Oranienbaum palace and park ensemble grew out of the homonymous estate of Duke Menshikov on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland. Construction of the Grand Menshikov Palace - a two-storey building with the adjacent oval galleries - was completed in 1727. From the central building, a channel was dug to the Gulf for the ships with guests to arrive straight to the palace. The palace was reconstructed several times, but part of its furnishings, as well as the Lower Park, made in front of it, have survived to our days.
Oranienbaum began to actively build up under Catherine II, whose husband, Peter III, abdicated from the throne in her favor just here, in his miniature palace. The empress built here a Dutch House, later called the Chinese Palace, the luxurious interiors of which are currently accessible for viewing, the Katalnaya Gorka (roller coaster) Pavilion, equipped with a platform to slip down in special wheelchairs in winter, and much more. Many buildings in Oranienbaum are intended solely for amusement, such as a Picture House with galleries, library and Kunstkamera. Works of the Western European art of the XVI-XVIII centuries are currently exhibited here. The parks and palaces of Oranienbaum were not damaged during World War II, and this is their value. The Upper Park, which was designed by Rastrelli, has been entirely preserved as it was in the XIX century, with ponds and 30 bridges.