The original palace belonged to Ivan Yelagin. It was built on Yelagin Island on the Neva River.
Alexander I bought the building so as to offer it to his mother Empress Maria Fyodorovna. It underwent an important stage of reconstruction (1812-1822) supervised by architect Carlo Rossi.
From Imperial palace it was relegated to the rank of residence of Russia’s Prime Minister at the beginning of the 20th century.
Badly damaged during the Second World War, Yelagin Palace was renovated. It now welcomes the museum of decorative arts from the 18th to the 20 century.