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Palaces and museums of St. Petersburg - Menshikovsky Palace

Being one of the oldest buildings in the city, Menshikov Palace is situated on Universitetskaya Embankment on Vasilevsky Island. It was constructed in 1710 to the project of architects G.Fontana and J.Schedel for the highly appreciated associate and friend of Tsar Peter the Great Alexander Menshikov. The decorations of palace exteriors are different from any other palace in Saint Petersburg  and are a unique example of Peter’s Barocco style. A large number of European architects and artists such as Giovanni Mario Fontana, Johann Gottfried Schadel, Domenico Trezzini, Carlo Bartolommeo Rastrelli, Georg Johanns Mattarnovi, Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond were involved in the process of the palace construction and in 1727 it was finally finished.The interior includes marble and painting to imitate marble, monumental decorative painting and moldings, antique and contemporary Italian sculpture, as well as Dutch cobalt painted tiles, Russian stove tiles, painted and stamped leather, textiles and woolen tapestries.

When Menshikov fall from grace, his property was confiscated by the state and passed to the First Cadet Corps, the leading high school in Russia. During this times the palace was rebuilt for the needs of Cadet Corps and rich and magnificent central part of the palace was oversimplified. During the restoration works in the 1970s supervised by of the State Inspectorate for the Preservation of Monuments, the palace got its original appearance back and the palace museum opened its doors to visitors in 1981 as a branch of the Hermitage Museum with a collection of Russian art of the late 17th-early 18th century.


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