Inside The Vladimir Palace – Discovering A Mysterious Gem
Updated: Feb 27, 2022
I’ve come across this picture of the staircase inside the Vladimir Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia many times lately. It reminds me of scenes that appear in popular drama movies about Russia, such as "The Barber of Siberia", "Dr. Zhivago" and "Anna Karenina". To me, it captures so much intense beauty that I decided to look more into it & write about it.
Imagine just walking up those stairs that are halfway covered with a beautiful, luxurious, red carpet and seeing the 3 huge windows covered in white curtains to your right and above you, you have the tall ceiling that has this colorful image with innocent, naked angels on it. The walls are neatly decorated as well. After reaching the top of these stairs you walk through an arch that brings you closer to a hallway – another space that just keeps you awestruck.
This staircase is just a small and short insight into the whole palace (just like seeing the cover of a book, the inside chapters of the book is going to reveal way more than we assume on the outside). Let’s take a closer look at this mysterious gem.
The Vladimir Palace reflects a big piece of Russian culture. It embodies not only the country’s rich history that dates back to the 19th century but is also linked to many Russian rulers & scientists.
The architectural styles of the interior parts of the palace - yet highly diverse reflecting many different time periods: Neo-Renaissance (1801 -1899), Neo-Gothic (1740’s), Late Baroque (1680 to 1750), Byzantine (AD 527 - 565) and Louis XIV style (1638 -1715)- have remained the way it was built between 1867 and 1872.
As one of the last imperial palaces in St. Petersburg, it was built for the son of Emperor Alexander II, Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia. Duke Vladimir’s amazing art collection of porcelain and marvelous paintings is what you can still see there today. He was also known for starting the tradition of hosting concerts and lectures at his palace.
It was after the October Revolution in 1917, when the palace was renamed as The House of Scientists or The House of Academics because it turned into a social club designated for intellectuals who were presumed to influence the local politics. The presence of these intellectuals during the time of privatization was what actually led to the preservation of all the antiquities & artworks that were kept there.
The palace consists of 360 rooms. When entering each room in this palace, it is easy to imagine people from previous centuries walking around in their fancy dresses & outfits and amusing themselves while being around such artistic and noble surroundings. The Oak Hall is one of the most famous rooms in the palace. Its walls are decorated with huge paintings. Each painting portrays a different Russian fairy tale. Being in this room makes you feel as if you are travelling through time, precisely travelling through Russia’s history.
Nowadays, the Vladimir Palace has become the meeting point of St. Petersburg’s social, cultural, intellectual and scientific existence where the so-called Alferov Tea Parties take place each year. Wouldn’t it be fun to visit this spectacular place?
#Vladimir Palace ##Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia #Russia #architectural styles #staircase #Russia's history