The St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly have announced plans to restore the former church in the city's Mariinsky Palace.
During the Tsarist period it was very common for members of the Russian Imperial family and members of the aristocracy to have a home church, where they could hold services and pray in private.
The Mariinsky Palace was built between 1839-1844 by the Russian architect Andrei Stackenschneider for the Grand Duchess Maria Nicholayevna, daughter of the Emperor Nicholas I. The chapel of St. Nicholas was established in the palace in the middle of the 19th century. After the Revolution, the church was closed and the iconstasis destroyed.
The recreation of the iconostasis will involve master craftsmen in stone and wood carvings, as well as the painting and reproduction of the icons and other paintings. The estimate cost is 28.7 million rubles.
From 1884, the palace returned to Imperial hands. Up until 1917, it housed the State Council of Imperial Russia. Today, the Mariinsky Palace houses the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 10 March, 2012