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5: The Northern Façade of the Winter Palace in 1840s

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1840s 1900s 2005

Other views

View of the Winter Palace from the Neva
Joseph Charlemagne
Larger view


Winter Races on the Neva
Agafon Avnatamov
Larger view


The Winter Palace by Night
Vasily Sadovnikov
Larger view




The northern facade of the Winter Palace overlooks the Neva and beyond it the Peter and Paul Fortress that was founded on 16 (27 New Style) May 1703. That day is considered the date of the foundation of St Petersburg. The huge second-storey windows mark the location of the halls in the Neva suite of state rooms, the venue for magnificent balls, festivities and concerts in the imperial residence. The mighty pediment is adorned by statues of Neptune and Mars. The restrained majesty in the appearance of the facade matches the calm of the broad Neva, the city's main vista, enlivened by the movement of ships, great and small. The part of the Neva in front of the imperial residence always served as a stage, the setting for festive events: in summer the opening of the navigation season; in winter the Christmas merrymaking and the Blessing of the Waters at the Epiphany. In winter merry-go-rounds and ice-slides were constructed on the ice by the Spit of Vasilyevsky Island. Here too the road ran across the ice, linking the two banks of the Neva.


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