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. The design was by Domenico Trezzini. This simple Dutch-style (Petrine Baroque) 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 preferred the upper rooms.
An innovative feature of this palace is the extant central heating system which featured solid fuel burning boilers and elaborate porcelain ductwork, with extensive ornamental painting. The ornamental frieze and bas-reliefs are attributed to Andreas Schlüter.
Peter's daughter Elizaveta Petrovna had her own Summer Palace built on the Field of Mars slightly to the west. The older palace has stood untenanted since the 1840s. Its oak interiors were reconstructed in the early 1960s. The house was open to the public as a branch of the Russian Museum until it closed down for repairs in 2009.
|The river frontage||The palace in 1809||Seen from behind the railing of the Summer Garden|