The Botik of Peter the Great Museum Estate is one of the oldest museums outside the capital cities of Russia. It was created by I. M. Dolgorukov, the governor of Vladimir province, in 1803. Its main exhibit is the original boat of the «toy fleet» Peter the Great used to learn to sail on waters near Moscow.
At the beginning of the 18 century, in the reign of Peter I, Russia still had no outlets to the sea, which slowed down its development. And the Russian merchants had to trade only through the port of Arkhangelsk, which was unavailable for the most part of the year.
Understanding the imminence of a war with Sweden for the access to the Baltic Sea Peter I decided to create the so-called «funny flotilla» (training fleet) on Lake Pleshcheevo near Pereslavl-Zaleski in 1692. Lake Pleshcheevo was chosen for the purpose because it was a large water body nearest to Moscow on the way to Arkhangelsk port.
When the Northern War began in 1701, the sailors went to serve on the real warships based at Arkhangelsk port. The toy fleet consisting of more than a hundred big and boats was also preserved. But, unfortunately, in 1783 the toy fleet was burnt during a big fire. Only the boat called «Fortune» survived as it was at a distance from the rest of the toy fleet.
Today «Fortune» is over a three hundred years old, but the boat is in a very good condition. The monument in memory of Peter the Great was opened in 1852. The Rotunda was built for dance balls and receptions. The Triumphal arch was erected at the end of the alley. The estate acquired its today appearance after the construction of the «White palace» in 1853. In 1913, by the visit of Nicholas II, the belvedere and the landing were built on the shore of the lake. A modern monument to the young Peter I was opened on the slope of Gremyach hill in 1992.