Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli

02 May

I thought I should write a short resume from a trip a I made to Russia last summer. I also want to show you some of my favorite pictures from this trip!

Where is the best place to start this trip? The answer to this question is Saint Petersburg. If you only can visit one place in Russia, then you should go to the “Venice of the North” or “Peter” as Russians call their beautiful city. “Peter” leaves a rather European than Russian impression. It’s also much younger than most other major Russian cities, founded in 1703 by Peter the Great as the new capital of his Russian Empire. Here are the churches and palaces mainly built in baroque style rather than traditional russian architectural style.

The Italian born architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli has left many impressive architectural landmarks in “Peter”. He was appointed as the senior court architect in 1730 and his works found favour with the regents of this time, the Empresses Anna Ivanovna and Elizaveta Petrovna. He combined the latest Italian architectural fashion with traditions of the Muscovite baroque style and developed an easily recognizable style of Late Baroque.

Francesco Bartolomeo has got a square named after him in Saint Petersburg, Ploschad Rastrelli (Rastrelli Square). Here you can enjoy a wonderful view of one of his architectural masterpieces, The Smolny Convet.

More about this building in my next post.

A 180 degree panorama of the Smolny Convent (Смольный монастырь) in Saint Petersburg, Russia.The Smolny Convent of the Resurrection, located on Ploschad Rastrelli, on the bank of the River Neva, consists of a cathedral and a complex of buildings surrounding it. Smolny Convent was originally built to house the daughter of Peter the Great, Elizabeth, after she was disallowed to take the throne and opted instead to become a nun. However, as soon as her Imperial predecessor, Ivan VI,  was overthrown during a coup, carried out by the royal guards, Elizabeth decided to forget the whole idea of a stern monastic life and happily accepted the offer of the Russian throne.Smolny Convent is one of the architectural masterpieces of the Italian architect Rastrelli, who also created the Winter Palace, the Grand Catherine Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, the Grand Palace in Peterhof and many other major St. Petersburg landmarks. After Elizabeth death in 1762 the new Empress, Catherine the Great, strongly disapproved of the baroque style, and funding that had supported the construction of the convent rapidly ran out. Rastrelli was unable to build the huge bell-tower he had planned and unable to finish the interior of the cathedral. The building was only finished in 1835 by Vasily Stasov with the addition of a neo-classical interior to suit the changed architectural tastes at the time. The Cathedral was consecrated 1835.

This 180 degree panorama is made out of 4 HDR-pictures, in total 12 exposures (4×3).
(Later I will publish a tutorial about how I make my HDR)


Posted by on May 2, 2011 in History, Photo, Saint Petersburg


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3 responses to “Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli

  1. Henrik L Andersen

    May 3, 2011 at 17:04

    Hi! Jan Erik!! Great blog!! Nice to se you back on Web(^_^) Henrik

  2. Stuart Gennery

    May 11, 2011 at 23:48

    I’ve been missing these on Flickr. There’s some stunning shots on this blog. Particularly this one, absolutely amazing. Wonderful colours.

  3. Mircea Lungu

    April 2, 2013 at 19:25

    Hi Erik!

    Would it be possible to use this photo on a website that I am building about an event we are organizing in St. Petersburg?



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