Tsar's Palace


This view of the Tsar’s Palace (often called the Mariyinsky Palace) in Kiev is from Souvenir of Kiev, an early 20th-century album showing the main sites of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine and at that time one of the most important cities of the Russian Empire. The site of the palace was chosen by the Empress Elizabeth in 1744 to serve as the royal residence in the south of the Russian Empire and to echo the grandeur of Versailles. Moscow architect Ivan Michurin constructed the palace from initial designs by Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Both men combined contemporary Italian design with the Russian baroque style. Completed in the 1750s, the palace was destroyed by a fire in 1819. It was rebuilt in 1868–70, essentially to Rastrelli’s original designs. The pediment above the entrance depicts the figures of Mercy and Justice. The palace faces the Mariyinsky Park, which was laid out in 1874. This image shows the main façade of the palace. The 25 views in Souvenir of Kiev are collotypes, made using a chemically-based printing process widely employed before the invention of offset lithography.

Last updated: September 19, 2013