Elagin Palace is an imperial palace on Elagin Island in St. Petersburg. The history of the island on which the landmark was built is connected with a series of changes in its owners and dates back to Peter the Great. As you know, Peter I was a generous man - diplomat Shafirov, he gave Mishin Island. After some time, the diplomat received a large sum of money for it, selling it to Prosecutor General Yaguzhinsky. In 1771, the island again changed its owner and began to bear another temporary name - Melgunov, president of the chamber board. The island owes its name entirely to I.P. Elagin, who held important government positions during the reign of Catherine the Great. He was the empress's favorite, he was called a philanthropist, a talented poet, and a wise philosopher.
Historically, social status implied or even, one might say, obliged socially significant figures to build majestic structures like the Elagin Palace. Interesting fact: even Alexander I, who took it from the count's heir Orlov for the needs of his widowed mother, Maria Feodorovna, did not influence the change of the name of the palace. The young, ambitious Russian architect Carl Rossi, following his dream and faithful to the orders of Emperor Alexander I, almost immediately began to rebuild the palace in order to satisfy all expectations in the most inventive way. The cast-iron lions, which have become a recognizable symbol of the northern capital, St. Petersburg, are also entirely indebted to Russia: it was he who first installed them on the main grand staircase of the palace in 1882. On the eastern cape of the island there was the so-called “pavilion under the flag”; it was above it that the personal standard of Alexander I fluttered, announcing to everyone that the emperor had arrived at the residence.
Philosophical and cultural heritage of the palace
We can say that palaces are heavenly embassies, erected on earth for statesmen whose main concern was caring for their subjects. All living beings and even events, however, are washed away by the river of time - and so it is with the Elagin Palace: its fate was largely predetermined. The death of Maria Feodorovna led to a chain of inevitable events, although quite expected. The status of the Elagin Palace noticeably decreased, first becoming a place for cultural recreation of prime ministers, and then completely downgraded to the level of public access, turning in 1987 into a public property, a museum.
The palace walls, of course, remembered their former power, but they fell into disrepair, and the suffering that befell the Russian people during times of great unrest also affected its majestic walls. In 1960, the Elagin Palace was renovated, but for many decades it turned into a recreation center, and only in 1987 it was finally returned to its proud historical name - Elagin Palace. The building, however, survived against all odds and continues its impeccable service - now, however, as an exhibit of the past.