winter palace, st. petersburg, russia
Once the official residence of Russian monarchs, the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg is arguably one of the most beautiful buildings in the country. The marvelous Baroque palace is said to contain 1,500 rooms, nearly 2,000 windows, and about 1,800 doors. The interior of the grand palace is highly decorated in the elaborate Rococo style, although elements of both Baroque and Neoclassical are prominent as well.
In many ways, the palace is reminiscent of Versailles in France, although it was never the intent of the Tsar who commissioned the building to rival the famed French abode. Famed empress Catherine the Great once resided at the Winter Palace. Today, the palace is The Hermitage Museum — the largest art gallery in Russia.