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Personal Dacha of Catherine II at Oranienbaum photo

The architectural ensemble called the Personal Dacha of Catherine II at Oranienbaum was formed in 1762-1774. The empress Catherine II decided to build a pleasure residence near the Grand Menshikov Palace.

As is known, Oranienbaum was the first luxurious residence that the prince Menshikov built outside St. Petersburg. In the reign of the Russian empress Elizabeth it was occupied by the their to the throne Peter III and his wife Sophie Friederike Auguste Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg, the future Russian empress Catherine II.

Having come to power as a result of a coup d`état Catherine II wanted to have a place in Oranienbaum where she and her entourage could come for entertainments that she called Sobstvennaya Dacha (My Own Dacha). For the purpose she bought out from the prince Golitsyn the land abutting upon the Oranienbaum park from the west.

In 1762 on this land the architect Rinaldi was commissioned to create the palace and park complex Sobstvennaya Dacha. In included the Chinese Palace that became the main masterpiece of Oranienbaum. In the south there was built the Stone Hall Pavilion for concerts, as well as another curious pavilion called the Sliding Hill. The latter (Sliding Hill) was a splendid two-floor pavilion designed in the style of rococo where starts an alley of 300 meters leading to the north of the park. In the time of Catherine II the alley was flooded with water and turned into a big hill for sledding.

Eventually, the Sobstvennaya Dacha merged with the other attractions of Oranienbaum, and its alleys became a favorite walking place of the citizens.

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Pavilion of the Katalnaya Gorka (Sliding Hill) at the Oranienbaum park
Lower pond at the Oranienbaum park, near the palace of Peter III, where he liked to arrange the battles of his toy fleet
Pavilion of Kamennoye Zalo (Stone Hall) at the Oranienbaum park
Walking paths near the palace of Peter III at the Oranienbaum park
Stream running through the entire Oranienbaum park and falling into the Lower Pond 
Cavalry Corps at the Oranienbaum park
Picture House at the lower park of Oranienbaum
Picture House at the lower park of Oranienbaum
Lower regular park of Oranienbaum is at the terrace of the Grand Menshikov Palace
Lower regular park of Oranienbaum as viewed from the terrace of the Grand Menshikov Palace
Sculptures of the seasons of year at the lower regular park of Oranienbaum
Façade of the Katalnaya Gorka (Sliding Hill) at the park of Oranienbaum
In winter the long alley between the firs was turned into the Katalnaya Gorka (Sliding Hill)
It was between these firs thar the (Katalnaya) Gorka was created where one could sledge in winter at the park of Oranienbaum
Walking paths under the oaks at the park of Oranienbaum
Labyrinth-bushes at the lower regular park of Oranienbaum
Pond at the upper park of Oranienbaum
Upper park of Oranienbaum is very big and in places is more like a wild forest
Giant birch at the park of Oranienbaum
Walking paths under the oaks at the park of Oranienbaum
Walking paths under the oaks at the park of Oranienbaum
Walking paths under the oaks at the park of Oranienbaum