Stroganov Palace is considered to be one of the most beautiful palaces belonging to wealthy noble families. The palace is located at the heart of the historic Petersburg at the intersection of the Nevsky Avenue and the river Moika.
Today the Stroganov Palace is a branch of the State Russian Museum but no valuable canvases or sculptures are exhibited there and its main attraction are the interiors of front chambers: Mineral Study, Great Hall, Mirror Hall, and Arabesque Hall.
The Stroganov Palace was built in 1752 by the famous court architect Francesco Rastrelli, who created not a small number of masterpieces in Petersburg: the Winter Palace (the Hermitage), Peterhof, Catherine Palace, and Smolny Female Monastery. But the fire, which happened at the end of 18 century, destroyed the building completely, and of the rooms by Rastrelli there survived by a Ball Room. A new palace was designed in 1801 by the former serf of the Stroganov, the architect Voronikhin.
The famous Mineral Study was designed by the architect Voronikhin. Above the study you can see the dome of the second floor, also housing the collection of minerals. On the first floor, apart from the samples of minerals, there were the Stroganov library.
Ball Room, also called the Room of Rastrelli, remained almost intact. The ceiling is decorated by the plafond by Giuseppe Valeriani. At the Arabesque Gallery there were reproduced the frescoes of Raphael from the Vatican Palace, known as the Loges of Raphael.
There is an interesting story about the dish «beef a la Stroganoff», which was later called simply «beef Stroganoff». As is known, the Stroganov were very hospitable hosts, and their so-called «open tables», which were laid in the court of the Stroganov Palace on the river Moika, could be attended by any decently dressed person. The cooks of Stroganov devised this dish, which tasty and fairly simple to cook. Since that time the name was used for the dish all over the world.