Nikolaevsky palace on the Annunciation Square, near the English Embankment, was built in 1853-1861 by the architect Andrei Stakenschneider for the third son of Nicholas I, Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaievich. The palace was one of the bright examples of the Italian Neo-Renaissance in St. Petersburg.

For a long time the site of the palace was occupied by the rope-yard and then barracks. But by the middle of 19 century the nearby English Embankment became one of the most prestigious places in the city, so Nicholas I decided to build there a residence for his son.

From youth Nikolai Nikolaievich learned military arts, but he didn’t much care for it. His passion was horses, so the palace had stables and an Arab style manege. There were portraits of favorite horses in many rooms. The second passion of Nikolai Nikolaievich was ballet dancers. It were these two passions that shaped the appearance of the Nicholas Palace, the palace for splendid parties and balls in the most beautiful interiors of that time. The front staircase of the palace rising from the ground floor to the second floor was one of the biggest in St. Petersburg.

After the death of Nikolai Nikolaievich in 1890 the palace was taken by the treasury on account of debt repayment. Later, it was was occupied by the Kseninsky Institute, an educational establishment for maidens bereaved of their fathers. The girls were taught there only book-keeping and needlework. After 1918 the palace was given to the Union of Labor Organizations and was renamed Palace of Labour. 

Now the palace is occupied by various organizations, and the rooms are rented for different events. However, most interiors, including the main staircase and the Joy of All Who Sorrow Church, were reconstructed. Everyone can go inside, admire the interiors and enter the church.