The most luxurious house of its time in St Petersburg, the Menshikov Palace was also the first large stone building to be constructed in the city. Standing on Vasilievsky Island, it is the only surviving private structure from the early 18th century. Designed by Italian architects, the exterior combines a western Baroque style with traditional Russian architectures that has been dubbed “Petrine Baroque.” Inside, the rooms that hosted some of the first balls in the city have been restored to their original state, with parquet floors, Dutch tiles and marble accents. The exhibits likewise take visitors back to the 18th century, with collections of European and Russian applied art from the era, as well as sculptures, paintings, engravings and furniture.
The palace has functioned as a branch of the State Hermitage Museum since 1967.
The Menshikov Palace is a branch of the State Hermitage Museum and can be visited as part of a combined ticket. It is also included in many comprehensive tours of St. Petersburg. To visit independently, take the Metro to Vasileostrovskaya or trolley number 1, 10 or 11 to Universitet. The last visitors are admitted 30 minutes before closing time. Guided tours are also available for 100 rubles.