— The main Palace of the Russian Empire was built by more than 4000 builders, marble and sculpture specialists, parquet makers and artists. They earned very little money and lived in poor housing.
— The palace was built in the period from 1754 to 1762, and at that time it was the tallest dwelling house in St Petersburg. The Empress Elisabeth, for whom the Palace was built, died before the construction was finished, so the new Palace of 60 000 square metres was first owned by Peter III.
— When the construction was finished, the whole Palace square was full of rubbish. Peter III decided to clean it in a very unusual way. He announced that anyone can take anything from the square for free. A few hours later the square was perfectly clean.
— The rubbish was removed, but soon there arised another problem. The palace was burnt out in 1837. The whole Imperial family was homeless. However, 6000 unknown workers fixed up the situation – they worked days and nights and the Palace was reconstructed in 15 months. Although the price for this were a few hundreds of ordinary workers…
— The Winter Palace was repainted several times in different colors. It was red, pink, and a few other colors. It acquired its green color in 1946.
— The Winter Palace is a very monumental structure. It was made to represent the power and glory of the Russian Empire. The length of the main facade is 150 metres, the hight is 30 metres.
27 April in Peterhoff the fountain season will be open.
in the morning, at 11 am the start of fountains will take place, accompanied by the music of the Anthem to the Great City. It will be the first fountain start of the year. From that day, the fountains will function daily.
The official Fountain Opening ceremony will be held 18th May.
The fountains will function weekdays 10.00 – 18.00
Weekwnds and public holidays – 10.00 – 19.00
Madonna with the Baby (Madonna Litta)
Leonardo da Vinci
Was a part of Litta’s collection in Milano.
The painting was most likely performed in Milano, where the artist moved in 1482. It is one of those paintings which marked the new period in the art of Renaissance – the establishment of the High Renaissance style. The beautiful woman with the baby at her breast represents the mother’s love as the greatest value of the humanity. The composition of the painting is reserved and balanced. The figures of the Virgin Mary and the Baby are performed with the most subtle chiaroscuro. In the symmetric windows we can see the landscape with mountains, reminding us about the harmony and grandeur of the universe.
The painting was brought to the Hermitage in 1865 from the collection of Antonio Litta – hence the second name of it.
The sketch for the painting is in the Louvre, Paris.
In 2013 St Petersburg is turning 310 years old. It will be one of the biggest anniversary celebrations.
This year the ST Petersburg Day will be celebrated in 2 days.
Apart from the traditional public events, on the first day 26 May, there will be a performance of choir singing on the steps of St Isaac’s Cathedral. The choir will consist of 4000 people. It will be the biggest choir performance in the world, and it is planned to be listed in the Guinness book.
The next day, 27 May, there will be a flower ceremony at the monument to Peter the Great – the founder of St Petersburg.
The Cosmonaut’s Day – the memorial date, established in honor of the first space trip of the humanity. 12 April 1961 the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin started from “Baikonur” cosmodrom on the space craft “Vostok” and became the first man who flew around the Earth. This space trip lasted for 108 minutes.
The Day of the Hermitage Cat is the celebration, which has already become traditional. It is held in honor of the fluffy “employees” of the State Hermitage Museum, literally living there. The event is officially included in the list of museum’s holidays. Every year there are different exhibitions, kid’s contests, devoted to cats, and the tours around basements and attics of the Hermitage.