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Squares and Avenues of St.Petersburg - Square of Arts

Originally named Mikhailovskaya Square after the Mikhailovsky Palace (the State Russian Museum), the area was designed and finally built by the blueprints of famous architect K. Rossi. The square ensemble consists of Mikhailovsky Palace (The state Russian Museum), the Russian Ethnography museum, Mikhailovsky Theater, theater of Music Comedy, Grand Philharmonic Hall named after D.Shostakovich and the “Grand Hotel Europe”.

Built in the beginning of 19th century, the Mikhailovsky Palace gave the name to the square in front of it. In 1833 K.Rossi built the Mikhailovsky Opera Theater. In the next few years the square was bounded by the houses of merchants, architects and officers. The garden on the square was reconstructed and laid out again with wide twisting paths and exotic flower beds. The garden was surrounded with cast-ironed railings with 2 gates to the park.

In 1870s the building of Grand Hotel Europe was built on the corner of Mikhailovskaya street, finishing the ensemble of the square.

In 1895 Mikhailovsky palace was opened as a Russian Museum and its eastern wing was given to the Ethnographical museum.

After the fire of 1910 one of the buildings was renovated and opened as a theather “Palace” – nowadays this building houses the theater of Music Comedy. In 1921 was founded the Leningrad Philarmonic Sosiety and it was also housed on the Mikhailovskaya square.

During the Soviet times the square was renamed Lassalle Square (after the German socialist Ferdinand Lassale), but after making a decision to put the monument to the poet Alexander Pushkin in the center of the square, it was renamed again and got its modern name – Square of Arts (Ploshad Iskusstv) for housing so many cultural and artistic buildings and monuments.

Nowadays the square is reconstructed; historical buildings are decorated with illumination. Every winter the Square of Arts houses an International festival of classical music “The international winter festival “Square of Arts”.

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