Mikhailovsky Castle

This castle is one of the favorites of the Emperor Paul I. You have probably already guessed that we are talking about Mikhailovsky Castle. It is also known as Engineering, and in documents of the 18th century was called St Michael’s Palace.

The first sketches of Mijailovsky castle were made by the same Paul I. For twelve years he worked through the options for his future residence.

The castle was conceived by Paul I, and he even made his first sketches himself. The project for the future residence began twelve years before the start of construction, at this time the emperor had thirteen design options for the future of the palace.

The Mikhailovsky Castle was named by the Mihaila Arhangela church as the patron saint of the Romanov dynasty. The second name “Engineering” comes from there from 1823 by the Head of the School of Engineering.

Once Paul became emperor, he immediately issued a decree on the construction of his dream. The first stone was laid in 1797, the works were done day and night, where 6000 people worked in the imperial residence. It was completed in 1801 and 40 days later the inauguration of of the castle was carried out, where later its owner died in his bedroom . After the tragic death of the king, his family quickly left the castle.

The Mikhailovsky Castle is considered one of the most interesting architectural monuments of the northern capital. This is not like all the palaces that were built before. This is due in large part to the fact that Paul had the title of the Order of Malta of the Masters. The emperor wanted his residence to serve as the seat of the Malta knights meetings. In appearance it resembles a fabulous building of a medieval castle. Initially the territory of Mikhailovsky Castle was completely separated from water from the Moika and Fontanka rivers. In fact, Pablo resided in the island and to get there it was only possible through the bridges.

There are two versions that explain why the castle was built on the site of Elizabeth’s summer palace. According to the first, Paul wanted to live and die there. The second version is that the soldier on duty was once the archangel Michael, and said that the temple was to be built on this site. The boy communicated to Paul, who later carried out the mandate.

After the death of the emperor, construction began at the castle. When Alexander I took the silver for the servicd luxury (a wedding gift to his sister, the Queen of the Netherlands), he ordered the silver gates of the church palace to be fused. In the era of Nicholas I, the architects built the marble castle. During World War II, the hospital was here.

In 1994, the castle was handed over to the Russian Museum, so large-scale restoration began. Today St Michael is the branch of the museum.

For the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, the castle was restored, the interiors have acquired the way they were with Paul I, again the facade and statues of the summer garden appeared.

There are several permanent exhibitions in the corridors of tue castle that are open for guided visits with temporary exhibitions of work.

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