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Oranienbaum is a Russian royal residence, located on the Gulf of Finland west of Saint-Petersburg. The Palace ensemble and the city centre are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

In 1707, four years after he founded Saint-Petersburg, Peter the Great gave the grounds near the seaside to his right-hand man, Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov. Menshikov commissioned the architects Giovanni Maria Fontana and Gottfried Schädel, who built his residence, the Grand Menshikov Palace from 1710 to 1727 (not to be confused with Menshikov Palace in Saint Petersburg, built by the same architects around the same time). The central part of the Palace is connected by two galleries with the two domed Japanese and Church Pavilions. The Lower Garden, decorated with fountains and sculptures, and the Upper Garden were laid out at the same time. The Palace is located near the Lower Park, whose composite axis is a channel leading to the sea. This channel is an imitation of one designed by Peter himself at his nearby residence of Peterhof Palace.


Menshikov was deposed shortly after Peter's death, and died in exile, and the palace passed out of his family. In 1743, Oranienbaum became the summer residence of Grand Duke Peter Fedorovitch, the heir of Empress Elizabeth (the future Emperor Peter III). Over the last ten years of Elizabeth's reign, Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli reconstructed the Grand Palace, adding beauty to its decor.

The Upper Park was laid out from 1750 to 1770.