Saint Michael’s Castle (or Mikhailovsky, or Engineer Castle) – a former imperial palace in the center of St. Petersburg at Sadovaya Street, No. 2, at the turn of the 18th-19th centuries, built as a castle on the water by order of Emperor Paul I and became the place of his death.
This building is the largest architectural monument, completing the history of St. Petersburg architecture of the 18th century.
The building is located near the source of the Moyka River from the Fontanka. It was originally surrounded by water on all sides. It could be accessed via bridges guarded by sentry guards. The canal on the south side (reconstructed in 2003) came close to the basement. The building was approached from Italian Street through triple semi-circular gates, the middle passage of which was reserved for members of the imperial family.
The Mikhailovsky Castle owes its name to the church of Michael the Archangel, the patron of the Romanov dynasty, located in it, and the whim of Paul I, who took the title of Grand Master of the Order of Malta, to call all his palaces as “castles”; the second name – “Engineering” came from the Main Engineering School (located there since 1819).
Famous artists of that time were involved in painting the ceilings in the front rooms of the castle: Italians Carl Scotti and Antonio Vigi, Pole Francis Smuglevich, German Johann Mettenleiter.
The interiors of the castle were decorated with paintings by the largest Russian artists of the era: I. A. Akimov, A. E. Martynov, G. I. Ugryumov, V. K. Shebuev, as well as the Englishman D. Atkinson, who lived in Russia. The art collection of Paul I, partly located in the castle, included works by prominent artists: Rubens, Greuze, Tiepolo and Marguerite Gerard.
Permanent exhibitions are open in the halls of the castle – “Antique scenes in Russian art”, “The Renaissance in the work of Russian artists”, “The history of the castle and its inhabitants” and “The Open Fund of Sculpture”.
Working time and fees
Mon, Wed 10:00–18:00; Thu 13:00–21:00; Fri-Sun 10:00–18:00
Address: Sadovaya st., 2, St. Petersburg
Metro: Gostiny Dvor, Nevsky Prospekt, Chernyshevskaya
Tickets 150–400 roubles.