If you are interested in the life of the Russian aristocracy of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, it is a must to visit Yusupov Palace.
As it used to belong to one of the richest families in Russia, now it is considered to be one of the best private palaces in the world.
Not only will you see the beautiful design of the 19th century reception halls of the palace, which can actually compete in opulence to the décor of the best residences of the Romanovs, but you will also have a unique opportunity to enjoy the private quarters of Prince Yusupov.
In most residences open to the public in St Petersburg today the everyday life of the palaces’ owners is usually not revealed, for the palaces became museums in the Soviet era and therefore such premises as bedrooms or bathrooms were as a rule redecorated into exhibition halls or administrative rooms. In Yusupov Palace though the private rooms survived.
Although during the World War II the palace was hit by a shell, most halls still show authentic interiors almost the same way as the family had seen them. So you have a special opportunity to enjoy enigmatic charm of the everyday life of a very rich Russian aristocratic family.
The real gem of the palace is a home theater, the design of which is based on the models of real opera and ballet theatre. Outstanding Russian singers and dancers performed on the stage of this theater, among them being Feodor Chaliapin and Anna Pavlova.
However Yusupov Palace is not just another architectural monument of St Petersburg. It is also considered to be one of the most mysterious places in the city.
It was in this palace that young Felix Yusupov, the heir to all the enormous wealth of the family, with the other conspirators assassinated the notorious Grigory Rasputin.
The events took place in December 1916 in the cellar of the palace in private rooms that belonged to Felix. In the 1990’s an exhibition was opened in the palace exactly in the rooms where the assassination happened.
During a visit to the palace you will also be able to visit this exhibition and our guides will reveal to you the plot of Felix and how it was brought to life.
Of course even nowadays the question of who Rasputin actually was – a monster or a saint – still doesn’t have an answer. However after having visited the palace you will be able to decide for yourself!