The Catherine Institute for girls was founded in 1798. The Institute was intended for girls from poor noble families. First housed in a building opposite the Tavrichesky Garden, the Institute moved to the Italian Palace building in 1800. However, the new location proved too small, and Giacomo Quarenghi was commissioned to redesign the palace, which he did successfully, having left us with a true masterpiece of classicism.
These days it is part of the Russian National Library.