A black-and-white photograph showing the palace of the Russian embassy or legation in the diplomatic quarter in Beijing (Dongjiaominxiang 東交民巷). Between 1861 and 1959, the latter was established in the area of the Inner City (Neicheng 内城), east of present-day Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen Guangchang 天安門廣場), and south of the Forbidden City (Gugong 故宫 or Zijincheng 紫禁城). The territories of each legation were surrounded by a wall. In the legations, foreign powers built various infrastructures – from churches, hospitals, barracks, post offices and schools to banks, and hippodromes. In 1920, all Russian possessions in Beijing came under the direct management of the Netherlands.
The photograph is the 54th of 449 photographs of Beijing and its surroundings in the album of Ivan Skušek Jr., purchased during his stay in Beijing (1914–1920). In the handwritten inventory of the album, the photograph is referred to as Palais der russischen Legation. (DZ, MV)