Lesser Palaces of Peterhof

Saint Petersburg / Russia

Besides the famous Grand Palace, Peterhof has several attractions known as Lesser palaces. They are all located in the Lower Park and include:

- Monplaisir. The name translates as my delight from French and speaks for itself. It’s the favorite palace of Peter I built in the eastern part of the Lower park right beside the Gulf of Finland according to tastes and likings of the Emperor.

- Marly. The palace is situated in western part of the park and sited at the edge of a pond so that the full façade of the palace is mirrored by the water surface, which the palace a special charm. A legend says that the palace was intended for There I’s wife Catherine I and her daughters. It is true that Catherine I did stay at the palace a few times but on the whole, when the palace was finished in 1723 it was used as a guest house for high-ranking guests.

Soon after Peter I died in February 1725, his personal belongings were moved to the Marly palace and the palace gradually became a memorial museum of Peter I. Some of Petrine memorabilia are displayed at the museum today.

- The Hermitage is a pavilion in the western part of the park built for private receptions and entertainments. The building is moated and has only one bridge which used to be a draw bridge.

The second storey has only one room with windows on all four sides. The room was intended for guests. The first storey had a kitchen, a pantry and service rooms. A table was laid for guests in the pantry and then hoisted by pulleys to the second storey. Originally, the building had no stairs, and guests were hoisted upstairs by pulley chair. Sadly, the pulley chair was soon broken and had to be replaced with a flight of stairs.

Construction of the Hermitage pavilion was completed after Peter I’s death but his wife Catherine I had frequent dinners there. Empress Elizabeth and Catherine II also liked to have private parties sans servants.

Recently the pulley device was restored, and now the museum offers special tours where the pulley is demonstrated in action.

Saint Petersburg / Russia

Suitable tours

Peterhof, tour of parks and fountain
Lesser Palaces of Peterhof Monplaisir Peterhof The Lower Park of Peterhof The Upper Garden of Peterhof
4 hours
Walking, Transport
from (
At the central Bank of Russia exchange rate, reference info
/ person