New Michael Palace

Coordinates: 59°56′39″N 30°19′20″E / 59.944064°N 30.322132°E / 59.944064; 30.322132

The New Michael Palace in the late 1850s
The New Michael Palace in 2012

The New Michael Palace (Ново-Михайловский дворец, Novo-Mikhailovsky Dvorets) was the third Saint Petersburg palace designed by Andrei Stackenschneider for Nicholas I's children. It was built between 1857 and 1862 on the Palace Embankment, between the Hermitage Museum buildings (to the west) and the Marble Palace (to the east).

The palace was commissioned by Grand Duke Michael Nikolaevich of Russia on the occasion of his wedding to Cecilie of Baden.[1] The design is a Revivalist medley of quotations from the Renaissance, Baroque, and the Louis XVI styles.[2] The Rococo interiors are ornate yet airy. The statuary is by David Jensen. Some of the paintings are by Michael Zichy.

A residential wing of the palace (the so-called Equerry Wing) fronts on Millionnaya Street. Its decoration is not as riotous, but the distinctive curvilinear facade reflects the Italianate taste of the 1740s. The wing has its origin in the Baroque palace of Chancellor Tcherkassky whose design has been attributed to Pyotr Yeropkin.[2]

After the Russian Revolution the palace housed a branch of the Communist Academy. Then in 1949 it was occupied by the Institute of Oriental Studies (IOS), later the Leningrad branch of the IOS, and it is currently occupied by its successor, the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts.[3]

The building stands well preserved thanks to a major restoration effort of 2005-2009. The former stables were recently reconstructed with funds provided by Qaboos bin Said al Said in order to house some 1,000,000 Oriental books and manuscripts from the institute's collection.[4]


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