The skating rink on Palace Square in St. Petersburg was built in November 2007 by Bosco Neva, a subsidiary of Bosco di Ciliegi, by analogy with the one installed on Red Square in Moscow . The opening ceremony was held on December 1, 2007, the rink worked until the beginning of March 2008. March 11, work began on its disassembly. [one]
The skating rink was built in the center of the square around the Alexander Column and simultaneously hosted about 700 people. To maintain the state of the ice, freezers were installed, the ice was periodically processed with special machines.
It became the largest open ice rink with artificial ice in Russia.
Despite regular reports by the media and the St. Petersburg Government that the rink is the largest in Europe, this is actually not the case. The closest example of a larger ice rink is in the center of Helsinki in the Kallio area, near the Sörnäinen metro station. One of the oldest outdoor ice rinks in this city with artificial ice has an area of about 8,000 m², while the area of the ice rink at the Palace did not exceed 5,000 m².
Opinions on the construction and operation of the ice rink
During the design preparation of the rink construction, various opinions were expressed on the feasibility and admissibility of its construction. Hermitage Director Mikhail B. Piotrovsky , who had already opposed other organized events on Palace Square, called the skating rink an entertainment structure, because of which all Petersburg would suffer “moral damage” and lose its “reputation of an intelligent city”. In an interview with Channel Five , he said: “There is no ice rink built on the square. A number of ugly structures have been built on the square ... ” Noting that the skating rink was not designed in the Petersburg style, Piotrovsky, as an alternative, expressed the idea of the possibility of creating speed skating tracks on the canals of St. Petersburg. 
An active supporter of the construction of the rink was the governor of the city V.I. Matvienko .  Speaker of the Federation Council - S. M. Mironov called the skating rink “ugliness of the square”.  The leader of the United Russia party and the Speaker of the State Duma B.V. Gryzlov , on the contrary, considered the rink on Palace Square to be a “successful find." [five]
At a special meeting of the Rossvyazokhrankultura Office in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region on December 18, 2007, it was stated that the skating rink violates the “Regulations for the use of the Palace Square and the adjacent territories”, in particular, the skating rink’s equipment is located closer than the permissible distance from the Alexander Column 10 meters. Advertising and informational objects are located closer than the permissible 50 m, the permissible height of the fences (1.2 m), the height of the canopy structures (above 3.5 m) and the stands (above 2 m) are exceeded. 
In the fall, when the installation of the rink was only planned, a group of citizens held a protest rally. This happened on October 18th. The event was held in the format of a flash mob: young people with skis, sledges, an air mattress and other sports equipment came to the Palace Square. They suggested using the arch of the General Staff Building as a football goal and placing a swimming pool in the middle of the square, emphasizing the absurdity of the rink’s ideas  . After the installation of the rink on Palace Square, two more actions took place. On December 9 (the ninth day after the opening of the ice rink) a civil funeral service was held along Palace Square   . Indifferent citizens brought carnations and laid them near the ice rink in solemn silence. January 9 (on the fortieth day after the opening of the rink) the scientific conference "Palace Square: the problem of perception in a historical context"  .
A lawsuit was filed in court from an initiative group of Petersburgers about the illegality and closure of the rink. The main complaints of the opponents were that the skating rink and the high hangars surrounding it spoil the view of the Palace Square, which is protected by the state, visually destroying its ensemble , and makes it impossible to freely access the Alexander Column and part of the square. On February 5, 2008, the Kuybyshevsky District Court of St. Petersburg demanded an inspection of the construction of the ice rink, eliminate violations and provide access to the Alexander Column     . The organizers of the rink said that access to the Alexander Column is open and if anyone wants to look at it closely, they give him the opportunity to get closer to it using special rugs, but only a few took advantage of it  .
In February 2008, another lawsuit was filed, already sent to the Vasileostrovsky court of St. Petersburg, the City Government was supposed to be the defendant. The leader of the Civil Initiatives Movement (DGI) of St. Petersburg M. Druzhininsky, who filed the lawsuit, wanted to achieve not just access to the Alexander Column, but the complete demolition of the ice rink on Palace Square  .
Dmitry Znamensky Interview
In an interview with NTV- Petersburg, Dmitry Znamensky, the former deputy of the City Center for Advertising Placement, expressed his opinion in support of the skating rink, assuring that the soundtrack would not harm Palace Square, given that it “withstood” the music concerts held at it. As an example, Znamensky cited an “ Elvis Presley concert ” that had never been to Russia and passed away in 1977, apparently confusing it with Elton John , whose concert took place on Palace Square in July 2007.  The plot was accompanied by a New Year's melody, probably to emphasize the comic nature of the episode and later came to the YouTube service, gaining local popularity.
There is reason to believe that during the rink on Palace Square in the winter of 2007/2008, the Alexander Column and its fence were seriously damaged. After dismantling the skating rink, missing elements of the fence decor were discovered - 12 cast eagles and 10 spikes  . Despite the promise of the administration of the ice rink that “not a drop of water will fall on the paving stones (Palace Square)”, during the dismantling of the ice rink, ice fell in the center of the square and, melting, spread over the paving stones  . The head of the Bosco di Ciliegi group of companies, Mikhail Kusnirovich, said that Bosco would not allocate funds to repair the fence, as “the skating rink was built in winter and it is known to fly cold in winter - hence, eagles flew away earlier”  .
- www.dp.ru with reference to Vesti . The rink on the Palace began to be dismantled // Business Petersburg ISSN 1606-1829 (Online) / St. Petersburg /. - 14:02 on March 11, 2008. (inaccessible link)
- Mikhail Piotrovsky: “The museum is in the middle between the temple and Disneyland” (inaccessible link)
- Hermitage is protesting against the rink on Palace Square . Lenta.ru (November 9, 2007). Date of treatment August 13, 2010. Archived March 4, 2012.
- Novoteka: News - Mironov considers the skating rink on Palace Square in St. Petersburg to be “ugly” (inaccessible link)
- ZAKS.RU: News: Boris Gryzlov: Ice rink on Palace Square is a good find - Political life in the North-West Region
- Ice rink on Palace Square did not fit into the regulations - ice rink, Palace - St. Petersburg News - Rosbalt (inaccessible link)
- Living City demanded the creation of a pool on Palace Square
- Memorial service will be held at Palace Square (inaccessible link)
- Trial Court Archival copy of March 15, 2008 on the Wayback Machine
- In St. Petersburg, celebrated the “fortieth day” on Palace Square
- The court granted the claim of the opponents of the rink on Palace Square . Lenta.ru (February 5, 2008). Date of treatment August 13, 2010. Archived March 4, 2012.
- Opponents of the rink on Palace Square filed a new lawsuit . Lenta.ru (February 12, 2008). Date of treatment August 13, 2010. Archived March 4, 2012.
- Petersburgers were separated from the Alexander Column: insanity continues
- rink with the Palace will not be removed. Another lawsuit filed
- Fragment of an interview with D. Znamensky NTV-Petersburg
- ice rink is gone - the eagles "flew away"
- "The palace turned into a garbage can!"
- organizer of the rink on the Palace will not give money to repair the fence of the Alexander Column // Petersburg Internet newspaper " Fontanka.ru ". - 08/06/2008 18:10.