, Russia). After restoration, it looks gorgeous. Peter I wanted to create Russian Versailles on the Gulf of Finland, but there was a better place, and now Petergof is located there. The Konstantin Palace got its rebirth during the celebration of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, as it is here that the official events were held at the highest level. Now this is the National Congress Palace - the residence of the President of Russia. Meetings and forums, banquets and secular receptions are held in the renovated staterooms.
It is easy to get there: all you need is to book a tour online and come to a specified time. A group of visitors is formed and a guide makes a tour through the halls of the palace.
Once on the parade ground in front of the Konstantin Palace, there was another statue - the archangel Michael, and now there's a monument to Peter the Great. It is copied from the one, which was once installed in Riga.
The palace was built at the time of the reign of Peter the Great, and the decoration of halls started only during the reign of Empress Elizabeth. The final works were completed when Duke Konstantin Pavlovich was the owner. Then the palace was rebuilt after a fire, and the palace housed a children's colony in 1918. During World War II the building was badly damaged. After that, there have been several attempts to recover the building, but finally, the palace sprang only by 2003. According to the project, the historical appearance of the interiors was recreated with respect to the new destination of this place. Art decoration of almost all the interiors of the palace was nearly restored, as well as several rooms were equipped for public events with up to date security systems, information and communication systems. This is a mix of the current and the last century.
There's a floral living room in the photo.
This is a Blue Hall. It is the biggest hall of all. Earlier balls took place in this room, and now - conferences, gala dinners, and concerts of classical music. Fireplaces have been restored, but not used, as there's a modern heating. During summit days of the Group of Eight (G8 as of 2014) in 2006, working breakfast of the heads of states were held in the Blue Hall, as well as the protocol ceremony photography.
This gilding is the only thing that does not correspond to the historical truth. It was not originally there.
The palace has a magnificent view of the park, canal and the Gulf of Finland.
The palace has three floors, but looking in the stairwell you realize that it is the height of the six-storied building.
The belvedere is designed for informal meetings in a narrow circle. In 2003, Putin met President Bush there, and in the framework of the Group of Eight summit in 2006, bilateral talks were held there repeatedly. The hall is decorated in the form of a wardroom with an access to the observation deck. The panoramic window overlooks the park and the Gulf of Finland. There are stairs to ascend to the turret, which crowns the central part of the palace, but it is not allowed to go there.
This is a gilded ship rostrum with the figure of the goddess of victory Nike, who ascends a wreath of Fame above the chairs of negotiators. It is hard to imagine that there was a dovecote in the time of the children's commune.
The Marble Hall is the second largest after the Blue Hall. Formerly, it was known as the Central Hall. It hosts important national events such as the summit meeting of the Russia-European Union and the Group of Eight (G8 as of 2014) summit. The ceremony of awarding of the winners of various awards are also held in this hall. As in the 19th century, the walls are decorated with artificial marble, which was a new and fashionable trend, as it allowed to get more interesting shades of stone. The ceiling is made in grisaille technique.
The Trojan Hall is the third largest after the Marble and the Blue ones. Usually, it is used for negotiations of a group up to 20 people. Traditionally, the Security Council meetings involving the President of the Russian Federation are held there, as well as the President's meeting with the heads of states and governments. The tables are collapsible and they may be changed depending on the event. The walls are also lined with artificial marble. Copies of antique busts of Roman emperors Julius Caesar and Marcus Aurelius are installed on the chimney-piece.
This is Dionysus living room. Its name owes to the design motifs of ancient Greek myths about the god of wine and trade. There's a copy of a painting "View of Odessa in moonlight night " by Aivazovsky on the wall. The original is kept in the Russian Museum, but initially, it was here in the Konstantin Palace.
This is the Minerva living room. On the walls, there are portraits of the Duke Konstantin Pavlovich the Great and his wife - Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna the Great.
This is the Mermaids living room. The images of nymphs that live in the cool shady forests and caves are used in the design of the ceiling. The paintings are made in grisaille technique as the paintings in some other rooms. On the walls, there are copies of paintings "Seascape" of Follmer and "Palermo View" of Dukler. The room is used for bilateral meetings, as well as for the protocol of photographing.
There's an elevator in the palace. Now it has a modern cabin, but formerly it was a lifting mechanism with a chair, driven by hand by specially trained people!
We were asked not to take photos of the next three halls.
The ground floor has a complex of premises of the palace kitchen for informal communication: there's a billiard room, Fortuna rest room, Dutch room and drinking room. The floors are paved with two-color marble tile. There are stained-glass windows, and the slopes are decorated with Dutch tiled tiles painted with cobalt - everything is according to the fashion of that times.
This is the Dutch Hall or refectory room. The fireplace is valid. As it was mentioned, the open fire helps to create a warm and intimate atmosphere.
This is a garden stool in the Chinese style. Coals were put inside, and a pillow was placed on top - so it was warm to sit on it.
This is a tile above the fireplace.
The palace has wine cellars. Currently, the collection includes about 13,000 bottles. There is a special tour during which you are suggested to taste several varieties.
There's a separate tour around the park.
This is the gate leading to the park. A road leads to the cottage "Consular Village".
This is a bridge and a dam.
In general, the tour in the Konstantin Palace was interesting.