The Shuvalov Palace (also known as Naryshkin-Shuvalov Palace) is an architectural landmark in the city of Saint Peterbusrg. It is located at the corner of Italyanskaya (Italian) Street and the Fontanka embankment. The left part of the building was designed in the classicist style in 1780. In 1822 the architect Carlo Rossi added the right part, which included the ball room decorated with white Corinthian columns, an art gallery, and a museum. In 1844-1849 the architect Simon redesigned the vestibule and the main hall in the eclectic style.
This is the palace of a person who made a dazzling career with the Russian Imperial court - without ever making a single enemy. Ivan Shuvalov - a favorite of Empress Elizabeth - was a general, a statesman, the founder of the Russian Academy of Arts and Moscow University, and one of the most educated people of his time. And by the way, the Academy of Arts was housed right here - until it acquired its own building.
They say that it is to Shuvalov that Russia owes its passion for French fashion. He was presented at the court by his cousins when he was 15 years old. And he was so good-looking and meticulous that he was immediately made a page.Seven years later the Empress herself took notice of him. Most people assumed that their affair would not last, but Shuvalov truly was good natured. The Empress appreciated it so much that Shuvalov stayed with her until her death. Some say that Shuvalov himself was a bastard son of Empress Anna and her favorite Duke Biron, nd he was given to the Shuvalov family to be brought up there as they had no children of their own.
Shuvalov was the founder of the very first literary salon in Russia – and the members met here, in this very house. A visitor to the salon remembers seeing a “big noble and gray haired old man sitting by the desk”.
The palace was famous for its balls and masquerades. The first ball took place in the yet unfinished building in September of 1754. The celebration was on the occasion of the birth of the Grand Duke Paul Petrovich, the future Emperor Paul I. According to some historical anecdotes, "the day after the death of Shuvalov, passing by on horseback, Emperor Paul stopped, took off his hat, looked at the window and bowed."
Beginning with the late XVIII century, and until 1918 the Shuvalov Palace belonged to various government agencies - the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Empire and then the Provisional Government. Nowadays, this architectural monument houses the Museum of Hygiene.