Marble Palace was built on the Palace Embankment of the Neva River near the Trinity Bridge in 1768-1785. This was the gift of Catherine II to her favorite Gregory Orlov for his help in the palace revolution, which had brought her to the power. Apart from the Marble Palace, Catherine also gave him the summer residence – Gatchina Palace.
The lower floor of the palace is faced with pink granite, and two upper floors – with light grey serdobol granite. Most halls of the palace are decorated with marble panels, hence the name of the palace. The palace was built in the style of austere classicism, which replaced the baroque style of Rastrelli.
But Gregory Orlov, for whom the palace was built, almost didn’t live in the palace. The palace often changed its owners, until Konstantine Nikolayevich Romanov, the second son of Nicolas I, settled there. And after that the palace was owned by his son Konstantine Konstantinovich Romanov. And since that time the palace was also called Konstantinovsky.
As all innovations were introduced very fast, the palace was frequently rebuilt and extended. Steam heating, electricity, elevator, telephone and many other inventions of 19th century first appeared just in the Marble Palace.
Today the Marble Palace accommodates the expositions of the Russian Museum. The mag-nificent halls and interiors of the palace are also of great interest.