Lomonosov is a town located along the Peterhof road, about 40km from St Petersburg. If you are planning a tour to Peterhof, Lomonosov is just down the road (20 minute drive) so we recommend you to visit them together. Lomonosov contains several parks and palaces including the Sliding Hill Pavilion, the Grand Menshikov Palace (not to be confused with the other Menshikov Palace in the center of St Petersburg), The Palace of Peter III, The Chinese Palace, and the Stone Hall Pavilion.
The Sliding Hill Pavilion is one of the only palaces in the vicinity of St Petersburg which survived the chaos of World War II. It was built between 1762 to 1774 by Antonio Rinaldi and opened as a museum in 1959 Catherine II referred to the Sliding Hill Pavilion as her «Chinese box». The style of the palace is a whimsical mixture of chinoiserie and rococo styles with the abundance of artificial marble and superb parquet floors.
The Grand Menshikov Palace with the Lower Regular Garden was constructed by Giovanni Maria Fontana and Gottfried Schedel in 1711 − 1727 for Prince Alexander Menshikov, the first Governor General of St Petersburg, the closest associate of Peter I. The Menshikov Palace, along with the other palaces was built after Russia extended its empire after achieving victory in The Great Northern War (1700 − 1721) against the Swedish which left Russia as the new major power in the Baltic Sea. Grand Menshikov Palace Menshikov Palace is connected by Japanese and Church styled domed pavilions. The lower garden contains a number of fountains and sculptures. Near the palace is the lower park, which has a channel leading to the sea, much like the one at Peterhof.
The Palace of Peter the Third was also built by Antonio Rinaldi between 1759 − 1762 for Grand Duke Peter Fedorovich. The largest room of the palace is the paintings hall, containing works from Italian, Flemish, Dutch, German painters from the 18th-19th centuries. The main hall, being designed with rounded corners, has excellent acoustics — Peter III enjoyed playing his violin here. In 1761 − 1762 the walls were decorated with beautiful oriental style paintings by Fedor Vlasov. Of particular value are two walnut chairs, bought by Peter III in Paris. Also in the palace is the uniform of Colonel Holstein along with a sword, cocked hat and scarf. Colonel Holstein was the commander of the palace and was often seen in this uniform greeting visitors from the balcony. The palace was not damaged in World War II and remains in its original condition.
The Chinese Palace was built in 1762 − 1768 by Italian architect Antonio Rinaldi and was originally only one story tall, but in the middle of the 19th century was added onto one of the most beautiful things about this palace is the painted ceilings and walls which were made specifically for the Chinese Palace Empress Catherine II used the palace as her private country house and the occasional diplomatic reception, usually only her close friends visited her here. The Chinese Palace was opened as a museum in 1922. It originally had marble floors, but they were replaced by the unique parquet floors in place now which were elegantly designed Antonio Rinaldi with several other architects and Russian carpenters. The Chinese Palace represents the influence of fashion and aesthetics of the 18th century, it was decorated by some of the top European and Russian artists with great skill and pride.
The Stone Hall Pavilion was built between 1751 − 1752 and is located in the Upper Garden. The wooden wing of the palace was demolished in the 19th century and the main part — the Stone Hall was retained as an independent structure. In 1847, the building was made into a Lutheran church, and on Sundays held religious services with organ music. Please note — Oranienbaum is currently closed for repairs.