Palace Square is the main square of St. Petersburg, the architectural ensemble of which was formed in the second half of the XVIII – the first half of the XIX century. The name of the square was given by the Winter Palace, with a southern facade facing the square. Concerts, public events are held at Palace Square, this is the most popular place in St. Petersburg among tourists.
The main facade of the Winter Palace, cut through by the arch of the main passage, enters the square. The ensemble of the square also includes the Small Hermitage, whose three-story building overlooks Millionnaya Street, and the New Hermitage with a portico decorated with giant statues of Atlantes.
Along the southern border of the square in 1819-1829. an arched building of the General Staff Building (architect K. Rossi) was erected, the buildings of which stretched for 580 meters. The two wings are interconnected by the Arc de Triomphe, consisting of three interconnected arches, decorated with bas-reliefs.
The arches are not located strictly one after another, so if you go through them to the Palace Square, its grandeur and spaciousness will gradually appear before your eyes. At the top of the arch, a chariot froze, drawn by six horses, ruled by two soldiers in Roman armour. In the cart is the majestic goddess Slava with a laurel wreath in one hand and a standard in the other.
In the centre of the square stands the Alexander Column (1830-1834, architect Auguste Montferrand) of a gigantic polished monolith of pink granite. At its top is a figure of an angel with a cross. The column and the Arc de Triomphe of the General Staff Building are dedicated to the victory of Russia in the war with Napoleon. The text on the tablet at the foot of the column reads “to Alexander I from grateful Russia”. It is noteworthy that the column is held on a pedestal only due to its own weight.