A Visit To The House of Peter the Great

A Visit To The House of Peter the Great
28 July 2015

In the centre of Saint Petersburg, a bit off the beaten track stands a small red pavilion that contains a even smaller house: Домик Петра I (Domik Petra I), the cabin of Peter the Great.

Located in Петровская набережная № 6 (Petrovskaya Naberezhnaya n. 6), this little wooden house was the first building appearing in Petersburg, from which Peter supervised the construction of Peter and Paul Fortress. In 1703 Petersburg consisted of a few villages connected together and the date of Peter’s house construction marks the foundation of the city.

The construction of Peter the Great’s first Saint Petersburg “palace” took only three day and consists in a small cabin of just 60 sq. It looks similar to a Russian Изба́ (Izba), but it’s also influenced by Swedish and Dutch architectural style. It was designed as a Dutch brick masonry, but since at the time Peter I couldn’t afford to build the house of stone, he ordered the wall to be painted as if they were mad of bricks.

The cabin is divided in three main rooms, a study, a bedroom and a dining room. The cabin is filled with Peter’s original belongings; on the table of the dining room there are samples from the first glass factory of Russia. The study contains authentic furniture and Peter’s personal belongings, besides the armchair that the Tzar made himself. In addition in the cabin there are a very small vestry-room and entrance-hall.

The cabin was moved to its present location in 1711, in fact it originally stood on the north bank of the Neva, close to the Winter Palace. The house was the first museum piece in Russian history and in 1723 Peter ordered to encase the cabin within a red brick pavilion. Later he wrote an edict with the intention of preserving the house for the descendants. The following Russian monarchs took particularly care of it, bringing it to us in perfect conditions.

Photo by User:Yanachka /CC BY

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