Place: St Isaac’s Square On the map
Construction time: 1839-1844
Architect: Andrei Stackensneider
Name Origin: Building was constructed for the great princess Maria Nikolaevna, the eldest daughter of Emperor Nicholas I, because of her marriage to Duke Maximilian of Leuchtenberg. Despite the sonorous name, ducal estate was very small, so the couple stayed in St. Petersburg.
Our days: Here is the city’s parliament, the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg.
Remarkable features: On the facade of the building you can see the emblem of Saint-Petersburg. Two crossed anchors, sea and river, represent the power of the city over the seas and rivers; scepter – capital functions of the city.
- It is believed that Maria Nikolaevna didn’t like the palace because of the monument of Nicholas I. «I do not want to go out every morning on the balcony and to see the back of this horse, on which my dead father was riding,” – she said.·
- A similar story is told about Mathilde Kschessinskaya, famous ballerina of the XX century and the girlfriend of three Romanovs. They say that despite the tempting offer to move into this palace, she refused it and noted about this: two emperors had already turned away from the building, so it wouldn’t be a surprise when the third emperor will turn away from it too. Ballerina meant the monuments of Peter the Great and Nicholas I, as well as her ex-lover – Emperor Nicholas II.