Konstantinovsky Palace, built in the XVIII century, is a historic landmark located in Strelna and about 19 km away from St. Petersburg on the road to Peterhof. Before 1917 the mansion and the estate had belonged to the imperial family and its first owner was Peter the Great. Later it was inherited by his descendents, one of them was the Grand Duke Konstantin, in whose honor the palace was named.
Just a few years ago the Konstantinovsky Palace was completely in ruins. By the 300th anniversary of the St Petersburg it had been restored (by the orders of then President Vladimir Putin), which meant a new era for the palace. The surrounding park with canals, fountains, and drawbridges was recreated to Le Blond’s original designs, complete with a water-bound pavilion by the sea shore. Now it is the state conference center and the presidential residence. The renovated Konstantinovsky Palace hosted more than fifty heads of state during St. Petersburg tercentenary celebrations in 2003, with Berlusconi, Blair and Bush among them.
In 2003 and 2006, it hosted the G8 summits. During the summits the world leaders were accommodated in 20 luxurious cottages by the sea-side, all togetherthey are called the “Consular Village”. Each of the cottages is constructed in its own style and are named after historic Russian towns. The “Baltic Star” hotel (5*) was constructed for other visitors and it looks like a historic Russian mansion. The former tsar’s stables now embrace the administrative offices of the “Palace of Congresses” – this is the current title of the park-and-palace ensemble. During the periods which are free from meetings or other important political events, the palace is open to the public.
A wide range of excursions are offered to visitors. In the palace itself you can see the Blue, Marble and “Belvedere” halls, the enfilade of the presidential suites, and you will be told about the events of the summits held there. In addition there are the following excursions (some of them are held only during the summer season):
- Peter the Great’s revitalized ideas
- The present and the past centuries
- The collection of the Konstantinovsky Palace. Alisher Usmanov’s Gift
- Russian Versailles
- The Consulate Village
- Visiting a wine cellar (including wine sampling)
- Riding the electric cars used by the world presidents during the G8 summit