The former residence of famous Russian statesman Alexander Danilovich Menshikov is one of the first stone houses of the city, built in the style of Peter the Great Baroque from 1710-1714. The unique structure of the Menshikov Palace is considered the largest residential building of the 18th century.
Menshikov received for the construction of the estate almost the whole Vasilievsky Island, ranging from the Big Neva to the Little Neva. The project of the building was developed by foreign architects Giovanni Maria Fontana and Johann Gottfried Schaedel.
New architectural techniques in the ways of laying stone elements and painting options used as well as the original Russian traditional methods.
Together with these buildings, there was a house for the estate manager and the Church of the Resurrection of Christ. In the 18th century, the church was demolished and the manege for students of Cadet corps was built. There was a large garden with ponds and sculptures, baths, forge and bakery on the territory of the new palace.
After the death of Menshikov in 1729, the estate was transferred to the state treasury. Offices of numerous departments worked there until 1731. The palace housed the Cadet Corps, and then the Council of the Main Directorate of the Russian military schools in subsequent years.
The palace was given to the introduction of the Hermitage in 1967. From that time began a grand restoration of the palace, which continues today.
The main building of the estate was a palace built on the banks of the Neva. Menshikov moved in it in 1714. There were service rooms on the ground floor. The family lived on the second floor. The plan of the palace had the appearance of a quadrilateral, formed by a four-story main building, two two-story annexes and buildings from the garden.
In accordance with the existing traditions, the layout of the palace is designed in a strictly symmetrical version with the placement of the premises in an enfilade manner. There were bright, cosy small rooms with large glass windows. The oak staircase led to the private quarters of the family.
Many rooms of the eastern enfilade had unique interiors – they had no analogues in Europe. Expensive Dutch tiles were used for their creation. The private rooms of the Duchess were located on the western part of the second floor of the palace – their decoration was not preserved. Next to them was the house church of the family. The most important matters were decided in the Walnut Cabinet, where Menshikov kept unique rarities.
The atmosphere of Peter the Great time is felt in all the rooms of the palace, including the famous Menshikov Walnut office, stylized as a ship cabin. An oval desk, a clock, an old ceiling with military subjects, a view of the Neva, the Winter Palace, the Admiralty fully convey the atmosphere of the time when the capital appeared on the shores of the Baltic.
You can see a collection of paintings, weapons, antique devices. A portrait of the emperor, a unique chess table with figures from amber, a mirror in an amber frame is considered especially valuable exhibits of the museum.
Sightseeing tours of the palace are held every half hour. Guided tours for groups of tourists are organized by prior arrangement.
- Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.30-18.00
- Wednesday, Friday: 10.30-21.00
- Monday: day-off
- Entrance ticket – 300 rubles
- Guided tour ticket for one visitor in groups of maximum 16 people – 250 rubles
- Guided tour ticket for groups up to 16 visitors – 2 000 rubles
Free admission for all visitors: The third Thursday of every month, March 8, May 18 and December 7
There is a restaurant “Mein Herz” in the Menshikov Palace. Its menu consists of dishes of classic Russian and modern European cuisine.
By prior arrangement, you can book dinner with a tour of the palace after closure
- Opening hours: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
- Monday: day-off
Universitetskaya Embankment, 15
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