The Presidential Library’s Internet project spotlights the history of the Senate and the Synod buildings

24 September 2022

The Presidential Library provides the Internet project The Ensemble of the Senate and Synod buildings.

The architectural ensemble of the Senate and the Synod is located in the center of St. Petersburg not far from St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Admiralty and the Bronze Horseman. This place is associated with the history of our city and the Russian Empire. As in a mirror, it was reflected in changes in architecture, the nature of local buildings and its functional purpose.

The Internet project provides the main milestones in the development of the central part of St. Petersburg, the history of the creation of the ensemble of buildings of the Senate and the Synod and the activities of institutions located here at different times.

The first section of the project spotlights the history of this place from 1703 to 1834 when it was the main shipbuilding center of the capital: from the very beginning, the Admiralty and its numerous services were located here. Visitors to the Presidential Library’s portal have opportunity  to view old engravings, plans and maps depicting the main sights of St. Petersburg of those years, including the first buildings of St. Isaac's Cathedral, the Senate and adjacent squares.

A separate section of the Internet project spotlights the construction of an ensemble of the Senate and the Synod buildings - one of the most famous architectural monuments of Russian classicism. The date of the beginning of its history is considered August 10, 1827 when Emperor Nicholas I visited the Senate, where he discovered "the tightness of the building and the untidiness of the premises". A special architectural contest was announced "in order to give the building of the Senate a character corresponding to the vastness of the square". From the presented works, the emperor chose the project of the outstanding architect Carlo Rossi. The section features the history of the development of the project of the building and its erection.

The Senate building was completed by November 1835 and a year later the construction of the Synod building was completed. From the time of construction until 1917, the buildings of the Senate and the Synod remained under the jurisdiction of these institutions.

From 1922 to 2006 the Senate and the Synod buildings were occupied by the Historical Archive (today the Russian State Historical Archive). A separate section of the Internet project contains photographs of the archive and its employees, taken in the 1920s-1980s.

On January 31, 2007 President of Russia Vladimir Putin signed a decree "On the establishment of the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library". The building of the Synod in St. Petersburg was chosen as the location of the library. This document is available in the section devoted to the institution.

Thanks to the interactive project one has opportunity to learn how the restoration and reconstruction of the building took place in 2007-2009. For example, the way the architectural and construction work, the courtyard, which used to be outbuildings, became a representative conference hall, where events of various formats are held today, including those at the highest state level.

Virtual projects are an actively developing area of ​​activity of the Presidential Library, thanks to which the electronic depository, along with paper, photo, audio and video materials, is entered with exhibits of exhibitions, items from museum collections.

Today, more than fourty virtual tours and excursions are available for remote visits. They are available on the Presidential Library’s portal in the Exhibitions section at the link https://www.prlib.ru/about_exhibition.