Rumyantsev Mansion and Museum
The Rumyantsev Mansion, designed in Classical style in the first half of the 19thcentury for the Golytsyns, is one of the most beautiful palaces in St Petersburg. The façade of the Mansion is decorated with a mighty twelve-column portico and a high relief by Ivan Martos representing “Appolo Musagetes on Parnassus accompanied by the nine muses and their mother Mnemosyne”. The history of this building with its original interiors and items, reminds of the prosperous era of St Petersburg, from the epoch of Alexander I until the period of the reign of Alexander III.
In 1802 the Mansion was purchased by Count Nikolay Rumyantsev (1724–1826), a chancellor of the Russian Empire, and patron of the arts. His Mansion became “a center of sciences” and “a temple of muses”. Holding diplomatic and civil positions, Rumyantsev started to collect artefacts of Russian history and culture, taking special interest in ancient manuscripts, incunabula, ecclesiastical books and state acts. In 1814 Rumyantsev retired and, until the end of his life, concentrated his efforts on organizing and funding of the projects, which aim was to explore Russian history. He gathered a team of scientists, whose research activity ended with publishing of dozens of books and creation of the museum of antiquity.