The Konstantinovsky Palace (Great Strelna Palace) is a revived monument of history and architecture of the 18th century, a palace and park ensemble in the city of Strelna, the former residence of the Grand Dukes of the Romanovs. It stands on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, 19 kilometers from St. Petersburg.
History of the Constantine Palace
The birth of the Strelna garden and park ensemble began in the 18th century. At this time, Emperor Peter I decided to build a front imperial residence near St. Petersburg.
The brainchild of Emperor Peter I
The tsar was looking for a place suitable for the construction of the palace for a long time and wanted it to surpass the Parisian Versailles in its luxury. He liked the territory near the Strelka River on the coast of the Gulf of Finland.
The palace was founded in 1720. The emperor planned that fountains would flow around his residence around the clock. It took 11 years to draw up the project and select architects. The final choice fell on the Italian Nicolo Michetti.
It turned out that the peculiarities of the soil do not allow feeding the fountains. Michetti was unable to implement the project of the sovereign. The case was continued by master B. Rastrelli.
In 1750, despite a lot of difficulties, Strelna Palace was built for the Emperor of Russia Peter the Great.
Until 1917, the estate belonged to the Russian imperial family. The first owner is Peter the Great. In 1791, Paul I presented the palace to his son, Prince Konstantin Pavlovich, thanks to which the large palace and park received its present name - Konstantinovsky.
The new owner changed the design. The interiors were decorated in the antique style, the ceremonial enfilade was erected. The sequential placement of several adjacent rooms located on the same axis gave the building a special charm.
The facades were decorated with elegant balconies, the belvedere room allowed admiring the surroundings of the beautiful park. The newly painted halls delighted the eye with a combination of colors and unusual subjects.
After the 1917 revolution, the estate housed a colony school, later a sanatorium and naval courses.
During the Great Patriotic War, the palace and park complex was almost completely destroyed. It was restored by 1950 with the active participation of the cadets of the Arctic School. For 45 years, meteorologists, aerologists, radio operators, hydrologists, electromechanics, ship mechanics for polar stations and the merchant fleet have been trained here.
Since 1980, after the closure of the school, the palace began to fall into disrepair. In 1986, its roof and interior decoration burned down. Rain and snow began to destroy the building, turning it into ruins. The garden with willows and oaks, where Chaliapin's voice once sounded, is overgrown with nettles.
Revival of the complex
In 2000, the palace with the surrounding land of about 200 hectares was transferred to the balance of the Administrative Department of the President of the Russian Federation. From that time on, construction and restoration work began.
The federal center allocated a lot of money for the restoration. Construction work took place day and night.
The palace facades and interiors, the park, and the canal system were restored according to old drawings. Hydraulic engineers deepened the channels to receive yachts and river vessels. Fountains and bridges were built, three of them are drawbridges.
Petersburg botanists planted the garden with new plants and trees. As a result of titanic efforts, the Constantine Palace rose from oblivion.
On May 31, 2003, the building of the tsarist era appeared in all its glory. Thanks to sponsorship from private Russian companies, the Konstantinovsky Palace was restored in 1,5 years.
New life in the 21st century
In 2001, by decree of the President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin, the State Complex "Palace of Congresses" was created on the basis of the palace and park ensemble, the historical residence of the Romanov princes.
Since that time, the complex has a second, modern name "Palace of Congresses". It combines completely different functions: a beautiful palace and park ensemble and a state residence, a modern business center and a historical and cultural reserve.
The palace is surrounded by canals and a park with a magnificent rose garden and a unique ensemble of fountains "Flowers".
"Congress Palace" - business center
The complex is located in Strelna, in a historical park area. It includes:
- Constantine Palace.
- Lower and Upper parks.
- The pavilion of negotiations, located on Petrovsky Island.
- Modern Press Center.
- Five-star hotel "Baltic Star".
- Consular village.
- Stables building.
- Tour agency.
- A restaurant.
- Berth for yachts and ships.
The official opening of the Constantine Palace took place on May 31, 2003. The entire complex is rightfully considered one of the most prestigious venues for events of any level.
All halls are equipped with the latest technology, satellite communications, the latest electronics. Not far is the Consular Village, which consists of 20 two-storey cottages, styled in antiquity.
Since the official opening, important political meetings and important international events have been held. Here passed:
- Russia-EU summit.
- Meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the Group of Eight.
- GXNUMX Leaders Summit.
Historical interiors have now been restored, several exhibitions have been opened:
- In the summer of 2005, 4 paintings were transferred to the museum collection from Germany as part of the return of cultural property.
- In 2007, the Konstantinovsky Palace hosted a collection of art collected by Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya.
- The treasure of the Naryshkins is stored here - a collection of silver items of the 19th century. The collection contains over 2000 perfectly preserved exhibits: sets, coffee pots, cups, sets of spoons and knives.
The "Palace of Congresses" complex is a specially protected area. The Konstantinovsky Palace is open for visits only as part of an excursion group.
How to get to the Constantine Palace
The palace is located at the address: Strelna, Berezovaya Alleya, house number 3. The most convenient option to get to it from St. Petersburg is a car. It takes about an hour to get from Nevsky Prospekt to the Strelna palace and park ensemble by car.
The route from St. Petersburg to the Palace of Congresses in Strelna on the map - Google Maps
You can also get to the Konstantinovsky Palace by bus or fixed-route taxi. Travel time will be about 30 minutes.
Most often they use the transport that runs from the metro stations of the red line:
- from st. Avtovo - buses No. 200, 210, 401, minibuses No. K-300, 401A, K-404, K-424, tram No. 36 (travel time about 1 hour);
- from st. Leninsky Prospect - minibuses No. 103, 420;
- from st. "Prospect Veterans" - minibuses No. 343;
- from st. "Baltic" - bus number 404.
In addition, you can go to Strelna by train, which runs from the Baltic station. This is one of the fastest routes as it only takes 20 minutes.
Taxi and transfer
Traveling by public transport is not always convenient, so you can use taxi services. Mobile applications of popular services in Russia operate in St. Petersburg - Yandex.Taxi, Uber, Maxim, Gett, Lucky and others.