The Winter Palace Place and Alexander's Column, St. Petersburg, Russia


This photochrome print of the Winter Palace and Alexander’s Column in St. Petersburg is part of “Views of Architecture and Other Sites Primarily in Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine” from the catalog of the Detroit Publishing Company (1905). The Winter Palace was built between 1754 and 1762 for Empress Elizabeth, the daughter of Peter the Great (1672-1725), and served as the residence of the Russian tsars from the 1760s until the revolution of 1917. The Baroque-style building measures more than 17,000 square meters and is distinguished by its striking green hue, Corinthian columns, and decorative emblems and figures related to Russia’s past. The palace now houses the world-renowned State Hermitage Museum. In front of the Winter Palace, in the center of Palace Square, is Alexander’s Column, which honors Tsar Alexander I (1777–1825). The column was designed by the French architect Auguste Richard de Montferrand (1786–1858), who was also the architect of St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg (the largest and tallest Russian Orthodox cathedral at the time). The 550-metric-ton column is made of red granite. An 1886 article in Harper’s Magazine described it as "the greatest monolith of modern times. . . . It is a single shaft of red granite, 84 feet high and 14 feet in diameter, placed on a cubic monolithic pedestal 25 feet high, and surmounted by a bronze capital, above which rise an angel and a cross, giving it a total height of 154 feet.”

Subject Date

Publication Information

Detroit Publishing Company, Detroit, Michigan

Type of Item

Physical Description

1 photomechanical print : photochrom, color


  • The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr., and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This innovative process was applied to the mass production of color postcards, prints, and albums for sale to the American market. The firm became the Detroit Publishing Company in 1905.

Last updated: July 14, 2014