The Heart Of St. Petersburg. As Rossi turned the meadow into the Palace square

The Heart Of St. Petersburg. As Rossi turned the meadow into the Palace square

For 300 years of its existence, the Palace square has changed many times. It grazed cows, bred rabbits, jousting tournaments staged and cultivated oats. The area acquired a front view only in the XIX century.

28 Mar 1819 in St. Petersburg began rebuilding the Palace square out of an enormous meadow, she became the main attraction of the capital. Area, which has recently bred rabbits and herding cattle, has gradually turned into an architectural masterpiece, and now can rightfully be called one of the main symbols of the city.

Aify find out how mutated the Palace square since the Foundation of St. Petersburg to the present day.

On the site of the Winter Palace was meadow

Palace square in St. Petersburg amazes with its scale and beauty. Its territory is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings, at the head of the square stands the majestic Winter Palace, and in the center — a 25-metre Alexander column.

So the Palace looked not always. Before becoming one of the main attractions of the city, the area has experienced many changes. Initially, the territory of the future Palace was used for storage of ship timber and anchors: these materials were needed for construction of the Admiralty. In 1712, when the main construction was completed, and St. Petersburg became the capital, a large space overgrown with grass and became known as the Admiralty meadow.

First, it housed the Maritime market where you can purchase food and other goods — hay, cloth, wood. After a few years the market has moved to another place, and by decree of Peter I the meadow was divided into several parts: through it passed the street “Admiralty Trident” in the form of strelochniy. First there was laid the Nevsky and Voznesensky avenues, and after the death of Peter the third beam was Gorokhovaya street.

On the area grazed cows and having fun

Empress Anna Ioannovna found for meadows more widely used. She spent a Grand festivities at public expense. By order of the Empress, the builders erected in the meadow amusing temporary palaces and pavilions.

On the site of the Palace square, fireworks were exploded, drinking wine from large fountains and a huge roasted carcass bulls, cooked meat distributed to the common people. Then the meadow was used for breeding hares. Hunting them was strictly forbidden, and the guilty were punished with a whip.

The diversity continued in the reign of Elizabeth. “For what purposes did not serve the Admiralty meadow, says ethnographer and doctor of historical Sciences Arkadiy Vasilyev. — Just imagine, some time he was completely planted with oats and grazing cows with the Imperial court! And then, when the construction of the Winter Palace, the meadow turned into a construction site, which was intended for drills of military units”.

“The restructuring was sverhsrochnoy task”

With the construction of the Winter Palace, the Eastern part of the Admiralty meadow was called the Palace square. As in the times of the former rulers, had holidays and large celebrations.

In the summer of 1766, on the Palace square was held a sort of medieval knight’s tournament, a famous St. Petersburg Carousel. “All the participants were dressed in armor, — says the historian. The audience watched a five-tier wooden amphitheatre, which was erected in the center of the Palace square, still sown with grass.

Who came to power Paul VI didn’t like the Winter Palace and spent a lot of time in the Mikhailovsky castle, so the development of this area stopped indefinitely. The territory began to take shape only under Alexander I.

To rebuild the Palace square has decided Catherine II. In her decree, there appeared a house by the architect Felten. The area paved with cobble-stone and turf.

And here is a front view of the area acquired only under Alexander I. the Complete redevelopment of the Emperor has instructed Karl Rossi. The architect, renovated the Palace square was to celebrate the victory over Napoleon. Most of the restructuring began in 1819.

“To approve a new view of the area was convened by the special Committee, — says Vasilyev. Members of the Committee put before the architect many tasks that were virtually impossible! Rossi had to not only Refine the space and chant the victory in the war against the French, but also to make new buildings existed harmoniously with the former. It was vertragna task, but Rossi with her did a great job!”.

Feat Rossi

The architect built the Eastern part of the area in such a way that she became completely symmetrical Western part, and the place Filanovsky houses erected the General staff building, two wings of which were connected by a majestic arch with the composition of the chariot of Victory and six horses. Construction would be completed much earlier if not for the great flood of 1824.

“The Palace was filled with water, — says local historian. The water rushed down on all surrounding streets and tore down the iron plates from the Main headquarters. When Neva was quiet, the workers had restored the appearance of the building.”

Despite the difficulties, the construction was completed in time, and the sculpture on the arch of the General staff was created in just two months. Externally, the arch looked very fragile, and the reigning Emperor Nicholas I doubted that the building will not collapse in the first month.

According to the legend, Carl Rossi assured the king that after all the work himself, will rise to the top of the arch: if it falls, then the architect himself will die. Rossi kept his promise. Together with the workers, he rose to the top and, standing in the chariot of Victory, waved to Nicholas hand. Since then, the Emperor did not doubt that the structure will stand forever.

The Symbol Of St. Petersburg

The last stage of the reconstruction the Palace square was the erection in the very heart of the Alexander column. The restructuring was completed in 1834, already by Auguste Montferrand.

Since then, the Palace square has become the unofficial center of St. Petersburg and a favorite place for walking residents. The area held a variety of festive events and military parades. This tradition has been preserved to this day. Every year the Palace hosts the may 9 Victory day Parade, a holiday of graduates “Scarlet Sails”, new year concerts, celebrations on the occasion of the birthday of St. Petersburg, sports and other events.

The area witnessed a coup in the country, because here in the night from 25 to 26 October 1917, took place the decisive battle of the October armed uprising.

Contrary to the fears Nicholas, Arch face headquarters now stands between Bolshaya Morskaya street and the Palace square. Around the area touring carriages, which rolled tourists, and on the pavement amble Peter and Catherine — actors-entertainers in historical costumes. “For 200 years the Palace square is the heart and the chief ornament of St. Petersburg, stresses the historian. — While the Palace square is alive and the city.”