About the Manege – Manege Central Exhibition Hall
Manege
Central Exhibition Hall

1 Isaakievskaya Ploschad
St. Petersburg
+7 812 611 11 00
Opening times
22.09.2017, Friday
Manege: 11:00-19.00
(ticket desks open until 18:30)
Bookshop: 11.00-19.00
Manege Café: 11.00-19.00
Opening times
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THE MANEGE

Manege central exhibition hall is the biggest display space in central St. Petersburg. Manege offers innovative ways for visitors of all age to engage with contemporary and retrospective art through its exhibitions, workshops and lectures, film screenings, concerts and many more.

After a major refurbishment in 2013-2016, which included the installation of state-of-the-art exhibition facilities and the updating of its cultural programme, the Manege is well on its way to becoming one of Russia’s most in-demand venues for displaying world-class art. New curatorial projects showcase Russian and international art; an educational programme is aimed at both adults and children; an art library is open to the public; the space serves as a forum for socializing and professional exchange in the cultural realm. All this, taken together with the Manege's unique location in the very heart of the city, has made the Manege a key point of attraction on the city’s creative map.

The exhibition hall occupies the building of the historical riding hall - or the manege - of the Horse Guards regiment (architect – Giacomo Quarenghi, 1807). Over the course of the 19th-20th centuries, in parallel to the dramatic changes in Russia’s history, the building of the manege had undergone a series of major changes. The timeline below elucidates the most important steps in the story of how a historical riding hall has become one of the city’s leading exhibition venues.

TIMELINE

1730
The Horse Guards' regiment is established by the order of Empress Anne of Russia. Initially, the regiment's primary functions include guarding the imperial family suite, as well as participating in military parades. Later, however, the regiment would come to play an important military role, engaging in all major wars waged by the Russian Empire. From the beginning, the Horse Guards enjoy the most privileged status among the Imperial guards. The post of the regiment's Colonel-in-Chief is held by either the reigning Emperor or one of the Grand Dukes.
Emperor Nicholas II of Russia in the Horse Guards regiment's uniform. From the Album Commemorating His Imperial Majesty's Holy Coronation in Moscow in 1896.

© Research Library of the Russian Academy of Arts, St. Petersburg
Victor Mazurowski. Charge of the Russian Leib-guard Cavalry against French cuirassiers, 1910-1912.

© Alexander Suvorov State Memorial Museum, St. Petersburg
Nikolai Samokysh. Horse Guards regiment's Guard of Honour, 1889.

© Alexander Suvorov State Memorial Museum, St. Petersburg
Jean Lemercier. Horse Guards Regiment General on October, 22 1860, mid. of the 19th century. Coloured lithograph.

© Alexander Suvorov State Memorial Museum, St. Petersburg
Unknown. A soldier of the Horse Guards regiment in the reign of Elizabeth of Russia, mid. of the 19th century.

© Alexander Suvorov State Memorial Museum, St. Petersburg
Karl Bulla Photo Studio. A standard underofficer of the Horse Guards regiment on the Regiment's Day on 25 March 1903.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
1804
A regimental complex is constructed along Admiralteysky Canal near St. Isaac’s Square. This complex includes regimental barracks, stables and a riding hall for exercises and horseback parades. The riding hall, or manege, is designed by prominent Italian architect Giacomo Quarenghi. In St. Petersburg, Quarenghi has already designed both the Academy of Sciences and the Hermitage Theatre.
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1804
Quarenghi finalizes construction of the manege in record-breaking time, to coincide with the regiment’s return after fighting in the Fourth Coalition war. The edifice is remarkable for its disciplined proportions, and the pleasing rhythm of its architectural elements. The main façade overlooks St. Isaac’s Square, and is characterized by an eight-columned Tuscan portico accentuated by a pediment with sculptural bas-reliefs. The pediment itself is topped with three statues of antique Goddesses.
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Giacomo Quarenghi. The Horse Guards manege. Main elevation, 1800s.

© State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg
Giacomo Quarenghi. The Horse Guards manege. Long section, side elevation (south), plan, 1800s.

© State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Joseph Saunders. A portrait of architect Giacomo Quarenghi, 1802.

© State Museum of the History of
St. Petersburg
Vasily Sadovnikov. Parade at the Horse Guards manege, 1840.

© State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
1817
Two statues, of the antique heroes Castor and Pollux, known together as "the Dioscuri" (sculptor – Paolo Triscornia) are brought from Italy and placed on pedestals on either side of the entrance portico. The figures are miniature marble replicas of the ancient statues that form the composition Fontana dei Dioscuri in front of the Quirinal Palace in Rome. With the instalment of the Dioscuri, the construction of the manege, according to Quarenghi’s design, is complete.
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1817
The manege occupies a strategic position in the architectural ensemble of the St. Petersburg of the first half of the 19th century. The manege's monumental portico is visible from great distances, and acts as a focal point for the panoramas of the three main squares of the Russian Empire: the Palace Square, the Admiralteyskaya Square and the St. Isaac's Square. Together, these three squares act as one unified space.
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1817
With the conception of the Alexandrovsky garden at the Admiralteyskaya Square, and the subsequent planting of trees, the panoramic unity once accentuated by the manege's portico is lost within a few years.
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Gaubert based on the drawing by Alexey Gornostaev. The Horse Guards manege, 1834.

© State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg
Admiralteysly Boulevard with the Horse Guards manege, 1821. Lithograph. Published by Adolphe Pluchart.

© State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg
The Dioscuri fountain sculpture group at the Montecavallo Square in front of the Quirinal Palace in Rome.

© Palazzo Quirinale
St. Isaac's Cathedral and Senate Square. A postcard, early 20th century. The Horse Guards manege is seen without the Dioscuri statues.

Vasily Sadovnikov. View of Admiralteyskaya Square and St. Isaac's Cathedral, 1840s. Watercolour.

© State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Grigory Chernetsov. Part of the panorama of Palace Square from the Scaffolding of the Alexander Column, 2nd quarter of the 19th century. Lithograph.

© State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg
Horse Guards manege as the focal point for the panorama of Palace Square and Admiralteyskaya Square, 1863.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
Admiralteyskaya Square with fair booths and the Horse Guards manege in the perspective, 1860s

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
1850
The manege welcomes its very first exhibition. Initiated by the order of Nicholas I of Russia and organized by the Free Imperial Economic Society of Agriculture and Husbandry, the First Display of Agricultural Exhibits occupies the premises in and around the building. The manege joins the then-current trend, according to which spacious, still-active buildings, such as riding halls and palaces, serve to accommodate specialized exhibitions.
Unknown. First Display of Agricultural Exhibits in the Horse Guards manege, 1850.

© Published in Severnaya Pchela magazine 1850, No. 216
Unknown. Farmers in festival clothes at the First Display of Agricultural Exhibits in the Horse Guards manege, 1850.

© Published in Severnaya Pchela magazine 1850, No. 216
Unknown. Temporary gallery for the livestock displayed at the First Display of Agricultural Exhibits between the Horse Guards manege and the regimental barracks, 1850.

© Published in Severnaya Pchela magazine 1850, No. 216
1877
First art exhibition comes to the manege. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alexander I of Russia, the State Duma brings large artworks by famous painters to the manege. These paintings are displayed for public view according to the plans of famous Russian architect Nicholas Benois.
Karl Bulla Photo Studio. Horse Guards Regiment's Day on 25 March 1900.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
Otto Henrich Uzing. Divine Service in the Horse Guards manege on 25 March 1875, Oil on canvas, 1870s.

© State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg
Karl Bulla Photo Studio. Horse Guards troops in parade uniforms on the Regiment's Day on Konnogvardeysky Boulevard, 25 March 1903.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
Karl Bulla Photo Studio. Highest command inspecting the troops in front of the Horse Guards manege on the day of the 200th anniversary of St. Petersburg, May 1903.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
Karl Bulla Photo Studio. A group of children with Environmental studies instructors in front of the Horse Guards manege, 1900.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
1886
Johann Strauss gives a concert in the manege. For the occasion, the building is transformed into a concert hall with 900 seats. The performance of the "Horse Guards" march and the "Les Dames de St. Peterburgh" waltz are among the evening's highlights.
Theo Zasche. Strauss, Johann II, conducting, with his band during court ball, 19th century. Coloured engraving.

© Kursalon Wien
Horse Guards regiment's trumpeters, before 1914.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
Horse Guards regiment's trumpeters choir, before 1914.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
Programme of the Horse Guards regiment's balalaika players concert, late 19th – early 20th centuries.

© State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg
1898
St. Petersburg Society of Artists organizes its "First Exhibition for Common People" in the manege. The event displays works by famous artists of the time; its aim is to educate commoners. The "Second Exhibition for Common People" returns to the manege in 1901.
Original drawing by Gustav Broling, autotype by Niva magazine. First Exhibition for Common People in the Horse Guards manege, 1898.

© Niva. An Illustrated Weekly Journal of Literature, Politics and Modern Life. No. 42, 1898.
1910s
A series of highly-specialized exhibits take place in the manege. The International Fire and Salvage Exhibition (1912), the Poultry Fair (1910) and the Brewing Manufacture Exhibition (1909) are among the largest and most important.
Horse Guards manege decorated to accommodate the International Fire and Salvage Exhibition, May 1912.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
Opening of the International Fire and Salvage Exhibition and its guests (Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia in the middle of the group), May 1912.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
A view of temporary wooden exhibition booths at the territory of the International Fire and Salvage Exhibition, May 1912.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
A view of the exhibition hall at the International Fire and Salvage Exhibition, May 1912.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
A group of visitors at the opening of the International Fire and Salvage Exhibition (Grand Duke Andrei Vladimirovich of Russia in the middle of the group), May 1912.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
Alexander Krasnovsky. Poster for the International Fire and Salvage Exhibition in the Horse Guards manege in May-June 1912.

© Manege
Poultry Fair organizing committee in the Horse Guards manege, 1910.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
1917
After the Russian revolution and the collapse of the Russian Empire, the Imperial guards' regiments are dismissed. The Horse Guards are reinvented as a division of the Red Army Cavalry, though most of them will soon flee the country. The building loses its original function and is used as a warehouse.
Horse Guards manege in the 1920s, 1927.

© Manege
Western façade of the Horse Guards manege, 1920s.

© Manege
Participants of the Leningrad-Moscow bike marathon in front of the manege's west entrance, 1924.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
1930-
1932
A major refurbishment takes place. Based on the designs of Nikolai Lanceray, the former building of the Horse Guards' manege now serves a new function: an automobile garage for the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs, or the NKVD. A second level is added to the original structure, along with ferroconcrete roof trusses with built-in skylights.
Athletes parading in front of the former Horse Guards manege, 1936.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
Athletes parading in front of the former Horse Guards manege, 1936.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
An automobile garage for the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) in the former Horse Guards manege, 1930s.

© Published in «Big House» Declassified», ed. by Sergey Chernov
An automobile garage for the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) in the former Horse Guards manege. West view, 1950s.

© Manege
1967
After long years under the NKVD, the building is transferred to the Leningrad Union of Artists to be used as an arts display centre.
St. Petersburg Manege. A postcard from late 1950s.

1973-
1977
After another major refurbishment, the St. Petersburg Central Exhibition Hall Manege opens to the public with "Art Belongs to People", an exhibition featuring works by Leningrad-based artists. The latest refurbishment rids the structure of many of the architectural additions that had been made to the original building, but preserves Lanceray's double level structure.
Central Exhibition Hall Manege with posters to «Art Belongs to People» art show, 1977.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
Visitors to Ilya Glazunov's show in the Manege, 1979.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
Refurbishment into Central Exhibition Hall. View of the second level during the construction works, 1973-1977.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
View of the western façade in the process of refurbishment into Central Exhibition Hall with the dismantling of the back vestibule, 1976.

© State Central Archive for Cinema, Photo & Audio Documents, St. Petersburg
Renovation of the main entrance to the Manege, 1970s.

© Manege
1980s
A series of contemporary and retrospective art showcase the best of the arts from Russia, the Soviet Republics and abroad. The Manege is becoming a key destination within St. Petersburg's cultural scene.
A showcase of Leningrad-based artists, 1985.

© Manege
Installation of the exhibition commemorating the forty's anniversary of the Victory in the WWII, 1985

© Manege
Accompanying programme to the "Music of Petersburg – Petrograd – Leningrad" exhibition, 1989.

© Manege
Opening of the "Theatre. Images and Relics" exhibition, 1986.

© Manege
Live music programme for kids and families, 1986.

© Manege
Installation of the "Monumental Arts in Urban Planning" show, 1983.

© Manege
1990s
The Manege launches a series of internal curatorial projects to showcase contemporary and experimental art, both from Russia and from abroad. Examples include "Dialogues", an international biennale; "Close-up" solo shows; an "International Festival of Experimental Art"; as well as the yearly art displays called "Petersburg". These projects remain at the core of Manege's activities until the 2010s.
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1990s
Meanwhile, the Manege is starting to assemble its own collection, comprised of artworks by Leningrad and St. Petersburg-based artists. Covering the period from the 1920s onwards, the collection includes paintings, graphics, sculptures, applied arts and installations.
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Dialogues – Third St. Petersburg Biennale of Contemporary Arts, 1998.

© Manege
Posters to Dialogues – Fifth St. Petersburg Biennale of Contemporary Arts, 1995, and "Interferenzen. Art from West Berlin" exhibition, 1992.

© Manege
The Mitki. A retrospective commemorating the 25th anniversary of the art-group, 2010.

© Manege
Music programme to Art exhibition in Memory of the Holocaust Victims, 1999.

© Manege
Installation process of the "Аlexander Pushkin. Two Centuries of the Russian Culture", 1999.

© Manege
International Festival of Experimental Art, 2010.

© Manege
2007
The Manege opens a branch in the historical building located at 103 Griboyedov Canal Embankment. This space is dubbed "the Small Manege", and organizes intimate art shows and educational events. In 2016, the Small Manege is transformed into a Museum of St. Petersburg Art (20th-21st centuries), and acts as an independent subsidiary of the Manege. The museum does not yet have a permanent exposition, but boasts frequent temporary shows from its considerable collection of over 3,000 artefacts.
The building of the former police archive, now accommodating the Museum of St. Petersburg Arts 20th – 21st centuries (formerly – Small Manege).

© MISP
Repository of the Museum of St. Petersburg Arts 20th – 21st centuries (formerly – Small Manege).

© MISP
Opening of the I can hear paintings, I can see music exhibition in the Museum of St. Petersburg Arts 20th – 21st centuries (formerly – Small Manege), 2016.

© MISP
An educational programme for kids in the Museum of St. Petersburg Arts 20th – 21st centuries (formerly – Small Manege), 2016.

© MISP
2016
After a major refurbishment, installation of state-of-the-art exhibition facilities and the updating of its cultural programme, the Manege Central Exhibition Hall reopens to the public.
The Manege with posters of 'Contemporary Russian Artists — Participants of Venice Biennale' exhibition.
25 June 2016.

© Manege
Opening of the new Manege.
25 June 2016.

© Manege
Opening of the new Manege (left to right): Semyon Mikhailovsky, curator; Konstantin Sukhenko, Head of St. Petersburg Committee for Culture; Alexander Kriventsov, Head of the restoration project; Pavel Prigara, Manege director.

© Manege
Opening of the new Manege.
25 June 2016.

© Manege
First day of the 'Contemporary Russian Artists — Participants of Venice Biennale' exhibition.
25 June 2016.

© Manege