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Dashi Namdakov
St Michael’s Castle

Dashi Namdakov

12 december 2018—11 march 2019

Dashi Namdakov's work is closely tied to the national Buryat culture, Mongolian epos and the legends and parables of Buddhism, and distinguished by academic precision, particular...

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Headscarves and Shawls in Russia from the 18th to the 21st  Century
Benois Wing

Headscarves and Shawls in Russia from the 18th to the 21st  Century

20 december 2018—11 march 2019

The exhibition will present more than 600 works of various types of textile art, painting, graphics, decorative and applied art, an...

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Andrei Dubov
Marble Palace

Andrei Dubov

23 january—11 march 2019

The work of Andrei Dubov, Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, is associated with the consistent development of key categories of painting: color, composition, and space. Focusing...

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Solomon Yudovin. Siege Graphics from the Russian Museum Collection and Collection of Evgeny Gerasimov
Stroganov Palace

Solomon Yudovin. Siege Graphics from the Russian Museum Collection and Collection of Evgeny Gerasimov

24 january—1 april 2019

The exhibition is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the lifting of the siege of Leni...

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The 5th Photobiennale of Contemporary Photography
Marble Palace

The 5th Photobiennale of Contemporary Photography

31 january—25 march 2019

Engaging both professional and amateur photographers, the Biennale aims to reflect the diversity of techniques, genres, and stylistic trends in con...

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Woodcuts from the Russian Museum Collection
St Michael’s Castle

Woodcuts from the Russian Museum Collection

7 february—18 march 2019

The exhibition will present a large-scale panorama of the development of woodcut from the late 17th century to the beginning of the 21st century, from&nb...

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Nicholas I
St Michael’s Castle

Nicholas I

13 february—20 may 2019

The exhibition from the cycle “The Romanovs Family Saga” covers the personality and state affairs of Emperor Nicholas I, as reflected in the works of painting, graphics, numismatics and ...

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Opening hours
Peter I Summer Palace

Peter I Summer Palace

Getting here

St. Petersburg, the Summer Garden

Metro - Gostiny Dvor, Nevsky Prospekt, Chernyshevskaya

History

Peter I’s Summer Palace in St Petersburg was built in 1710-1712 by architect Domenico Trezzini. Facades and interiors were decorated by architects and sculptors from Western Europe — A. Schluter, G.-I. Mattarnovi, and J.-B. Leblond.

The palace has had a fortunate history. Since Peter I’s time the palace hasn’t been rebuilt, though some damage has been done to the interior design. To date, the layout and the exterior of the palace have remained untouched, so have the allegorical ceiling paintings and certain pieces of furniture — pinewood wardrobes, tiled stoves and walls covered with painted Dutch tiles, wooden panels on the walls of the rooms on the first floor, the interior of the Lower and the Upper Kitchen and the Green Study. Peter I’s unique wind indicator in Peter’s Study is still showing the direction and speed of the wind as well as the time. Danzig cupboard on the second floor, according to a legend, was used by Peter for keeping his underwear and jackboots.

The Summer Palace is valuable not only as one of the early architectural monuments of St Petersburg but also as an illustration of the tastes, interests and aspirations of Peter’s, which were all reflected in the architecture of this building.

For his future residence Peter chose a well lived-in and conveniently located farmstead on the headland between the Neva river and the Nameless Canal (today’s Fontanka river). The farmstead was an estate that belonged to Swedish Major E.B. von Konow, comprising a small house with a backyard and a garden. Initially Peter might have stayed in Konow’s house, though, quite likely, there was a house built specially for him from the outset.

The new tsar’s mansion was built by Ivan Matveev (Ugryumov), who was in charge of all construction work at the former Swedish farmstead from 1705 to 1707. It is this mansion that was described in 1710-1711 by the author of “The description of St Petersburg and Kronshlot”: “Right next to the river, — he says, — there is a tsar’s residency, namely, a small house of Dutch design with a garden, brightly painted, with gilt window panes and lead ornaments.”

By order of Peter a stone building was erected by architect Trezzini on the spot of his previous house. On April 17, 1712 Peter moved into the Summer Palace.

After Peter’s death, followed by the death of his wife two years later, the Summer Palace lost its significance as a tsar’s residence. For a while court servants, a linen-keeper with laundresses and seamstresses still lived there, but in the reign of Elizaveta Petrovna, the daughter of Peter I, who revered the memory of her father, the servants moved out and the palace was restored. It was then used as a summer residence for high officials of the time.

An exhibition of paraphernalia dating back to Peter’s time was held in the palace for the 200 year anniversary of St Petersburg. Portraits and prints, banners, armament, pieces of furniture and applied art, books and sketches were brought from royal palaces, the Hermitage, and the state archive. Peter I’s bed brought from Alexander Nevsky Monastery is still on display as part of the palace exhibition.

After 1917 the palace was preserved as a historical and architectural monument but didn’t have a museum status. It was protected and maintained by for guards. In 1925 the palace was handed over to the department of history and living environment of the State Russian Museum, and exhibitions held there were not related to the historical past of the palace.

In 1934 Peter I’s Summer Palace became an independent memorial, historical and art museum. Displayed at the exhibition are Peter I’s clothes, furniture, paintings and prints, and pieces of applied art of Peter I’s time.

During I Patriotic War the Summer Palace was damaged by the blast wave but it was restored as early as 1946 and opened to the public the year after. In the 1960s the palace underwent extensive restoration supervised by architect A.E. Gessen.

Since 2004 the palace has been part of the State Russian Museum.

The Summer Palace of Peter I currently is closed for reconstruction.

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