Yelagin Island is famous not only for its superb views, but also for one of the most elegant specimen of Russian empire architecture - Yelagin Palace. In 1818-1822 Carlo Rossi erected a magnificent palace here for Paul I’s widow, Empress Maria Fyodorovna.
Joined to the Kammenoi, on the west, by a bridge, is another garden island, called the Yelaginskoi, or Yelagin island, after the name of a family who once possessed it. It is now exclusively occupied by the imperial chateau and gardens. The court frequently reside here in the spring, the most brilliant season for the islands, but there is no amusement for the public beyond that of strolling about on foot and lionizing the cmper0r’s datscha. This has the appearance of an English or American country residence, with the gravel-walks and ﬂower-beds in admirable order.
Robert Sears, An Illustrated Description of Russia, 1852
The central three-story section is adorned on the west side by a six-columned Corinthian portico and on the east by a six-columned semi-rotunda. Two-story wings adjoin the central block on the north and south. Their small protruding sections are decorated with two pairs of columns bearing pediments. The central part contains the elegant Oval Hall with Ionic half-columns and caryatids supporting the dome. The hall is adjoined by the Blue and Crimson drawing rooms, a dining room, bedchamber and study. All the rooms are decorated with bas-reliefs and painting by Italian artists in the style of the Pompeian frescoes fashionable at the time. North-east of the palace is the semi-circular kitchen. It is horseshoe-shaped with the ends linked by a double Doric colonnade. An underground passage was built for serving dishes in the palace. The stables and carriage shed are to the west of the kitchen.
The palace ensemble was badly damaged during the Second World War, but has now been completely restored.
The most aristocratic place is the imperial Yelagin island with its own palace and a farm. Popular festivals are held here two or three times a year. It is at Yelagin, by the "Pointe", that you can enjoy the view of the sea and enjoy the sunset, in winter or summer.
Saint-Petersbourg, avec un supplément: Guide pratique, Fred Roessler
On Yelagin there is an Imperial residence, and the island is laid out as a royal park in the English style. In the summer evenings the drive round the Strelka or point of this island is crowded with promenaders and sight-seers, and is quite the most fashionable resort in St. Petersburg.
Through Finland to St. Petersburg, A. Scott, 1911