- While eyes are naturally drawn to the splendorous St Isaac's Cathedral across the square of the same name, the less noticeable Mariinskii Palace is nonetheless of some interest. Designed by a German in 1839-1844, the palace was ordered by Nicholas I as a wedding gift to his favorite daughter Maria. In post-revolutionary times the building was adopted for use as the Executive Committee of the City Council, and the five Soviet crests adorning the facade are a reminder of this role. Nowadays the building is the seat of the city legislature.
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