St Petersburg - Day 1 - part 2 - Yusupov's Palace

So Yusupov's Palace. Famous on two counts or maybe three. Firstly these guys were even richer than the Romanovs, so this is one if the most opulent palaces around. This wealth may have come from the second point which was a curse that descended on the family. They were Muslims when they arrived but to court favour they changed to Russian Orthodox. Now apparently if you change religions you must revert back before death or a curse is set that means all of your children but one will die before the age of 25 and this exact thing happened to the Yusupovs (who, by the way, had a far more complex name before they converted). This meant the wealth was never split.

So the most important thing this palace is famous for is the murder of Rasputin. Rasputin was a peasant who found enlightenment somewhere along the way and he was able to explain very complex things easily, but better than that, he was able to cure people and even to stop the bleeding if haemophiliacs and one of the Czar's children suffered from such a problem and so Rasputin became very favoured by Czar Nicholas 2nd and had the ability to come and go from his palace at will.  Now Felix Yusupov wasn't happy about this, nor about the Romanovs in general and so plotted to kill Rasputin. Here we see the plotters.
They had created a false dining room in the cellar and they lured Rasputin here and Felix fed him poisoned food and drink. 
He didn't die and when Felix went upstairs to the others to tell them Rasputin tried to escape. Alas they caught and shot him and dumped his body in the Neva river. They didn't weigh it down so it was soon discovered and the perpetrators were sent off to the Peter & Paul fortress and the Czar and family went into mourning.
So the rest of the pics here are of the splendour of the palace, many of the pics being of the ornate ceilings.
Though we are not visiting the Hermitage museum, I feel I've been there as many of the items in this palace are replicas, the originals being in the Hermitage.
The palace even has its own theatre, still used for performances.
We were treated to a performance of a beautiful Russian piece called nightingale.
So many photos but it just becomes mind boggling. Our evening entertainment on board was a Russian folkloric group - excellent.
Oh and here is hop-a-long checking out some entertainment down in the Grand Foyer.
Can't believe we have yet another day tomorrow.