About Rasputin Museum, Yusupov Palace
Also known as the Moika Palace, the stunning Yusupov Palace in St. Petersburg is home to a museum about the famed 20th-century monk Grigori Rasputin, who was murdered there in the early morning of December 17, 1916. Today, the palace serves as the ‘Palace of Culture for Educators’ and contains information about Rasputin’s life and murder.
Rasputin Museum, Yusupov Palace history
The palace is the former residence of the Russian noble house of Yusupov in St. Petersburg. It was built in around 1776 by French architect Jean-Baptiste Vallin de la Mothe, and acquired additional architectural styles over the coming years. In the 1830s, after the Yusupov family acquired the palace, the palace acquired its present-day appearance.
The immensely wealthy Yusupov family were known for their art collections and philanthropy, and the interiors weren’t dissimilar to those of contemporary royal palaces: at one time, more than 40,000 works of art (including works by Rembrandt), jewellery and sculptures decorated the palace, many of which were relocated to the Hermitage after the revolution.
On 30 December 1917, a monarchist group of nobles led by Prince Yusupov invited Grigori Rasputin to the palace. There, they poisoned and shot Rasputin, before wrapping his body in a broadcloth and throwing his body in the Malaya Neva.
After the Russian Revolution, shortly after Rasputin’s death and when the Soviets came to power, the palace was confiscated from the nobles. In 1925, it was handed over to the city’s Education Commissariat, who decided to preserve it as a public museum.
Rasputin Museum, Yusupov Palace today
Today, the museum serves as a ‘Palace of Culture for Educators’. Second floor reception areas and that part of the building associated with Rasputin’s murder are maintained as a museum. In the basement where Rasputin was murdered, there is a re-creation of his death using wax figurines. The courtyard where Rasputin attempted to flee from his killers is now occupied by a children’s playground.
The palace itself also makes for a stunning visit, with a particular highlight being the palatial theatre, where performances are sometimes still held. It’s particularly recommended to hire an audio guide.
Getting to Rasputin Museum, Yusupov Palace
The palace is open from 11 am to 6 pm every day except during Russian holidays. The admission fee is 450 rubles for a self-guided tour, or 700 rubles for a tour with an audio guide. It is located right on the Moika river.