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in Leningrad, the city’s main square and the main link in the chain of architectural groupings located in the center of the city. The Winter Palace (1754–62; architect, V. V. Rastrelli) was the first of the buildings that form the square. In the late 18th century Iu. M. Fel’ten redesigned the south side of the square, giving it an arched shape. This shape was ultimately fixed when the General Staff Building was erected (1819–29; architect, K. I. Rossi). It is an imposing building in the Empire style; its double triumphal arch is crowned by a monumental chariot. The arch of the General Staff Building and the Alexander Column in the center of the square create a solemn, triumphal effect. This grouping became an outstanding monument of national victory in the Patriotic War of 1812.
The east border of the square is formed by the Guard Corps Staff Building (1837–43; architect, A. P. Briullov). The west side of the square is open toward what formerly was the Admiralty Square (and is now the Admiralty Passage), thus connecting the Palace Square to a chain of other squares in the center of the city. Skillful organization of space, harmonic proportion among the individual architectural units, and unity of scale, rhythm, and modules create an integrated whole out of buildings that vary in style. On Jan. 9, 1905, tsarist troops shot and massacred a peaceful demonstration of workers on Palace Square. In the night of Oct. 25–26 (Nov. 7–8), 1917, Palace Square was the scene of the decisive battle of the October Uprising in Petrograd. In the Soviet era, revolutionary festivals are celebrated by demonstrations and parades in Palace Square.