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Sheremetiev Palace (Fontanny Dom)

Sheremetiev Palace (Fontanny  Dom)

Overlooking the Fontanka river the pilastered facade of Sheremetiev Palace is a marvelous sample of the so-called Petrine baroque. Built in 1730-1755 to the design of Savva Chevakinsky, the architect of the world-famous Mariinsky Theater, it is also known as the Fontanny Dom due to the numerous fountains that in the 18th century used to adorn its grounds. One of the wealthiest Russian noble families, The Sheremetievs, lived on this site starting from 1712 and once the project was completed, the palace itself was destined to become one of the centers of cultural life of the Northern Venice. In the 18th and 19th centuries serf composers, musicians and actors from rural estates owned by this family performed in numerous concerts and plays that were staged in the palace. The Sheremetiev family is praised for the fact that they were the leading artistic patrons and due to it the palace at the moment is home to the Museum of Musical life and the connoisseurs of classical music can indulge themselves in magnificent sounds. No one would deny that its real claim to fame is the fact that one of the leading stars of the so-called “Silver Age of Poetry”, Anna Akhmatova lived in one of the service blocks of the palace from 1933 to 1941 and then once again between 1944 till 1954. At that period of time the former estate of the nobility was converted into a number of dingy communal flats. At present Anna Akhmatova’s flat is open to the public and one can get acquainted with her personal belongings that preserve traces of her intriguing life full of grieves and sorrows.

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