This is the only structure left from the modest country estate of Peter the Great
He used to stay here during his frequent visits to Kronstadt, Peterhof, and Oranienbaum. To the west of the park of the Konstantinovsky palace, on a high hill, there is the earliest construction in Strelna - the small white-yellow wooden palace of typical architecture for Peter I's time.
The construction of the imperial estate began here in 1711, however, the palace appeared five years later. The author of the original project is unknown. In 1719 – 1720, the palace was rebuilt by the order of the tsar: a bathroom with a front room and a mezzanine appeared.
The household services included greenhouses, beehives, fruit and lime-tree gardens, the kitchen-garden with honey scented plants and various vegetable crops. The peculiarity of the Peter I's garden was a cultivation of spices and medicinal plants on the same beds. This tradition came from Holland and, therefore, received its name "Garden for the Dutch taste". According to the legend, it was specifically in Strelna, where potatoes were planted by the order of Peter the Great for the first time in Russia.
The Strelka river, that flowed from the south side of the estate, was used for setting up of the fish ponds. Carp and trout fish were bred in Strelna to serve for the tsar's table, especially during the fasting days.
The estate complex included the wooden Transfiguration Church built in 1708. The military relics of Peter I's time were kept here; also Natalia Nikolaevna, the widow of A. S. Pushkin, had her church wedding ceremony with General P. P. Lanskoy here. During the Second World War, the church burned down. Now, one can see the remains of the church foundation and the wooden memorial cross installed after the war.
The wooden palace in Strelna, as a memory of Peter the Great, was the subject of special care and attention. In the middle of the XVIII century, in the time of Elizabeth Petrovna, the capital restoration of the dilapidated wooden building was held under the direction of the architect F. B. Rastrelli.
The successors of Peter I used the wooden palace more for short stays during their travels from St. Petersburg to Peterhof. In different times, the inhabitants of the small wooden palace were such prominent figures as Grigory Potemkin, Princess E.R. Dashkova and A.V. Suvorov.
In times of Catherine II, the palace was restored again and, since 1786, it housed a military hospital. The next restoration was carried out in 1837-1840 by the architect H.F. Meyer who disassembled the building and re-created it in conformity with the project of F. B. Rastrelli of 1750.
For a long time, the palace, that miraculously survived the Second World War, served as a hospital building and, later, as a kindergarten. In 1987, it was transferred to the Peterhof State Museum-Reserve and the renovating works began and were completed in 1999. On the basis of the preserved materials, the interiors of the Palace were recreated. It currently hosts a museum exposition.
In the palace collection there are private things of the first Russian emperor: the holiday suit of Peter I; the patchwork blanket that, according to the legend, was sewed for the tsar by his spouse Catherine II; the folding-screen for the bedroom painted in the "chinoiserie" style. Interesting exhibits include the bronze bas-relief of Peter I, created by the sculptor K. Rastrelli; the cast of the emperor's hand; a grand portrait of Peter I - a rare lifetime image of a young tsar by an unknown artist. The palace is under the state protection as one of the rare memorials of the Russian architecture of the beginning of the XVIII century preserved until our days.
- Address: St. Petersburg, Strelna, ulitsa Bolnichnaya Gorka, 2
- Phone Number: +7 (812) 421-41-31
- Site: peterhofmuseum.ru/objects/strelna/dvorets_petra_v_strelne/info
Monday - Friday: Free
Saturday - Sunday: 10:30 - 16:00