This building was erected by the architect Antonio Rinaldi. The facade is decorated with noble marble gray, large deposit of which was then found in the Urals. However, Count Orlov died before the Marble Palace was completed. So Catherine returned the palace to the Royal Family. Since then it has gradually falling into disrepair. Palace was put in order by his last owner - the Grand Duke Constantine.
After the revolution, here was located the main in the city Lenin Museum. In the courtyard stood the famous armored car from which the leader of the world proletariat appealed to the masses at the Finland Station. In 1991, the museum was closed. Now in the yard there is a monument to Emperor Alexander III. Originally it was installed near the Moskovsky railway station.
In imperial times citizens criticized the monument, finding ridiculous horse and rider awkward. According to rumors, the sculptor himself, Paul Troubetzkoy, once said: "I do not care about politics. I just figured one animal to another" At first the Bolsheviks left the monument at the site, providing it with a sarcastic signature of poet D.Bedniy, but in 1937, the statue was removed, and six decades it was stored somewhere in the warehouses.
In 1994, it was finally set at the current location. From an architectural point of view of the palace is the transition from the Catherine Baroque style to Alexander classicism. The appearance of the building has elements of both styles. From the original interior created by Rinaldi, there has remained only the main staircase of blue-gray marble with allegorical statues in niches, as well as the famous Marble Hall of twelve sorts of marble, gilded chandeliers and parquet floors.
Today, Marble Palace is part of the Russian Museum. It houses the ever-changing art exhibition of contemporary art from the collection of Peter Ludwig - German "chocolate king". It includes works by Picasso, Rauschenberg, Warhol, as well as Ilya Kabakov and Erik Bulatov. The museum is located on the ground floor of the side wing.
There once lived Grand Duke Constantine, who wrote poems and plays, as well as translated into Russian "Hamlet". It was published under the pseudonym "KR". Albums of biblical scenes, as well as a secret chapel behind the bookcase in his office indicate religious of the prince, and dragons, bats and other creatures on the walls - his theatrical inclinations.