The Yusupov Palace on Moika River in St. Petersburg.The Yusupov Palace is one of the gems of St. Petersburg not only for its unique beauty but also for its storied history.The palace dates back to the time of Peter the Great and underwent several reconstructions under the hands of the best architects in Russia. Jean Bautiste Vallain de la Motte, Mikhailov II, Monigetti, Kennel, Stepanov, and Beloborodov were among the names that contributed to the palace at one time or another.
The Yusupovs purchased the palace in 1830 and owned it until the time of the revolution in 1917. These were the years in which the palace came to be known throughout Europe for its extravagant interiors, magnificent balls, and even theatrical performances.For all of its beauty the palace will always be remembered as the site where one of the most famous murders in history occurred-the murder of the mad monk Gregory Rasputin!.The Yusupov family could trace its origins back to more than a thousand years of Russian history to the rulers of the Tatar Nogai horde.
Their years of service to the Russian state and the Tsars of Russia began at the time of Ivan the Terrible.The original Yusupov to own the palace was Nikolai Yusupov. He was a shining example of a highly educated and fabulously wealthy member of European nobility.
He held many distinguished posts in the government, spoke five languages, and was a leading patron of the arts. He was a passionate collector of art and was entrusted by the Romanovs to enhance the art collections of the Hermitage and several of the most prominent Tsarist palaces. Nikolai also purchased for himself one of the greatest collections of paintings, statues, and artistic rarities.
The palace was handed down through a succession of famous Yusupovs that each in turn had the palace improved but always in a very tasteful and opulent style. The family itself continued to excel in the affairs of Russia and the last owners of the palace (1911- 1917) were no exception.This, by now very famous palace along the Moika River, belonged to Count Felix Sumarokov-Elston, his wife Zinaida Yusupova and their son Prince Felix and his wife Irina. Irina was the granddaughter of Alexander III and the niece of Nicolas II. The wealth of the Yusupov family by this time was immense and the list of their properties made them one of the top five wealthiest and most prominent families in all of Russia.
It all came to a tragic end with the fall of the Tsarist Regime even though Prince Felix the Younger and his wife Irina escaped from the Crimea to Paris after the revolution. To this day Xenia Yusupova, a granddaughter of Prince Felix, visits the palace around once a year and is allowed to occupy the palace while in St. Petersburg during her brief visits..Anastasia Dukhnina
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By: Anastasia Dukhnina