College of Foreign Affairs
The current building at 32 English Embankment is a result of the merging of two existing houses together and redecorating them in the Baroque style in the mid-18th century. In 1764 the Russian government made the building the headquarters of the College of Foreign Affairs (formerly located on the 13th line of Vasilievsky Island). Upon his arrival in Saint Petersburg, Giacomo Quarenghi was asked to submit a renovation plan for this building, which he did in the spring of 1782. Catherine II approved it bar some minor corrections.
In 1828, the College of Foreign Affairs moved to a new building on the Palace Square (the building of the General Staff). The vacated premises on the English Embankment were taken up by the General Staff.
In 1832 the house changed owners yet again, this time being given to the newly created Imperial Military Academy. Classes were held in nine rooms of the second floor. All rooms were furnished with mahogany and birch wood.
In 1903, the Military Academy moved out to a newly constructed building in Transfiguration Military Square, and the vacated premises were given to the Military Communications Department of the General Staff.
The building was seriously damaged during the siege of Leningrad, suffering seven direct artillery shell hits. The restoration work was carried out in the first post-war years.