There are some superbly decorated interiors, particularly the Raphael Hall and the Titian Hall.
The main architect of the project was Jean-Baptiste Wallin de la Mothe, who was invited from France to become the first professor of architecture at the Academy. De la Mothe and the two Russians artists Felten and Kokorinov became the first professors to teach at the Academy.
Two Egyptian sphinxes dating from the reign of Amenhotep III (about 3,500 years ago) are considered one of the best examples of the ancient Egyptian colossal sculpture stored outside of Egypt. Once they stood on the Avenue of the Sphinxes in front of the tomb of Pharaoh Amenhotep III.
They were bought in France in 1832, on behalf of the Russian emperor and sent to St. Petersburg. A granite quay became their permanent home and they are among the most famous statues in St. Petersburg.
Yesterday was my birthday, lilies on my table: