This humble, sea-facing, wood-panelled villa was always Peter the Great’s favourite retreat and it’s easy to see why. It is snug, elegant and peaceful, even when there’s a crowd – which there used to be all the time, what with Peter’s mandatory partying (‘misbehaving’ guests were required to gulp down huge quantities of wine).
Also in this complex is an annex called the Catherine Building, which was built by Rastrelli between 1747 and 1755. Its name derives from the fact that Catherine the Great was living here when her husband Peter III was overthrown, paving the way for her ascension to the throne. The interior contains the bedroom and study of Alexander I, as well as the huge Yellow Hall. On the right side is the magnificent Bath Building, built by Quarenghi in 1800, which is nothing special inside. Look out for some more trick fountains in the garden in front of the buildings.