Overwhelming! That is your first and lingering impression when entering the Great Hall. It is enormous … over 8,600 square feet. It is also called the Bright Gallery because of the streaming sunlight by day and 696 candles at night. It is ornate … over 130 woodcarvers created the ornamentation between 1752 and 1756. Plus the carvings and stucco glisten with gold. As you stand on the wooden parquet floor, look up. The ceiling displays three allegories representing Russia, peace and victory. The art was designed by Giuseppe Valeriani in 1752. A century later, they were replaced by another painting. In the mid-1950s, two of the three original panels were discovered. After an extensive restoration, they were replaced on the ceiling along with a reproduction of the missing Allegory of Russia. Now imagine you have been invited here for a ball or masquerade during the mid-18th century.