Mikhailovsky Castle, St. Petersburg

The I St. Petersburg International Legal Forum was hosted at the Mikhailovsky Castle (also known as the Engineer's Castle), one of St. Petersburg's most striking and interesting venue, steeped in legend and mystery.

The palace was designed and built by Carlo Rossi (1775-1849) — a brilliant architect who created the largest Empire’s architectural ensembles completing the building-up of the central part of St. Petersburg in the 1810s-20s.

The city complex with the Mikhailovsky Palace in the centre is a pearl among other creations of the great architect. The master managed to reach the harmony between the palace building and the landscape and architecture surrounding. The fundamental reshaping of the vast territory, that was only partly built up by wooden greenhouses of the Third Summer Garden near the St. Michael's Castle, allowed Rossi to lay the Mikhailovskaya street and to connect the square in front of the Mikhailovsky Palace with the central artery of the city — the Nevsky Prospect. Thus a spectacular view of the main palace façade with a well-shaped elegant eight-columned Corinthian portico was opened.

The opposite façade that overlooks the Mikhailovsky Garden is less known though it is not any less beautiful. It unites a parade solemnity of the palace and chamber park construction, harmonious proportion of all parts and magnificent as well as a little bit heavy monumentality all of which reminds us of Carlo Rossi's teacher — the architect Vincenzo Brenna who built the St. Michael's Castle.

The sculptural, figurative, plastic, carved and other kind of décor were created by prominent sculptors Vasily Demut-Malinovsky and Stepan Pimenov, painters Pietro and Giovanni Batista Scotti, Antonio Vigi, Barnaba Medici, Fyodor Brullo, masters of plastic Nikita and Sergei Sayegin, carvers Vasily Zakharov and Vasily Bobkov, famous craftsmen Tarasovs (carvers, parquet masters, woodmen), and many others.