The Summer Palace of Peter I is a modest two-story building in the Summer Garden. It does not look like true tsar palaces, as we see them in the suburbs of St. Petersburg, however, it has at least the same historical value, since the palace has remained intact since the time of Peter I. This is one of the oldest stone buildings in the city.
The very first house of Peter the Great, in which he lived from 1703 through 1708, during the construction of the Peter and Paul Fortress, was wooden. Now you can see the house in a stone «case» on the opposite bank of the Neva. Peter I began to build his own stone house in the Summer Garden, which, with reservations, can be called a tsar garden, only in 1708, and finished it in 1714. Peter himself drew the layout, and an architect Trezzini only put it into life.
The house had very thin walls and single-frame windows, so you could live in it only in summer. The layout of the floors is completely identical. Totally, there are 14 rooms in the house. Peter lived on the lower floor, and his wife Catherine occupied the upper floor.
About the same time, in 1710, Alexander Menshikov, a courtier of Peter the Great, began the construction of an immense palace for himself. Menshikov palace and park occupied a significant part of Vasilyevsky Island Peter I gave to Menshikov. Foreigners called his palace «the most magnificent in all of Petersburg». At the same time, Peter I was quite satisfied with a small summer house.
It is very interesting to see the interiors of that time in the Summer Palace of Peter the Great. Among the exhibits there are wooden items that were personally carved by Peter I. Of particular interest is the study of Peter I.