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Mikhailovsky Castle. Museum. Places to visit. St. Petersburg. Saint Petersburg. Tour to the cities of Russia. Trip to Russia. Legendary tour.





The austere look of the Mikhailovsky Castle ensemble corresponds to its no less solemn history connected with the grievous fate of its owner. The castle was built by Vasily Bazhenov and Vincenzo Brenna in 1797 for Paul I as a new imperial residence. He wanted to leave the Winter Palace partly because he hated his mother Catherine II but mainly due to his maniacal fear of a plot conspired against him. Paul ordered the new residence to look like a mediaeval castle, encompassed with a deep moat and fortified with guns. The eight-corner building of the castle encircles the vast square yard and the whole structure makes it almost impossible to sneak in unnoticed. The only way in was through the drawbridge guarded day and night. Because of the Pauls growing phobia the Mikhailovsky castle was built in unusually short time. To speed up the construction Paul ordered to use materials allocated for St. Isaac Cathedral and took away the precious interiors of the Tavrichesky Palace, the private residence of his mothers lover Potyomkin. Still, he couldnt wait and moved into the yet incomplete building.The first ball was given in fog emanated from the yet damp walls.

However unassailable the castle was, the plotters did get inside. 41 days after Paul moved in, under the veil of night they rushed into the Pauls bedroom and killed the Emperor by hitting him with a golden snuffbox into his temple. After the cruel assassination a memorial Church was opened in the Castle. In 1823 the castle was turned into the Higher Engineers School. From 1838 to 1843 Fyodor Dostoyevsky studied there. The gracious monument to Peter the Great in front of the Castle was established by Rastrelli in 1800. On the order of Paul I the architect made the inscription From Great Grandson to Great Grandfather on the pedestal and decorated it with bas-reliefs depicting scenes of two Russian victories over the Sweden during the Northern War.

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