The Grand Menshikov Palace in Oranienbaum.

©Ksenia Elzes/Lonely Planet

Grand Menshikov Palace

Around St Petersburg

Menshikov’s impressive palace underwent a full restoration and reopened its state rooms in 2014. Most of the interiors are restorations of the 19th century ones, so reflect the taste of the various Romanovs who used the palace, rather than Menshikov himself, of whom there is no trace.

There are impressive ceiling mouldings in the Concert Hall, while the ground floor is given over to an exhibit about the long restoration project, but overall the palace is more impressive from the outside. Following Peter’s death and Menshikov’s exile, the palace served briefly as a hospital and then passed to Tsar Peter III. Of course, Peter III didn’t much like ruling Russia, so he spent a lot of time here before he was dispatched in a coup led by his wife, the future Catherine the Great.

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