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In the historical part of St. Petersburg, masterpieces and simply interesting objects of architecture are found literally at every step. Among them is the building of the Hermitage Theater located on Palace Embankment. The historical structure was erected in the XVIII century. by decree of Empress Catherine II., only the facade in the final version was designed later, two decades later.
The empress entrusted to develop and implement the project to the famous architect at the court, the Italian Giacomo Quarenghi. The foreigner liked the magnificent architectural structures previously built in the capital.
The theater building was erected on the site where the Winter Palace, built under Peter I, was previously located. The main, rusticated (using plaster, giving volume) part, consisting of 2 floors, was designed.
Between the rhizolites (these are parts of the main building, protruding beyond the facade along the entire length of the structure, symmetrical to the center line), there is a loggia. Quarenghi's performance hall was developed based on the design of his compatriot A. Palladio, who built the theater in the Italian city of Vicenza.
He arranged the seats in the auditorium with an amphitheater, as a result of which each viewer was given a wide overview of the entire surrounding space. A dozen columns placed around the hall concealed niches - sculptures of the Greek god Apollo and his muses were used to decorate them. Small piers above the niches were decorated with medallions with profiles of prominent theatrical figures, Russian and Western European.
For decoration, marble was chosen in three shades - white, gray, pink. The columns of bright pink looked great against the background of grayish-white walls.
At the construction stages, the empress repeatedly ordered to remodel the interior, change the interior. In accordance with the amendments of the royal person, the sizes of the stage and the stalls in the auditorium changed.
After the death of Catherine II, difficult times came for the theater. At first it was closed, then Paul I ordered the resumption of the performance, but ordered to significantly change the internal situation.
Historical fragments of the original building - rafters and wooden floors - are preserved in only one place located above the lobby.
Significant changes have taken place in the exterior of the building since the construction, and the modern look is very remotely similar to the original structure.
Currently, the theater building belongs to the Hermitage.
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