Branch of the State Hermitage
Address: 15, Universitetskaya Nab. (Universitetskaya Embankment)
Day off: Monday

The construction of the palace for Peter the Great’s favorite associate, Prince Alexander Menshikov, the first Governor of Saint-Petersburg, began in 1710 to a project by the architect Giovanni Mario Fontana. He was soon replaced by Johann Gottfried Schädel, who was in charge of the construction work until 1727. The palace was then by far the largest and most magnificent building in Saint-Petersburg. There was a pier in front of the three-storey stone edifice and a beautiful garden stretched behind it. It was here that foreign ambassadors were received, victories of the Russian army were celebrated and Peter’s famous “assemblies” were held.

In 1727 Alexander Menshikov was exiled to Siberia and the palace passed into the possession of the Chancellery of Buildings. In 1732 it housed the Shliakhetsky Cadet Corps. Latter the palace was repeatedly reconstructed, but its most unique interiors of the first decades of the 18th century were kept intact. In 1966 the Menshikov Palace was handed over the State Hermitage and then a prolonged restoration of the palace began that returned to the building the appearance it had in Peter’s age. In 1981 the permanent display “Russia Culture of the First Third of the Eighteenth Century” has opened in the palace.