This palace was named after Anichkov Bridge that spans Fontanka canal which the palace faces. Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli was put in charge of a part of the construction. The work started in 1741 and was completed in 1754.
The baroque style palace next to Nevsky prospect (avenue) used to mark out the limit of Saint Petersburg. Empress Elizabeth I offered it to her favourite and assumed husband earl Aleksey Razumovsky. When he died in 1771, his brother Cyril inherited it. Five years later Catherine II bought it back from him.
Between 1776 and 1778, the building went through a reconstruction stage. Architect Ivan Starov turned it into a classical style building. The Empress offered it to her own favorite Prince Grigori Potemkin.
The palace underwent several architectural modifications; the most important one took place during the reign of Alexander I, when architect Giacomo Quarenghi erected a neoclassical building meant to host the Imperial study.
Nicolas II lived a part of his childhood in Anichkov Palace. After the revolution it was nationalized and was given various purposes. It was turned into a museum for a while and then became Pioneer’s Palace. Today the palace is a secondary school.