Russian statesman Menshikov is well known in Russia. He is often referred as the best and the only friend of Russia’s greatest innovator Tsar Peter the Great. They say that de facto this person was a ruler of Russia for two consecutive years. His official titles included Prince of Russia, Duke of Ingria and many more. So for sure this man needed a palace as all Tsars did at that times and so he had one. Thanks to Russian blogger Deletant we are able to see the best luxury and style man could buy at that time in Russia. Let’s see!
They say that this palace in St. Petersburg has been built in “barocco” architectural style pretty rare for the city. It faces the Neva river with its entrance.
In the park in front of the entrance there is a small monument of the previous owner – Duke Menshikov.
This is how it looked in 1714, the time it was allegedly built. The inner yards were in Italian style. But for now only the one segment of this palace has survived – the one that we can see with the gray roof and two conjoining buildings.
The palace had its own small port to host the guests arriving on boats. The huge balcony on the second floor is where the orchestra was hosted which played each time when guests arrived. On top of the building there was six Roman Gods statues.
These are small copies.
And this is a coats of arms of the owner made in ceramics.
Tile samples imported from Holland in 1700s for the palace decoration.
One of the rooms in the palace. The statue on the back is the ancient Roman Appolo – dated at second century AD.
Solid silver ice bucket.
Another ancient Roman piece, those pieces were highly valued during Peter the Great’s times.
A kitchen room with copper pots.
This is how they cooked their food.
Peter the Great’s personal wood carving machine. He was avid wood crafter and enjoyed working with wood a lot.
Those are the plates made by Peter the Great himself.
Here is the room for the guards.
And this is the second floor.
In this room Menshikovs wife lived.
Here are some portraits of the previous owners as well as some queens and princesses of that times.
Another work cabinet of Menshikov.
An ancient wooden chest.
Another room is decorated with ancient Chinese decor.
And this room is in Japanese style.
And this is another work office of the Menshikov. The furniture here is back from 1700s.
And the artwork, also from 17th century.
And this was the main “auditorium” – place where the concerts and balls were conducted.
A unique time piece made by a British engineer – it included an organ inside the mechanism.
These rare things were crafted by Russian craftsmen.
Most of the decor, furniture and decorations, were imported. But this old metal inkwell is Russian made.
Here you can see the portrait of Menshikov and his wife.
“Don’t touch” signs are transparent and appear to be photoshopped.
Ceilings and walls covered with old ceramic tile.
Another old British clock.
And some more old fun “rarities” like this two stored house in a bottle.
Some more old Dutch tiles.
Here are they up close. They were all hand painted in 1700s.
And this room was occupied by Varvara – sister of Menshikov’s wife.
Varvara was hunchbacked and didn’t have her own family, so she lived with them and helped with educating their kids.
And this was a personal bedroom of Menshikov.
And those furniture items were imported from Persia or Iran.
This is an Italian furniture set with a Peter the Great portrait by a Dutch artists of 18th century.
On the first floor many of the rooms are renovated with modern style and don’t even remotely look like the beauty we saw on the second floor.
Now they have an exposition of old firewood heaters.
Also there is cafe for the tourists which looks like an old Menshikov’s kitchen.
And decorated with replicas of old furniture.
Hope you liked this story and if you are visiting St. Petersburg you can always visit it!
Thanks again to Deletant for the photos.