Alexander Menshikov (1673-1729) was a good friend and companion of Peter the Great. He came from a very humble background, but was quickly promoted by Peter to become a duke (1707) and the Governor General of St. Petersburg. Under his supervision the Peter and Paul Fortress and the fort of Kronshlot (now Kronshtadt) in the Gulf of Finland were built. Being the Governor General, he commissioned a large palace on Vasilievsky Island, where he lived till 1727. Since the palace was the most luxurious house in town (far superior to the Summer Palace of Peter the Great) many official functions also took place there.
After Peter's death in 1725, Menshikov did his best to ensure that the throne would pass safely to Peter's wife Catherine I. For two years Menshikov effectively ruled the country. In 1727, a few weeks before his daughter's marriage to the heir to the throne, Menshikov was accused of treason and stealing government money and was exiled with his whole family to Siberia.
From 1732 to 1918 the palace was used by a military school, and in 1967 it was given to the Hermitage. Now, with the early 18th century interiors restored, it houses a collection of Russian culture of the first third of the 18th century...
Location: 15, Universitetskaia Naberezhnaia (Embankment),St-Petersburg.
Open 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Closed Mondays.