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Peter I House in Saint Petersburg

A small museum called Peter I House is on the Petrovskaya Naberezhnaya (Peter`s Embankment), not far from the Peter and Paul Fortress. It is a small wooden house within a larger brick building. It is the very first structure of St. Petersburg, which was built for three days for Peter the Great.

The construction of Peter I House was started on May 24 and finished on May 27 of 1703. After the house was finished a celebration in honor of the annexation of new lands and the foundation of a new city was organized. Eventually, St. Petersburg became the ceremonial capital of the Russian Empire, and May 27, 1703 is considered the date of its foundation. 

Originally, Peter I House was directly at the bridge to the Peter and Paul Fortress. It is from there that tsar supervised its construction. Later, in 1710, the Summer Palace was built on the left bank of the Neva. Peter the Great moved to the palace and the small house stood empty until 1731. 

Under Anna of Russia it was decided to preserve the house as a museum. At first a stone gallery was erected around the house. But the gallery didn`t save it from floods. In 1784 the house was moved a bit farther from the Peter and Paul Fortress and enclosed in a stone building. In 1844 the stone building was reconstructed, and since that time the museum remained intact to our days.

Although the tzar lived in the house, it has very modest interior and exterior. The walls of the house were made of pine timber, and the facade was simulated as brick, as the tsar dreamt that all houses would be of stone in a new capital. The roof of the house is covered by shingles (a rectangular wooden tile), with a small gun and balls carved on the ridge. 

The area of inner rooms is only 60 meters, the height of ceiling is 2 meters (tzar was 2.04 m tall). The walls and the ceiling were covered by canvas. The main rooms of the house were a study, a dining-room and a bedroom. The furnishing and some personal belongings remained intact since the time of Peter the Great.