In 1993 the west wing of was given to the State Hermitage to house new
exhibitions of the Museum. The majestic building designed by the outstanding
architect of Russian Classicism Carlo Rossi completed the ensemble of
the Palace Square. Being situated opposite the magnificent baroque residence
of the royal family the Winter Palace (Rastrelli, 1754-1762) this classically
austere construction of the General Staff occupies grand space from Nevsky
prospect to the bend of the Moika river. The lines of the facade of two
semi-circular wings smoothly outline the southern border of the square.
The wings are connected with a triumphal arch decorated with a sculptural
composition - the Chariot of Glory.
The western wing of the building was used by the Department for Foreign
Affairs and Department of Finance. Its first host was Count Karl Vasilievich
(Karl Robert) Nesselrohde (1780-1862) who was vice-chancellor of the Russian
Empire since 1828 and chancellor from 1845 till 1856. Carlo Rossi designed
decor of the gala rooms of the Department for Foreign Affairs, its offices
and private appartments for the minister and his wife. Prince Alexander
Michailovich Gorchakov who succeeded to Nesselrohde in 1856 and other
successors on the post preserved the original architecture and decoration
of the Ministry. Two new exhibitions of the Hermitage are displayed in
the authentic interiors of the former Ministry: " French art of 20th century.
Pierre Bonnard and Maurice Denis." and "Realms of the Eagle. The Art of
The Arch of the General Staff
The View on the East Wing of the Building