Travel Palace, Torzhok

Travel Palace in Torzhok, Russia, known locally as Putevoi Palace, was once used by the royal family as a country house. Today it is the pride of the city and a tangible reminder of Torzhok’s history.

Torzhok’s first Travel Palace, a wooden building used by the city magistrate, was demolished in the 18th century. In its stead, a new stone Travel Palace was built along the Moscow-St. Petersburg Highway in 1776 by decree of Catherine II. Standing prominently on the banks of Tvertsa River, the palace offers a magnificent panorama of the city. Built in a neoclassical style, it later served as a model for the construction of other travel palaces in Tver Region.

The base of the imperial palace complex is a U-shaped foundation on which two one-story rectangular wings are attached to the wall of a two-story house. The original main building had a colonnade covered with a triangular pediment, with the wings and main entrance gates united by an iron fence.

The central building is defined by a Doric portico, while the facades of the wings are decorated with half-column porticos. Both floors of the Travel Palace were designed as an enfilade arranged in two rows, with most of the second floor occupied by the Grand Hall. The imperial apartments were located on the second floor in the western suite, from which the royal family could enjoy a magnificent view of the city and riverbank.

In 1827, Travel Palace was purchased by the Torzhok City Society and converted into a hospital and boarding school. Three years later, it was transferred to the Vladimir Uhlan Regiment. In the 1840s, the palace was renovated by skilled architects and repossessed by the city. In the ensuing years, Travel Palace was used as a girls’ school which was later transformed into a women's gymnasium. After the Russian Revolution, another school was established on the premises. From 1924 to 1926, Travel Palace housed a Workers’ Club, followed by the first kindergarten in the city.

Today, Travel Palace in Torzhok has been converted into a school for children with special needs.