The architectural ensemble of the Palace Square


If you walk along Nevsky prospect towards the Admiralty, sooner or later you’ll see the pink granite of the Alexander column with the angel on the spire which symbolizes the triumph of good. Monument to the victory over Napoleon with the words “to Alexander I from grateful Russia”  written on it rises up to 47.5 metres above the main square of St. Petersburg. It is the center of St. Petersburg, but it feels like the center of the world. Grandiose architectural ensemble of the Palace Square amazes any traveler, even if one doesn’t not know all the nuances of construction and ideas that architects and sculptors tried to implement. It becomes clear at first glance that every little detail of the 8-hectares square was designed and created on purpose. 

The General staff
The General staff arch

The Winter Palace is the Northern border of the Palace Square. The building designed in the luxurious Baroque style is a creation of the famous architect B. F. Rastrelli. For nearly two centuries the Palace has been holding a status of the major Imperial residence. Now the Winter Palace is the main building of the Hermitage and it contains a significant part of the Museum’s collection.

The General staff building limits the Palace Square on the South side. The building is an example of the Empire style and comprises three buildings that span over 580 meters. This majestic triumphal arch is situated in the centre of the architectural ensemble and gives the square ceremonial appearance. On the arch there is the chariot of Glory, which symbolizes the victory of the Russian army. Western part of the building belongs now to the Russian Western military district, and its East wing – to the Hermitage.

“The Alexander column is one of the most famous monuments in St. Petersburg. It’s a symbol of the victory of the Emperor Alexander I in the war with Napoleonic France.”

The headquarters of the Guards corps is the Eastern boundary of the Palace Square. This project is the brainchild of A. Brullov, who handled the incredibly difficult task — he managed to combine into one harmonious composition the Winter Palace, designed in the Baroque style, and the General staff, which is the representative of the classic architectural style.

The Alexander column is one of the most famous monuments in St. Petersburg. It’s a symbol of the victory of the Emperor Alexander I in the war with Napoleonic France. The monolith stands firmly on the ground due to its own weight and has no additional mounts.

Palace Square
the Palace bridge
The Palace bridge at night

Besides being the most central area of the city and a point with several essential city attractions, the Palace Square also offers a great view on St. Isaac’s Cathedral. And yet, after passing the Winter Palace, you can easily get to the Palace embankment and the Palace bridge with Vasilevsky island on your left hand and the Hare Island, where the Peter and Paul fortress is located, on your right.

To sum up, today Palace Square is one of the main symbols of St. Petersburg and definitely a must-see of the city. It regularly hosts gigs and festivals, significant cultural and sporting events and monthly attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists and citizens.