Marble Palace

St Petersburg

This branch of the Russian Museum features temporary exhibitions of contemporary art and a permanent display from Cologne's Ludwig Museum that includes paintings by Picasso, Warhol, Basquiat and Liechtenstein. The palace, designed by Antonio Rinaldi, gets its name from the 36 kinds of marble used in its construction. Highlights include the Gala Staircase, made of subtly changing grey Urals marble, and the impressive Marble Hall, with walls of lapis lazuli and marble in various colours from yellow to pink.

Built between 1768 and 1785, the palace was a gift from Catherine the Great to Grigory Orlov for suppressing a Moscow rebellion. Outside it stands the equestrian statue of Alexander III.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby St Petersburg attractions

1. Eternal Flame

0.21 MILES

A gas-fuelled flame has burned in the centre of Mars Field since 1957 in honour of all the city's citizens who have died in wars and revolution.

2. Mars Field

0.24 MILES

Named after the Roman god of war and once the scene of 19th-century military parades, the grassy Mars Field is a popular spot for strollers, even though…

5. Pushkin Flat-Museum

0.28 MILES

Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s national poet, had his last home here on one of the prettiest curves of the Moyka River. He only lived here four months, and…

6. Summer Garden


The city's oldest park, these leafy, shady gardens can be entered either at the northern Neva or southern Moyka end. Early-18th-century architects…

7. Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

0.33 MILES

Giving new meaning to 'back in the USSR', this 'museum' is sure to be one of the most entertaining ones you will visit in St Petersburg. Admission…

8. Winter Palace of Peter I

0.35 MILES

Excavations beneath the Hermitage Theatre in the late 1970s revealed remains of the principal residence of Peter the Great, including a large fragment of…