Giacomo Quarenghi designed this neoclassical building between 1806 and 1808 in the style of an imposing country manor. It's here where Lenin and his associates planned the overthrow of the Kerensky government in October 1917, and Lenin lived at the Smolny for 124 days. The rooms in which he resided and worked are now a memorial museum. The museum also has an exhibit on the Russian Institute of Noble Girls, which was in the building from 1808 through 1917. The school was founded by the decree of Catherine the Great in 1764 and aimed to turn out well-educated women and future mothers, who would go on to raise similarly worthy children. The Institute enrolled girls from noble families from six years of age, and they graduated when they turned 18, after intense instruction in science, crafts, and the arts. They were allowed to see their parents rarely, and only with special permission. Today the rest of the building houses the offices of the governor of St. Petersburg and can be visited
only by special request. To see the museum, make an appointment at least a week in advance. Tours are in Russian only, so you may want to bring an interpreter.
Admission to the Smolny is only through a tourist company or some other official or business organization and arrangements must be made at least four or five days in advance.