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Sunday, November 17, 2019

In 18th century this territory was belonged to duke Alexander Menshikov and nemed Oranienbaum (means orange tree in German). Menshikov built here own Grand Palace which has been preserved to our days. Later Peter III and Catherin the Great were living here. EmpressturnOranienbaumintosummerresidence. In 1948 town was renamed Lomonosov in honor of the great Russian scientist, educator and poet – Mikhail Lomonosov.

Lomonosov town located 40 km away from St. Petersburg  on the southern coast of Finnish Gulf. At the beginning of the 18th century Peter the Great presented the vast territory to duke Alexander Menshikov. Giovanni Mario Fontana and Gottfried Schadel started to build Grand Menshikov Palace which was outdoing the palace of Peter the Great in Peterhofe. Historical name of town Oranienbaum means orange tree in German. In his country residence Menshikov arranged a greenhouse for planting of all possible exotic trees, oranges among them.  hill

In 1727 Menshikov was exiled to Siberia and all his property passed to the national treasury. In 1743 Empress Elizaveta Petrovna presented Oranienbaum to her heir – the future Peter III. For the new owner the Great Palace was rebuilt and the ensemble was enriched with several new constructions. Among the most interesting ones the unique Poteshny fortress Peterstadt that was specially built for the war-games of the small emperor should be mentioned. Unfortunately only the Gate of Honor designed by architect Rinaldi has preserved till nowadays.

Under Catherine the Great the palace and park ensemble of Oranienbaum was reconstructed by architect Antonio Rinaldi. He designed the ensemble of the so-called "Personal Dacha" that comprised the splendid Chinese Palace, the Sliding Hill Pavilion and the surrounding Upper Park. Although the Empress spent a fortune on her new residence she rarely lived there.

chinese_palaceSoon after the revolution of 1917 the parks and palaces of Oranienbaum were nationalized and turned into a museum. In 1948 Pranienbaum was renamed Lomonosov in honor of great Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov. Most likely the town was renamed to get rid of the odious German name that after World War II acquired many painful associations.

Nowadays restoration works are still on and Oranienbaum has the status of a state museum-preserve. 

 

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