Tauride Palace, Palaces of Saint-Petersburg
Russia: St. Petersburg
Tauride Palace, the elegant simplicity and modesty
Standing on one of the central streets of St. Petersburg is the majestic Tauride Palace. The fact that the palace has only two floors does not diminish its might and greatness. Not without reason it is one of the best and biggest palaces in Europe. Its construction took place at the peak period of classical style in architecture. Therefore, its appearance is fully consistent with the strict canons of classicism: yellow facades of the palace are denied of any decor – only clear geometric ornamentation of eaves and long windows. The front entrance of the palace is marked with the mighty six-column portico. In the center towers the low drum crowned with the spherical dome, in the center of which a flag is waving. The dome and the roof of the palace are dark green. The main building is linked with the side 2-storied buildings limiting the wide front yard. The history of this masterpiece of domestic architecture is very interesting and relates to the milestones in the history of Russia. The palace was built in 1783-1789 for the Prince G.A.Potemkin-Tavricheski (Tauride) and was meant to be the jewel of the Northern capital. The construction and finishing of the palace cost 400,000 rubles in gold. The elegant simplicity and modesty of the facades of Tauride Palace was in contrast with exceptional luxury and magnificent interior decoration. After the death of Prince Potemkin Tauride Palace was possessed by the Treasury, and became one of the favorite residences of Catherine II. In 1797 by decree of Paul I, the palace property was transferred to St. Michael’s Castle and the palace itself – to the Cavalry Regiment. In 1801 Tauride Palace was rebuilt as one of the emperors’ residences. During the revolutionary years in the Tauride Palace was the seat of the Provisional Government. There, at the meeting of the Bolsheviks Lenin made his speeches, the Soviets Central Committee held its meetings, All-Union Communist Agricultural University teachers delivered lectures. After World War II Tauride Palace was restored; until 1990 it housed the Leningrad Higher Communist Party School.