Due to storm warning parks of Peterhof & the Grand Menshikov Palace are closed today, September 18th.

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1719-1727, architect I.F. Braunstein, A. Rinaldi

Oranienbaum Private Chapel (Court Church) is located in the western pavilion of the Grand Menshikov Palace and was built by order of the first owner of Oranienbaum, the Grand duke Alexander Menshikov, and was consecrated in the name of Saint Panteleimon on September 3d, 1727.

The congregation of the church of St. Panteleimon included not only the tenants of the palace and the Oranienbaum summer residents but also the palace personnel, townspeople and villagers. For that reason as early as since 1730s a spacy three-window hall joining the Church Pavilion from the south had been used as a refectory which could be heated for worshippers’ comfort in the winter time. In 1838, Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna and Andrey Blagoveschensky, the senior priest of the Palace Church, rebuilt the refectory into a side-chapel, or the Winter Church. Same year on December 16th it was consecrated in the name of Sts. Constantine and Helena Equal to the Apostles, the patron saints of the Grand Duchess. In 1848 and 1914, the Winter Church undergone restoration and extension. 

In 1858, the worn-out iconostasis in the northwest part of the side-chapel was replaced by a new carved and gilt one made by painter Titov and carpenter Andreev. On its side doors, patron saints Sts. Constantine and Helena and St. Michael the Archistrategos were painted. In 1920s, following the shutdown of the church of St. Panteleimon the interior decoration of its side-chapel was lost completely and no images of it have survived.

On display nowadays is the only preserved item from the Winter Church: the traditionally painted 19th century icon "The Resurrection, with Selected Saints, and St. George and the Dragon". Exhibited in the Winter Church are also two original late-18th century icons from the church of St. Panteleimon and its altar: "Sts. Adrian and Natalia" and "The Dormition of Theotokos of Kiev Pechersk Lavra". These small icons were specially arranged to function as reliquaries for the holy relics of saints. Unusual is the technique of the "Sts. Adrian and Natalia" icon painted on glass.
 

Oranienbaum Court Church