Under Catherine I the prince Menshikov was exiled and his estates were confiscated. Under Elizabeth in 1750 the Oranienbaum palace was given to the heir to the throne and there was built the «toy» fortress Peter Stadt or the Palace of Peter III.
The architectural ensemble of Peter Stadt was built in the Lower Park of Oranienbaum by the architect Rinaldi. It was a fortress with bastions and 12 cannons, built for teaching military science to the future heir to the throne.
To our time there survived only the Palace of Peter III and the Honorable Gate, and in the time of Peter III inside the bastions there were many closely spaced wooden houses. There were located the arsenal for weapons, the barracks for soldiers, the houses for officers, the stables, and the guardhouse. The number of Holstein regiments located there reached up to 1500 soldiers.
In 1762 the palace revolution took place, as a result of which Catherine II ascended the throne and her husband Peter III was murdered at the Ropshinski palace. The Holstein garrison of Peter Stadt was ready to defend Peter III, but after his murder it was useless, so the garrison was disbanded and sent to Hostein (Denmark). Eventually, all wooden houses fell into decay and were dismantled.
The Palace of Peter III survived to our time, and, considering that Oranienbaum wasn’t captured by the German during World War II, there remained the original interiors dating back to the middle of the 18 century. You should note the picture room where Peter III liked to play violin after the drilling in the fortress. The architect Rinaldi created wonderful acoustic conditions in this room.
In 1760 near the Palace of Peter III there was created the ensemble of Sobstvennaya Dacha of Oranienbaum, with the Chinese palace being its germ. The Great Menshikov Palace, which was the beginning of Oranienbaum, is at a significant distance.