Summer Palace of Peter the Great
For the wooden palace of Empress Elisabeth, see Summer Palace (Rastrelli)

The Summer Palace (Летний дворец) is a diminutive residence of Peter the Great that was built in 1710-14 in his new capital, St. Petersburg, on the bank of the Fontanka River, in what is now the Summer Garden
Summer Garden
The Summer Garden occupies an island between the Fontanka, Moika, and the Swan Canal in Saint Petersburg and shares its name with the adjacent Summer Palace of Peter the Great.-Original:...

. The design was by Domenico Trezzini
Domenico Trezzini
Domenico Trezzini was a Swiss Italian architect who elaborated the Petrine Baroque style of Russian architecture.Domenico was born in Astano, near Lugano, in the Italian-speaking Ticino . He probably studied in Rome...

. This simple Dutch-style (Petrine Baroque
Petrine Baroque
Petrine Baroque is a name applied by art historians to a style of Baroque architecture and decoration favoured by Peter the Great and employed to design buildings in the newly-founded Russian capital, Saint Petersburg, under this monarch and his immediate successors.Unlike contemporaneous Naryshkin...

) mansion contains just 14 main rooms.

The mansion was designed as an entertainment pavilion and was intended for warm weather use only. Peter moved into the partially completed palace in 1712 and spent summers here until his death in 1725. He occupied the lower level while his wife Catherine
Catherine I of Russia
Catherine I , the second wife of Peter the Great, reigned as Empress of Russia from 1725 until her death.-Life as a peasant woman:The life of Catherine I was said by Voltaire to be nearly as extraordinary as that of Peter the Great himself. There are no documents that confirm her origins. Born on...

 preferred the upper rooms.

An innovative feature of this palace is the still extant central heating
Central heating
A central heating system provides warmth to the whole interior of a building from one point to multiple rooms. When combined with other systems in order to control the building climate, the whole system may be a HVAC system.Central heating differs from local heating in that the heat generation...

 system which featured solid fuel burning boilers and elaborate porcelain
Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating raw materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between and...

 ductwork, with extensive ornamental painting. The ornamental frieze and bas-reliefs are attributed to Andreas Schlüter
Andreas Schlüter
Andreas Schlüter was a German baroque sculptor and architect associated with the Petrine Baroque style of architecture and decoration.-Biography:...


Peter's daughter Elizaveta Petrovna had her own Summer Palace built on the Field of Mars
Field of Mars (Saint Petersburg)
The Field of Mars or Marsovo Polye is a large park named after the Mars - Roman god of war situated in the center of Saint-Petersburg, with an area of about 9 hectares. Bordering the Field of Mars to the north are the Marble Palace, Suvorova Square and Betskoi’s and Saltykov’s houses. To the west...

 slightly to the west. The older palace has stood untenanted since the 1840s. Its oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

 interiors were reconstructed in the early 1960s. The house was open to the public as a branch of the Russian Museum
Russian Museum
The State Russian Museum is the largest depository of Russian fine art in St Petersburg....

 until it closed down for repairs in 2009.

See also

  • Cabin of Peter the Great
    Cabin of Peter the Great
    The cabin of Peter the Great is a small wooden house which was the first St Petersburg "palace" of Tsar Peter the Great....

The river frontage The palace in 1809 Seen from behind the railing of the Summer Garden
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