Mariyinskiy Palace in Kyiv is considered one of the most beautiful palaces in Ukraine. It was built in 1752 in the style of Baroque for the Russian Empress Yelyzaveta Petrivna. She had personally chosen the site for the future palace, but had never visited it afterwards. The building was designed by the famous architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli (the designer of Catherine’s Palace in Tsarske Selo near St Petersburg), while construction was supervised by his apprentice Ivan Michurin. The complex consists of a central two-storied building and one-storied side wings. At first, the second floor was wooden; it burned down in 1819, and was rebuilt in stone.
The palace was meant to be the residence of Russian emperors, as Kyiv had been the province of the empire since late 17th century. Upon their arrival to the city, they stayed in the palace. In 1787, while in Kyiv, Kateryna II arranged luxurious entertainments, masquerades, receptions and dinners here. The palace was also visited by Oleksandr II and Oleksandr III with their families. The mother of the last Russian Emperor Mykola II, Maria Fe-dorivna, had a special love for Kyiv and Yelyzaveta’s Pelace. During the First World War, she spent much time here, organizing hospitals for the wounded and medical trains. Mykola II also visited the palace, as well as his children, including the Grand Duchess Anastasia and the Crown Prince Oleksiy, accompanied by Hryhoriy Rasputin.
Іn 1917, Kyiv was engulfed in the wave of revolutionary activities. The Imperial Palace has become one of the first trophies of the Bolsheviks. It was arranged to house the headquarters of Colonel Muraviov, who commanded the Eastern Front. In the square in front of the palace and in the park, the revolutionaries executed White Army officers by dozens. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941 – 1945, the building had been hit by a bomb, but in 1949, it was restored. In the postwar years, thee palace was occupied by various government agencies.
Another reconstruction of the palace took place in the 2000s. They have fortified the foundation, restored the walls, and renewed interiors of the palace halls. Nowadays it is planned to arrange excursions for organized groups of tourists. Now Mariyinskiy Palace has the status of a ceremonial residence of the President of Ukraine. It is the place for official receptions and summits, award ceremonies, and meetings with top-level foreign delegations.