Menshikov palace in Saint Petersburg is situated at the University Embankment, opposite to the Admiralty. It is one of the greatest constructions of the 18th century. Stylish building represented the mood and spirit of Peter the Great who wanted to build a magnificent city on the Neva river.
The first Russian Emperor Peter I, who was not into luxurious and comfortable living, generously presented a special residence on the Vasilievsky island to his friend and the first governor of Petersburg – Alexander Menshikov. The palace was built in 1710-1714. European architects developed a general look of the palace, while it was actually constructed by Russian masters.
The uniqueness of the building was in its multipurpose use: it served as a living and official working space. The rooms of Menshikov palace were in marble. From an architectural perspective, the palace was a combination of traditional and new practices. Decorative sculptures were created in Ancient and Italian styles.
By 1721, the palace became the centre of Saint Petersburg cultural life. It was often called the Ambassadorial house. There were many balls and holidays. Inner decor of the premises was impressive, and the palace itself often presented collections of valuable masterpieces, coins and books.
In front of the parade entrance, there was a special harbor on the Neva river.
In 1727, the governor Menshikov was dismissed and sent into exile. The palace then burnt and its wonderful park with fountains, orangery, statues and flower garden was abandoned. Menshikov’s property in St Petersburg along with his summer residence Oranienbaum was withdrawn. The building was given to the First Cadet Corps and then reconstructed. Interestingly, Alexander Suvorov, Pyotr Rumyantsev and other famous Russians studied there. Since 1880, the former Menshikov palace had become the museum of the First Cadet Corps.
In 1956, there were restoration works that took a lot of time and effort, mostly due to the fact that the construction was rebuilt several times and the external look of the embankment changed over time.
In 1981, Menshikov palace became a part of the State Hermitage Museum. It is open for visitors. The palace represents the accurate and parade style of the Petrine Baroque. It was the first stone building of such a size in the Northern capital of Russia.
|Tuesday||10.30 - 18.00|
|Thursday||10.30 - 18.00|
|Saturday||10.30 - 18.00|
|Sunday||10.30 - 18.00|
|Wednesday||10.30 - 21.00|
|Friday||10.30 - 21.00|
|University Embankment 15|
|Metro / Subway|
|University Embankment Station||6, 7, 24, 47|
|University Embankment Station||1, 7, 10|