Winter Palace

The main imperial residence of the Russian Empire, the Winter Palace, was built by order of Empress Elizabeth in the middle of the 18th century. Unfortunately, Elizaveta couldn’t live at the new palace, she died before the palace was completed. Catherine II became the first owner of the Winter palace in 1762.

The palace in the luxurious Baroque style had been under construction for 7 years, from 1755 to 1762, and designed by the court architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli.

The Winter Palace became the main winter residence of the Russian Emperors; therefore, this name is the Winter Palace. The emperors had summer palaces in the suburbs of St. Petersburg. As a rule, in the summertime, the entire courtyard moved to Tsarskoe Selo, Peterhof, Pavlovsk or Gatchina.

From 1762 until the 1917 revolution, the Winter Palace had been the main residence of the Russian emperors. There were private chambers, reception rooms, halls for balls and state receptions.

We recommend everyone to visit the Winter Palace on our tour and admire the majestic state rooms. Our highly qualified guides will tell you stories from the life of Emperors, take you through the halls of the Winter Palace. You will enjoy the great architecture and rich decoration of the most beautiful palace in Russia.

It is interesting to know that the Winter Palace is repainted once every five to six years. As you know, the modern color of the palace is greenish-turquoise. But the palace became such only in 1947.

According to the project of the first architect Francesco Rastrelli, the palace was painted pale yellow. And so it remained for a century. In the middle of the 19th century the palace became deep yellow. In the era of Alexander III at the end of the 19th century the palace was painted red, the columns on the facade remained white. In 1901, the palace becomes solid red.

In 1913, for the 300th anniversary of the Romanovs’ house, the palace was repainted in terracotta color. In this color, the palace “met” the revolution. In 1947, a commission that included the city’s leading architects decided to paint the palace in the color of the sea, life – greenish-turquoise. This is how we know our palace to this day.