Branches:
A Penny Saved Is a Penny Gained
Stroganov Palace

A Penny Saved Is a Penny Gained

1 march—15 may 2017

The exhibition presents the state payment signs of Russia (coins and paper money) belonging to the period from the time of Peter I to 1917. The exposition in...

Victor Borisov-Musatov and the “Blue Rose” Society
St Michael’s Castle

Victor Borisov-Musatov and the “Blue Rose” Society

2 march—19 june 2017

The art of Victor Borisov-Musatov (1870-1905), one of the leading masters of Russian symbolism, will be presented in St.Michael’s Castle i...

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Marcello Lo Giudice
Marble Palace

Marcello Lo Giudice

2 march—15 may 2017

Lo Giudice works with the abstract line and uses special figurative means to represent the geographical forms and processes. Man-made and procedural factors are the core aspect...

Georgy Vereisky
St Michael’s Castle

Georgy Vereisky

30 march—15 may 2017

The exhibition is aimed to widely and fully present the artistic heritage of Georgy Vereisky (1886 - 1962) for the first time.

Structures
Marble Palace

Structures

6 april—30 june 2017

The project that includes art pieces from 1960s to present time is aimed to investigate the concept of the structure (from Latin structura ‎- a fitting together, adjustment, building...

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Vasily Vereshchagin. To the 175th Anniversary of the Artist
Benois Wing

Vasily Vereshchagin. To the 175th Anniversary of the Artist

20 april—24 july 2017

The exhibition is dedicated to the 175-th anniversary of Vasily Vereshchagin, world-known Russian artist famous mainly for his battle piece...

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The Art of Novgorod the Great in the Time of Prelate Macarius
Benois Wing

The Art of Novgorod the Great in the Time of Prelate Macarius

27 april—1 august 2017

The XVIth century in Novgorod’s art history is a time of true rise but it still has never been an object of a special exhibition project ...

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Opening hours
Peter I Log Cabin

Monday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Mikhailovsky Palace, Benois Wing are open until 8:p.m.
Tuesday The Museum is closed
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Ticket offices close 30 minutes earlier

Getting here

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6 Petrovskaya Embankment

Metro - Gorkovskaya

History

The Cabin of Peter the Great on Petrograd Island is a unique architectural monument and the oldest building in St Petersburg. In the records of Peter’s time the cabin was referred to as the “Initial palace” and the “Red mansion”. The 12,7×5,7 metre cabin, made of hewn pine, was built on May 26th, 1703, in a spot chosen by Peter himself. A wooden mortar and “flaming” cannon-balls were put on the roof to symbolize Peter I’s official army title of an artillery captain.

Attempts to preserve Peter I’s first palace were made even in his time. A special protective structure held by poles, designed by D. Trezzini, was put over the cabin in 1723 and glazed in 1822. The brick case we see today was designed by architect R.I. Kuzmin in 1844. In 1899 two lobbies engineered by architect N.M. Salko were added on the northern and southern side of the brick case. The northern lobby was made for the visitors while the southern one was used for accommodating Peter I’s boat.

In 1742, by order of Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, the daughter of Peter I, a chapel of Image of the Saviour Uncreated-by-human-hands was opened in the dining room of the cabin. A family relic — the icon of the Saviour Uncreated-by-human-hands — which originally belonged to Peter I, was put in the chapel. Peter used to pray in front of the icon, asking for a blessing to found the new capital; the sacred icon followed the tsar at war, during his illness and the funeral. Nowadays the icon is kept in the Transfiguration Monastery in St Petersburg, in a special icon case in the right choir. The Chapel ceased to exist in 1929.

In the 1870s openwork cast iron railing was put around the plot surrounding the cabin and a small garden was laid out. Facing the Neva river, there is a bronze bust of Peter (designed by N.-F. Gillet and P.P.Zabello, based on B.C. Rastrelli’s original). Members of the royal family would plant trees in the garden around the cabin on special occasions. This tradition has now been revived, with Prince Michael of Kent planting an oak tree next to the cabin in May 2011.

In 1930 the Cabin of Peter the Great became a museum. In 1934 it was handed over to the Peterhof complex of Peter’s palaces and later, in 1938, it became part of Peter I’s Summer Palace museum. The cabin was not severely damaged during I Patriotic War. The museum exhibits were evacuated to the town of Sarapul near the Urals. The cabin remained protected by the museum staff and became the first museum in the city to reopen to the public, as early as in 1944.

In early 2004 The Cabin of Peter the Great became part of the State Russian Museum.

Architecture and interiors

The Cabin of Peter the Great is a simple structure with a hallway in the centre followed by the tsar’s small bedroom, and a more spacious study and dining room. The area of the cabin on the outer perimeter is 65 square metres. Remnants of the original paintwork imitating bricks can still be found on the walls of the cabin, with their unusually large multi-faceted windows. This decorative technique was typically used in wooden structures during the first years of the city’s existence.

Wall painting of the cabin is the only surviving example of its kind. The high pyramidal roof is covered with shingles — small flat wooden boards imitating tiles. During the 1971-1975 restoration, conducted by architect A.E. Gessen, the so-called “floral” ornament on window frames and doors, made with oil paints, was cleared. Herbs and flowers — roses, rosehip, peppermint, cornflowers, and carnations — intertwine against the black background. There are remnants of paintings on all internal doors of the cabin. The best preserved painting can be found on the door from the dining room to the bedroom, depicting an interior of a Western European cathedral. The inner walls of the building are upholstered with canvas, as they used to be in Peter I’s time. The windows are glazed with “moon” glass manufactured in our time using the technology of the early XVIII century.

Modern museum exhibition presented items related to Peter’s time, including the memorial. Among them: the uniformed dress of red cloth; East cane work, casting the hands of Peter with the impression made on the Lipetsk Ironworks in 1707, the boat-vereyka, chair of Peter I.

Modern exhibition of the museum comprises items dating back to Peter I’s time, including memorial paraphernalia, such as: red broadcloth uniform, an oriental cane, a model of Peter I’s hand based on an imprint made at Lipetsk foundry in 1707, a wherry, and Peter’s armchair.

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