Russian Imperial Palaces → The Winter Palace
The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs. However, some of the monarchs and their families often flocked to their favorite and more secure palaces outside of the city because of the dangers they face at the Winter Palace. In 1905, the Bloody Sunday massacre occurred when demonstrators marched toward the Winter Palace, but by this time the Imperial Family had chosen to live in the more secure and secluded Alexander Palace at Tsarskoe Selo, and returned to the Winter Palace only for the most formal and rarest state occasions.
The palace was constructed on a monumental scale that was intended to reflect the might and power of Imperial Russia. The green-and-white palace has the shape of an elongated rectangle. The Winter Palace has been calculated to contain 1,786 doors, 1,945 windows, 1,500 rooms and 117 staircases. The rebuilding of 1837 left the exterior unchanged, but large parts of the interior were redesigned in a variety of tastes and styles, leading the palace to be described as a “19th-century palace inspired by a model in Rococo style.
Situated between the Palace Embankment and the Palace Square, adjacent to the site of Peter the Great’s original Winter Palace, the present and fourth Winter Palace was built and altered almost continuously between the late 1730s and 1837, when it was severely damaged by fire and immediately rebuilt. After the death of Catherine the Great, the Hermitage Museum had become a private treasure house of the Tsars, who continued collecting paintings and artworks, albeit not on the scale of Catherine the Great. The museum is open to everyone today.
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