo
Scotti Pietro
Staggi D.
Staggi L.
Staggi Pietro
Thibault F.
Triscorni Paolo
Vigi Antoniо
Volkov Fedor Ivanovich

Inzhenernaya Street/Saint Petersburg, city
Sadovaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 2
Zamkovaya Street/Saint Petersburg, city

Михайловский замок / Авт.-сост.: М. Б. Асварищ и др. СПб., 2001

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