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Saint Michael’s Castle

The construction of this castle (actually imperial palace) was initiated by Paul I. The church dedicated to Archangel Michael that was built close gave it its name. Architects Vincenzo Brenna and Vasily Bazhenov were put in charge of the work (1797-1801). The building is a mix of several architectural styles: French classic, Neo-Gothic and Italian Neo-Renaissance. The Emperor discovered these architectural styles as he was travelling abroad in 1781-1782 when he was still Grand Duke. The imperial family moved in this castle on February 1, 1801. Forty days later Paul I was murdered. The Winter Palace, that the Emperor had sort of abandoned, regained its role as imperial residence then. In 1823, the Main Engineer School settled in the castle from then on also called “Engineers castle”. Today it is a branch of the Russian Museum.
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