Palace Square is a popular tourist destination in St. Petersburg. Many come to walk around the square and admire the architectural ensemble, but few know what year it appeared and what buildings form it.
Palace Square is the second most popular and one of the most famous squares in Russia. In the 18th century, the Admiralty Meadow was located in its place, it was formed by order of Peter I. It is well known to us from history textbooks, it was here in 1917 that the decisive battle of the October armed uprising took place in Petrograd. After the revolution, performances were held on the square and various scenes were played.
It got its name because it is located near the Winter Palace (its southern facade). Before the construction of the palace, entertainment events and folk festivals were organized on the square; by order of Elizabeth Petrovna, they sowed oats. In 1762, the construction of the Winter Palace was completed according to the design of B.F. Rastrelli, in 1775 two more buildings. One of them was in the possession of the Free Economic Society, the second - of the Small Hermitage.
Catherine II wished to transform the square, in accordance with her decree in 1779 a competition for development was announced. It was supervised by the Academy of Arts, the plan was developed for several years. There was no winner of the competition as such, the project was developed by several architects.
The project of the General Staff building was developed by the famous architect K.I. Rossi, he was guided by the development plan of another architect Yu.M. Felten.
According to the plan of Yu.M. Felten, the building should consist of two buildings, K.I. Rossi used his ideas and united the buildings with the Arc de Triomphe. In 1905, the first street electric clock was installed on its wall with the participation of D.I. Mendeleev. A watch with a diameter of more than two meters with a round dial and the inscription "The Main Chamber of Weights and Measures".
Architect A.P. Bryullov developed a project for the building of the Guards Corps, which was erected in 1843 and forms another side of the square.
Until 1845, one of the sides of the square was formed by the building of the Free Economic Society, in its place was erected a building designed by the architect I. D. Chernik. On the third side, the Winter Palace has been preserved, and on the fourth is the Palace Passage. Until the end of the 19th century, the Razvodnaya Square was located between the Winter Palace and the Admiralty. It was used to divorce the guard; at the end of the 19th century, a square with a fountain was laid out.
The Alexander Column belongs to the architectural ensemble of Palace Square, but it does not form a square, it is located in its center. Sometimes the column is called the Pillar of Alexandria, it is made in the Empire style. The column belongs to the jurisdiction of the State Hermitage and is an object of cultural heritage, like all buildings of Palace Square.