Four Seasons Lion Palace St. Petersburg

1 Voznesensky Prospekt

St. Petersburg, 190000, Russia

Phone: +7 812 339 8000
A History Of “The House With Lions”

From the first glimpse of the grand front entran­ce, guarded by two marble lions, it’s obvio­us that this is a remarkable building with a rich legacy. Known among city residents as “The House with Lions”, the palace holds a fascinating history.
Here in the centre of royal St. Petersburg, many of the neighbouring monuments are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, exuding the glorious past of this legendary city. Sur­rounding landmarks include the State Hermitage, Mariinsky Theatre, Kazan Cathedral, and Mikhailovsky Castle – all within easy walking distance.

Landmark Location Beside St. Isaac’s Cathedral
Just to the west of Four Seasons, in St. Isaac’s Square, stands the famous St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the main cathedral of St. Petersburg. For two centuries, the cathedral has been one of the primary symbols of Russia’s northern capital.
Both the square and the cathedral are named in honour of St. Isaac the Dalmatian – patron saint of Peter the Great, the founder of the city. Completed in 1858, the church is a grand-scale masterpiece that can accommodate up to 13,000 people. A spiral staircase with 562 steps allows access to the top of the colonnade, offering breathtaking views across St. Petersburg.
The cathedral was designed by Auguste de Montferrand, the celebrated French architect – who also designed “The House with Lions”. The construction of the cathedral lasted 40 years, from 1818 to 1858, and was Montferrand’s main lifework. Legend says that the architect expected to die after he finished it and this was the reason for the lengthy construction time. As fate would have it, Montferrand died only a month after the cathedral was consecrated.

Origins Of The Triangular Design
The shape of St. Isaac’s Square was originally an irregular trapezoid, and Montferrand restructured the space to create a more formal rectangle to frame the cathedral. A triangular piece of land was thus cut from the northeast corner of the square – bordered by Admiralteysky Prospekt and Voznesensky Prospekt. This led to the eventual design of a triangular building, which resembles a grand piano in its shape.
Legend suggests the personal involvement of Tsar Alexander I in the building’s destiny. Once, when Alexander I was passing through the city with his aide-de-camp, Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky, the Tsar expressed his displeasure with the unsightly state of St. Isaac’s Square. The prince took note but kept his silence, and a few years later showed the Tsar the enormous palace he had built to express his loyalty.

Construction Of The Palace
Prince Alexander Lobanov-Rostovsky was a diplomat, writer, art collector, and a noble figure close to Tsar Alexander I.
Historical records show that, in 1817, the lot measuring over 5,400 square meters (58,125 square feet) was “graciously granted” to his wife, Princess Cleopatra Lobanova-Rostovskaya. Their plan was to erect an elite apartment house. It’s interesting to note that the majority of palaces in the city centre were actually used as apartment buildings.
With the design for the neighbouring St. Isaac’s Cathedral already receiving praise, even before its construction had begun, Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky hired the same architect, Auguste de Montferrand, to create a building that would enhance the square.
The Book of Records for Plans and Façades (issue 1816–1821), kept by the Committee for City Buildings, states that the prince “wishes to build a stone house based on attached drawings.” This record was made on April 22, 1818, and included a note stating “the owner commits to finish the indicated house certainly by November of 1819.”
In 1819, as the decorative work was being completed, St. Petersburg newspapers began advertising the leasing of apartments, and the first residents arrived in 1820.

A Success From The Very Beginning
The architecture of the palace is a fine example of High Classicism. At the time, the Russians were euphoric about the defeat of Napoleon in the Patriotic War of 1812. The Russian Empire style began with this victory and features a proud, romantic flair. The palace’s design is stately and classical, featuring white columns against Imperial-yellow walls. The building was not only a business success as an apartment house, but also quickly became one of the capital’s key cultural centres. Events and happenings at the palace were regularly featured in the society columns of popular magazines. The lobby of the building was witness to the many noble visitors who came to visit friends and simply to “see and be seen” at such a fashionable place. Residents would entertain in their lavishly appointed apartments, entertaining
guests with private readings, house concerts, and dance performances.

The Story Of The Lions
The lions on each side of the main entrance have their own story to tell. Throughout history, lions have been associated with protection, strength and nobility. Twin lion sculptures at a mansion’s entrance symbolise power and authority – echoing the tradition of the lions at the 16th-century Villa Medici in Rome.
The lions at the entrance to the Lobanov-Rostovsky mansion have inscriptions on their platforms that indicate they were made by Paolo Triscorni, an Italian sculptor who worked extensively in Russia. As time has passed, the inscriptions have almost disappeared, and today it is possible only to see the first letters of the sculptor’s name: “TRI”. Most probably, the full inscriptions read: “TRISCORNI FECIT CARRARA 1810” – meaning that the sculptures were made in 1810 in his hometown of Carrara, Italy, before being transported to St. Petersburg for installation at the palace.
The lions were immortalised in Alexander Pushkin’s poem, “The Bronze Horseman”, written in 1833. Considered Russia’s greatest poet, Pushkin was renowned for his meticulous attention to detail, and this poem is no exception, including a precise description of “The House with Lions”. The poem’s main character, young Evgeny, runs for safety from a terrible flood and sits atop a lion while the water flows furiously around.

New-built, high up in Peter’s Square
A corner mansion then ascended;
And where its lofty perron ended
Two sentry lions stood at guard like living things,
And kept their ward with paw uplifted.

Evolving With History
As times changed, “The House with Lions” continued to play an important part in the history of the city and country. From 1827 to 1917, the palace became a home to the Ministry of War – today, the Ministry of Defense.
During the Soviet era, the building housed a hostel, a school and, a state-owned architectural bureau. Over the years, much of the interior was damaged and removed during renovations. At the beginning of the 21st century, the building was passed to the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation, and a decision was made to revive this architectural monument as a hotel.
Today, the grand lobby returns guests to the glorious days of Imperial Russia. The ceilings, granite columns and plaster details are the original decorative elements, carefully restored. The magnificent staircase leading to the first floor is one of the jewels of the palace, and the steps of the staircase are the original granite, recalling the footsteps of the original inhabitants.
We invite you to share the spirit of Imperial Russia and picture yourself as one of the guests of the palace almost two centuries ago. It’s easy to imagine looking out a window and watching the construction of St. Isaac’s Cathedral, hearing the sound of the horse carriages clacking on the stone pavement, and watching a silent snowfall from the warmth of your room.
Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg will spare no effort to make your stay unforgettable.

For more information and reservations, contact us at:
+7 812 339 8000

Tea Lounge Summer Terrace
We invite you to visit our Tea Lounge Summer Terrace to enjoy a whole new menu and spotless service while admiring the view of glorious St. Isaac's Cathedral.

Culinary journey through Italy. Menu compiled by Italian chef Alessio Scarola. Rare combination of regional recipes and fresh farm produce. Four distinct rooms including a bar, a lounge and a private dining room for 12. Dining areas are enhanced by an open kitchen and St. Petersburg’s best wine cellar.

Tea Lounge restaurant
In a glass-roofed atrium, the bright and airy Tea Lounge offers a sunny setting for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. Comfortable seating adjoins an indoor garden with year-round trees and flowers. The Tea Lounge's menu features a selection of Russian cuisine favorites and seven sorts of caviar.

Xander Bar
Elegant bar with a cozy library and fireplace, decorated in Russian Empire style. One of the best mixologist team in the country and a great variety of dishes including different sorts of caviar.

For more information and reservations, contact us at:
+7 812 339 8000

Sunday boat
We invite you on rivers and canals boat tour – an exclusive program prepared by the team at Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg. The tour starts every Sunday at 10:45 am in the hotel lobby. Our top guide will escort you to the nearest pier to a comfortable mini-yacht. A glass of sparkling wine and snacks from the Chef will be prepared on board. While enjoying the beauty of the city on the Neva, the guide will share the most interesting stories about the city and history of the Lion Palace. For more information and reservations, please contact Concierge Service.

Winter Palace of Peter I
We invite you to visit the Winter Palace of the founder of St. Petersburg. This is a unique architectural and memorial monument, founded in the first quarter of the 18th century, and was the official residence of Emperor Peter I. Today, the Hermitage Theater is located on the territory of the palace, which underwent a complete reconstruction in the early nineties of the 20th century. During this reconstruction, significant fragments of Peter's masonry and forged objects belonging to the greatest emperor were revealed in an archaeological way.
You will have a unique opportunity to visit the study, dining room, and turner rooms of Peter I and feel the old atmosphere of that time. The great emperor spent the last hours of his life here, therefore the so-called "Wax Person" – a posthumous sculptural portrait of Peter I, is exhibited here.

For more information and reservations, contact us at:
+7 812 339 8000

Olga: For me, St. Petersburg is the cultural capital.
Dear guest, we are glad to welcome you to our wonderful city. We checked each and every place we recommend as our main desire is to share all the useful tips to let you discover St. Petersburg at its best. There are plenty of amazing landmarks and we chose several top ones to give you an idea how memorable the time spent here might be. Definitely this is far from all that the city has to offer and we are always very excited to keep you informed. We wish you a great time and will be happy to see you at the Concierge.

Natalia: For me, St. Petersburg is the capital of museums. St. Petersburg is famous for its numerous museums. For those who tend to explore Russian art I would definitely recommend to visit Russian Museum. Russian Museum occupies a former palace of Grand Duke Michael. It was designed by brilliant architect Carlo Rossi at the beginning of the 19th century. The museum boasts the largest collection of Russian art in the world and offers to visit a unique architectural complex in the historical center of Saint Petersburg. Its collection contains more than 400 000 exhibits showing the development of Russian art from the 10th to the 21st. You will be able to explore the artistic history of Russia learning about art types, genres and schools.

Denis: For me, St. Petersburg is the capital of talent.
St. Petersburg is a city of talented artists and designers, where everyone has their own unique style. A wonderful new generation of designers, craftsmen, inspired by the rich cultural heritage and uniqueness of the city, gives us works worthy of the highest international awards. We will be happy to arrange acquaintance with each of them, as well as visits to workshops and showrooms.

Olga: For me, St. Petersburg is the theatriсal stage.
Take a peek behind the curtain at one of the most famous and important theatres for Russian culture – Mariinsky Theatre. This is an exclusive chance to look into the hidden space of the theatre life, to know more about the history of the creation and construction, to walk around the auditorium and visit the Royal Box, where Russian tsars and their guests used to enjoy performances. During the tour you will learn about decoration system and mechanisms, which help to make performance more unforgettable. Take an opportunity to see the theatre from absolutely different side, which the regular visitors do not see.

Natalia: For me, St. Petersburg is the cradle of ballet.
New Holland is one of the most favorite urban spaces in Saint Petersburg among locals. The former shipyards, which were constructed by order of Peter the Great, turned into the territory for open air concerts, festivals and exhibitions of modern art. In the round-shape building The Bottle, which was previously used as the prison, now you can find a number of tiny authentic restaurants, show rooms of local designers, ballet school, opened by prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theatre Diana Visneva and many more things. In winter time, we would definitely recommend you to take your family and visit the skating ring and Christmas Fair.

Semyon: For me, St. Petersburg is beautiful photographs.
After a walk through the museums and palaces of St. Petersburg, if you have a desire to feel the spirit of this great city, then I recommend a fascinating tour of the courtyards and front entrances ("parades"). You will be able to take a look at the city not from the central streets, but to examine the mysterious crannies of St. Petersburg courtyards, and inspire with unique stories in the front doors of old apartment buildings. You can find spiral staircases, old patterns, and unusual stained-glass windows inside of them. Take a look at things that are usually hidden and imagine how people lived more than 120 years ago.

For more information and reservations, contact us at:
+7 812 339 8000

"Luceo" in Latin means "bright, radiant". The idea of ​​Luceo SPA was based on a holistic philosophy. We use only natural cosmetics of different brands, some of which we distribute in Russia in terms of exclusivity. We are inspired by the idea of ​​perceiving the body and soul of a person as a whole, and our goal is to help our guests find harmony of physical well-being and peace of mind. For each season, we run special procedures, deciding which care is more relevant for a particular time of the year. Here are some of our special procedures.

Amber Wrap
A procedure developed especially for Luceo SPA in cooperation with ILA brand. With the onset of cold weather, the skin needs special care. The procedure begins with a warm salt scrub with essential oils. The scrub is applied along the lines of the meridians, which helps stimulate and rejuvenate the physical body and energy systems. Before wrapping, a mixture of incense, rose and amber oils is applied to the body. This treatment nourishes the skin, restores and soothes the entire body.

Facial treatment Blue Diamond
A new facial treatment is a super-moisturizing treatment that prolongs the health of skin cells and restores the DNA chain, increasing the production of collagen and elastin for greater elasticity and firmness.

Buccal massage
Buccal or myofascial massage is aimed at working out the muscles and the fascial layer, it has no analogues in terms of effectiveness and efficiency among the procedures for rejuvenating and lifting of the face. Restoring healthy muscle tone gives the effect of smoothing the face and powerful lifting, while swellings and expression lines are removed. This technique can help cope with age-related changes without drugs and fillers.

Original procedure SPA-ritual Lion Palace
This is a full-fledged body care that begins with energy peeling with Dead Sea salts and capsicum peptides to enhance blood circulation. Then a deep cleansing mask with mineral mud is applied to the body. While the mud cleanses and removes toxins during warm body wraps, your mind will relax during a restorative massage of the face and head. The procedure ends with a massage with warm stones or a deep tissue massage – depending on your wishes. As a result, the skin becomes smoother and softer, and the body is charged with energy and inspiration.

We look forward to seeing you at Luceo SPA, located on the 2nd floor at Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace. You can contact us by phone +7-812-339-8048 or
+7-911-092-8845 (WhatsApp is available) and by e-mail: