The Yusupov Palace.
The Yusupov family was one of the most influential noble families of Russia. Alone in St. Petersburg, the capital of the Russian Empire, they owned four palaces. The palace on Moika River became the favorite place of the Yusupov family. The Yusupov Palace remembers splendor balls and political intrigues, historic events, and murders. During the tour to the Yusupov palace you’ll see the place where history comes to life.
The Yusupov Palace is situated on the Moika River. It is the very center of the Imperial St. Petersburg. The palace was built in 1770s by the architect Vallin de la Mothe. Then architect Mikhailov reconstructed the building in 1830s when the Yusupov family bought it. In 1830s-1840s the modern appearance of the palace was formed.
From 1830 until 1917, the palace on the Moika was the Yusupov Family Mansion. They were one of the wealthiest families of the Russian Empire. In the years before the Revolution, the palace belonged to Prince Felix Yusopov. He was thought to be as rich as the Tsar. In Russia Felix Yusupov owned 57 palaces, including four in St. Petersburg. The palace on Moika was the prince’s favorite residence of the capital. Fantastic and luxuries interiors of the palace looked as good as the royal palaces. They owned more than 40,000 works of art including works by Rembrandt, expensive jewelry, and ancient sculptures which were kept in the palace.
It was in this palace on the Moika, where the famous murder of one of the most mysterious characters in Russian history - Gregory Rasputin took place. Rasputin was an uneducated peasant, but his influence on the Imperial family (especially on the Russian Empress Alexandra Fedorovna) was phenomenally strong. People were saying that not one minister could be confirmed in his office without a consultation with Rasputin first. This authority Gregory Rasputin received thanks to his ability to alleviate the suffering of the successor to the throne -Prince Alexei, who suffered from hemophilia.
Since the Empress had become so dependent on Rasputin, Prince Felix Yusupov and other members of the family believed murder was the only way to get rid of this man. Felix Yusupov played a key role in eliminating of Gregory Rasputin. On December 16, 1916 Yusupov invited Rasputin to his home in St. Petersburg. Feeding him cyanide-laced wine and cakes, Yusupov thought killing Rasputin would be easy. He was wrong. Rasputin ate poisoned sweets but did not die. Felix was shocked and he with his accomplices decided to shoot Rasputin. At least three fatal shots were done, and Rasputin, it seemed, was killed. The shots disabled the monk but, legend has it, he was still alive as conspirators - standing at the top of the bridge at Petrovsky Island - threw his body into the NevaRiver. His remains were found several days later.
Rasputin had made an eerie prediction several days before he died.
“If I am killed by common assassins and especially by my brothers the Russian peasants, you, Tsar of Russia, have nothing to fear for your children, they will reign for hundreds of years in Russia.
...if it was your relations who have wrought my death, then no one in your family, that is to say, none of your children or relations will remain alive for two years. They will be killed by the Russian people...
I shall be killed. I am no longer among the living. Pray, pray, be strong, think of your blessed family”.
You can believe it or not, but three months later the monarchy in Russia fell.
You’ll feel the spirit of these crucial events when you will pass the threshold of the Yusupov Palace.
During the tour you’ll see interiors of the Yusupov palace and the exposition dedicated to the murder of Rasputin.