About sight: Tauride Palace and Gardens

Tauride Palace was built by Gregory Potemkin in the middle of the 18th century, in the reign of Catherine II. Potemkin was the favorite and then husband of Catherine II. After the victory over the Turks and annexation of Crimea he was granted the title of the Prince of Tauride. So was called the palace that Potemkin wanted to build far from the city (for those days), near the barracks of Horse Guards Regiment, where he began his service.

Many historians think that the Tauride Palace was the model for a great number of manorial estates, scattered all over Russia. Originally, Potemkin asked his friend, architect Ivan Star-tov, to build a «one-floor palace, which would amazed by its luxury». Partially, the idea was implemented, but the central building still had two floors.

The innovation of architect Ivan Startov was the colonnade of the main entrance and huge domed rotunda. It is just this feature that was repeatedly reproduced at the other manorial estates all over Russia. From outside the palace was very modest, but its interiors were just magnificent.

The palace had rather singular layout. Nearly all its spaces were taken up by four big rooms: Entrance Hall, Dome Hall, Grand Gallery and Winter Garden with Rotunda. Giant sizes of the Grand Gallery (length is 75 m, width is 15 m) made it the biggest palace room in the 18th cen-tury.

Behind the palace a big garden was planted, making it a full-blown out-of-town residence. English gardener Gould supervised the planting of the garden. On a big territory there were dug out ponds, which were interconnected with canals spanned with bridges. There were made walkways among the artificial hills. Even now the Tauride Palace may be considered as one of the favorite promenades of the citizens of St. Petersburg.

In 1906 tsar Nicolas II gave the Tauride Palace to the State Duma, the first Russian parlia-ment. Half of the Winter Garden was rebuilt as the amphitheatre and made a Meeting Hall. Today it is the seat of the Parliamentary Assembly of CIS.

The palace is near Chernyshevskaya Metro Station. One can book an excursion over historic ceremonial halls of the palace.

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