Mikhailovsky castle is the largest monument closing the history of Petersburg architecture of the XVIII century. It was erected on the place of the Summer Palace of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna (architect. F. – B. Rastrelli, 1740-s), taken down by order of Emperor Paul I, immediately after the death of his mother, Catherine II. The General idea of creation of the castle and the first sketches of his plan belonged to Pavel Petrovich. Work on the project its future residence began in 1784. In the design process, which lasted for almost 12 years, the Grand Duke referred to various architectural motifs he saw while travelling abroad 1781 – 1782. To work on the project at different stages involved architects A. – F. – Year Viola, V. Brenna, V. I. Bazhenov. One of the possible places to construct the Palace was called Gatchina.
To implement the concept of construction of the son of Catherine II was able only after his accession to the throne in November 1796. 28 February 1797, the ceremony of a bookmark of the castle. Its construction was supervised by architect Brenna who revised the original design of the Palace and created the artistic finishing of the interiors. 8 November 1800, the day of the Holy Archangel Michael, the castle was solemnly consecrated, but work on its interior decoration continued until March 1801.
The unique appearance of the building, combining contradictory architectural trends and stylistic sets him apart in the General direction of development of Russian classicism. However, the Mikhailovsky castle is perceived as the most expressive character Pavlovskaya era. His face is clearly embodied art tastes and personal qualities of the owner and main Creator, Emperor Paul I. the Grand giant “of the Palace of Saint Michael”, as the castle was called in the documents of XVIII century, stood on the island is bordered from the North and East of the Moika river and the Fontanka river. On the West and South sides of the island is washed by two specially dug channels, resurrection and the Church. The system of the castle fortifications that surrounded the Palace and situated in front of him area of constable included channels, semibastions lift bridges and guns. In the center of the square was a monument to Peter the great, cast in 1745 – 1747 on the model of B. K. Rastrelli made during the life of the great – grandfather of Paul I.