Mariinskiy Palace (Ukrainian: Mariyins‘kyi palats) in Kyiv is a picturesque Baroque palace on the hilly bank of the Dnipro River. The palace is the official ceremonial residence of the President of Ukraine and adjoins the neo-classical building of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine.
The palace was requested to be constructed in 1744 by the Russian Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, and was designed by Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the most famous architect working in the Russian empire at that time. One of the students of Rastrelli, Ivan Michurin, together with a group of other architects, completed the palace in 1752. Empress Elizabeth, however, did not live long enough to see the palace. The first royal figure to stay in the palace was Empress Catherine II, who visited Kyiv in 1787. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the palace was the main residence of Governors-General.
In the early 19th century, the palace burned down in a series of fires. Roughly half a century later, in 1870, Alexander II of Russia had the palace reconstructed by the architect Konstantin Mayevsky, using old drawings and watercolors as guide. It was then renamed after the reigning Empress Maria Alexandrovna. Per her wishes, a large park was established off the southern side of the palace. The palace was used as a residence for visiting members of the imperial family until 1917.
During the years of the Russian Civil War in 1917-20, the palace was used as a military headquarters. In the 1920s the building belonged to an agricultural school, soon after which it became a museum. The Mariinskiy was badly damaged in World War II, and restored at the end of the 1940s. Another major restoration was completed in the early 1980s.