Royal residence Oranienbaum is situated in Lomonosov, 40km from St-Petersburg, on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. The town of Lomonosov was actually called Oranienbaum until 1948. The residence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The history of Oranienbaum started in the beginning of the 18th century, when Alexander Menshikov, the closest companion of Peter the Great, built a residence with a park and a palace opposite Kronstadt. Oranienbaum was meant to be a part of a majestic view for those who come to the Russian capital by sea. The main residence of one of the state’s first nobles had to be the symbol of Russia’s triumph in the Great Northern War.

The German word Oranienbaum means “an orange tree”. A legend says that during the Great Northern War a small greenhouse with orange trees was found on the territory of Menshikov’s future estate, and every tree had a label “Oranienbaum”. Peter I loved the discovery and wished to give this name to the estate. An orange tree became the symbol of the residence and the town.

The residence was owned by Peter II, Catherine II, Alexander I and others. After the Revolution of 1917 the estate was used by educational and military institutions and hospitals. During World War II the estate was in the fascist encirclement but due to the courage of the Soviet soldiers the palaces and the pavilions with all the collections were preserved intact.

The park of Oranienbaum, covering the territory of 162 hectares, is a precious example of the 18th-19th centuries park art.

Opening hours: The park is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Entrance fee: Free

Address: Dvorstovyypr-t, 46, Lomonosov, Saint-Petersburg.

How to get to Oranienbaumfrom Saint-Petersburg:

 from Avtovo metro station take minibus T-300, T-424A
 from Prospekt Veteranov metro station take minibus T-343
 from Baltiyskaya metro station take minibus T-404
 from Baltic railway station take a train to Oranienbaum railway station

The website of Oranienbaum: http://peterhofmuseum.ru

The Grand Menshikov Palace Museum

The Grand Menshikov Palace is the oldest building of Oranienbaum built in 1711-1727 on the shore of the Gulf of Finland.

A two-storeyed palace decorated with a Prince’s crown lies between one-storeyed round galleries that finish with two pavilions. The guests used to reach the palace by ship via a channel created in 1719.
Photo by Mariya Anashina

A legend says that it was the Grand Menshikov Palace where Peter III signed his demise in favour of his wife after only 186 days of reign. Catherine became the new empress of Russia and the new owner of Oranienbaum.

The Grand Menshikov Palace is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry to the palace is until 5 p.m.

Ticket office is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Add mission to the Grand Menshikov Palace: ticket price is 400 rubles.

The Katalnaya Gorka Pavilion

The Pavilion of Katalnaya Gorka is the most impressive one of all the Oranienbaum buildings. It towers on a ledge near the shore like a light house and is seen from far away. The pavilion is the only part left from a huge entertainment construction, summer Russian mountains called Katalnaya Gorka. Each interior of the pavilion is unique. The China cabinet that contains an exceptional collection of china is of the greatest value.

The collection was created specially for this interior at Maisenskaya manufacture in 1772-1774. Catherine II held receptions and dinners in this building.

The pavilion is closed for a reconstruction at the moment.

The Palace of Peter III

In the 18th century there was a tradition of building “toy” fortresses in summer residences that were used for the entertainment of noble children. Peter stadt for tress was built in Oranienbaum for Grand Duke Peter Fedorovitch, the future Emperor Peter III. The palace of Peter III and the Gates of Honour are the only buildings that remained of the fortress.

The palace was not meant for any ceremonies and receptions, it was a private place for having rest after military exercises. The owner created his own cozy and wonderful world of a musician and a passionate collector. The ground floor is occupied by service spaces having no special decoration. Six rooms on the second floor fully satisfy all the court requirements. It is seen not in the luxury but in the refinement of the materials used for the decoration. The Palace of Peter III was not damaged during World War II and is pristine. Visitors have a unique chance of walking along the rooms that retain the memories of an unusual Russian emperoror going down a secret spiral staircase from the emperor’s chambers to the Peterstadt fortress. The museum keeps some personal belongings of Peter III like a cocked hat, a scarf and a full-dress uniform of a Golshtinsky infantry regiment colonel.

The palace is closed for a reconstruction at the moment.

The Chinese palace

The Chinese palace, situated in the Upper park, is a part of the Private Dacha of Catherine II. “Private” means that the residence was for the royals’ personal use and only selected persons were invited here.

The most famous room of the Chinese palace is the Spangle-work cabinet that retained its authentic decoration from the 1760s. The cabinet walls are embellished

with twelve spangle panels that are canvases with spangles (beads of milky glass) and multi-colored fleecy silkembroidery.

Plafonds created specially for the Chinese palace are the most significant part of the art collection that has no matches in Russia. The majority of the plafonds are painted by the top masters of the Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Venice. The pride of the palace is its unique parquet that covers 722 square metres and is without equal in the world when it comes to the richness and the variety of the wood types, the complexity of the patterns and craftsmanship.

Opening hours:The palace is open daily from 10: a.m. to 6 p.m.

Ticket office is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Entrance fee: Ticket price is 500 rubles.

The Stone Hall Pavilion

A small palace known as the Stone Hall was intended for concerts, masquerades and balls during the stay of Grand Duke Peter Feodorovich, the future Emperor Peter III, and his wife – Grand Duchess Catherine Alekseevna.

The place in front of the pavilion was decorated by illumination for celebrations. Tables were there too. The alley became as cenefor performances.

The pavilion underwent several reconstructions in the 19th-20thcenturies.

Currently, the Stone Hall houses concerts both of chamber and opera music that sound magnificently here. There is also an interactive cinema in the Hall, celebrations and exhibitions are held regularly including and exposition of sculptures of the Oranienbaum historical collection.

Opening hours: the pavilion is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Entrance fee: 250 rubles.

The Chinese Kitchen pavilion

The Chinese kitchen pavilion was built on the eastern shore of the pond near the Chinese palace in the early 1850s. The pavilion received its name because of its roof that looks like a Chinese pagoda. The building was used for cooking dishes that were then delivered to the Chinese palace.

The pavilion underwent several reconstructions. During the Soviet period the stoves were destroyed and the building

was used as a block of communal flats. The chimney in the centre of the hall is the only reminder of the pavilion’s original function. At present, the lower hall is free of all partitions and is used for temporary exhibitions of Oranienbaum.

Opening hours:The pavilion is openfrom 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Entrance fee: 250 rubles.

The Picture House museum

The Picture house, erected in the 1750s, used to house the court theatre, an art collection, a library and the Cabinet of curiosities of Grand Duke Peter Fedorovitch and was a great example of a universal private collection of the 18th century.

5 rooms are currently openforvisitors: the Double-light room (a room with two rows of windows, one above the other),

the Picture room, the Cabinet-Library and two rooms of the Cabinet of curiosities.

The Double-light and the Picture room present more than 80 paintings of west-European artists of the 16th-18th centuries from the museum collection.


The Cabinet of curiosities preserves a collection of the Chinese arts and crafts of the late 17th – 18th centuries including objects from the private collection of Peter Fedorovitch. Uniquepiecesoffurniturefor storing the minerals, china and jewelry collections created on the order of Peter Fedorovitch have a special place in the exhibition.

Currently, the reconstructed Opera hall houses a multi-media performance devoted to the history of the Russian baroque theatre. The performance contains parts of Francesco Araja’s operas together with set sketches by Gіuseppe Valeriani and costume sketches by Louis-René Boquet.

Opening hours: The museum is open from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry to the museum is until 5 p.m.

Ticket office is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Entrance fee: Ticket price is 500 rubles.

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