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Menshikov Palace

Menshikov Palace

The ochre-painted Baroque Menshikovsky Dvorets, with its beautifully carved pilasters, is one of the earliest stone buildings in the Northern Venice. Designed by Giovanni Fontana and Gottfried Schadel, the palace was constructed by 1720 for the notorious Prince Menshikov who was not only the leading advisor and the comrade-in-arms but also a true and devoted friend of Peter the Great. Despite his humble origin Menshikov, being an ambitious high-flyer, managed to become the first governor of Saint-Petersburg in 1725.The palace estate originally extended as far as the Malaya Neva river to the north. Prince Menshikov entertained here on a lavish scale, often on the behalf of Peter the Great, who adopted the palace as a pied-a-terre. Guests would cross the Neva by boat and arrive to the grand welcome of a liveried orchestra. Starting from the 40ies of the 18th century and up to 1918 the palace used to be a home to a military school. At present Menshikovsky Palace is branch of the Hermitage and houses the exhibitions on 18th-century Russian culture which successfully evoke the spirit of the age and reveal the extent to which Peter the Greatís court was influenced by Western tastes.

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