1714-1723, architects: A. Schlüter, J.F. Braunstein, J.-B. Le Blond, N. Michetti
Directly on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, there is the favorite suburban palace of Peter I - "Monplaisir" (fr. mon plaisir - "my delight").The idea of the construction was defined by the sketches and the schematic drawings of the Tsar himself, who сhalked out not only the site but also the inside layout, some elements of the decorative finish, etc. The appearance of "Monplaisir" reflected the unique individuality of the first Russian emperor, his aesthetic taste, interests and affection. The decoration was obviously conceived under the influence of the Dutch architecture of the XVIII century, this is why the palace was sometimes called: "The Dutch house". The French Ambassador Campredon was writing: "The rooms of "Monplaisir" are small, but very comfortable, and notedly, there is an imitation of the Dutch economy and the tidiness of the kitchens, as well as the paved terrace on the seashore, shaded by the linden-trees, like the Hague channels".
The Galleries and the rooms of the palace, are adorned with canvases of the Western-European art of the XVII - XVIII century, the majority of them belongs to the original collection, gathered by Peter. To accommodate a large collection of Chinese porcelain in "Monplaisir", an Eastern corner was created - the Lacquer cabinet. Its walls are decorated with large black-lacquer panels, with miniature paintings, made in chinese style. On the shelf-consoles attached between the panels, there is the Eastern porcelain that was highly prized, and was a subject of special pride of the owners.
The Grand hall, situated in the center of the palace - is one of the best achievements of Peter's baroque. The specific themes of season change and variability of the universe, built on the four elements, are reflected in the sculptural and artistically decorated dome. For the facing of the walls in an English manner , the noble waxed oak was used. The Grand hall of "Monplaisir" is a witness to a variety of events. The family events and the victories of the Russian weaponry were celebrated here, the receptions of the foreign ambassadors were held here too. A large glass goblet on the table recalls the severe punishment: the penalty "Goblet of the Big Eagle", that was filled to the top during the feasts and presented to the violators of the rules, set by the Tsar.
The rare pieces of the kitchen ware are exhibited in the orderly Kitchen, designed in the Dutch manner. The spouse of the tsar Catherine Alekseevna, used to cook here sometimes. The unique feature of the Monplaisir kitchen, is the presence of a stone sink for dish washing, with its water coming from the pipe of the "Sheaf" fountain. The water supply and the sewage systems, created for "Monplaisir" , were a significant innovation for the XVIII century.
The working cabinet of Peter I is connected with the marine theme. One of the most important line of activity for the Tsar, was the creation of the fleet. From the windows of the cabinet, there is a view over the Gulf of Finland, Kronstadt and Saint Petersburg. The lower part of the cabinet walls, is decorated with the tiles painted by the masters, with thirteen types of the sailboats of that time. The amusing monkeys on the painted ceiling, remind us of the adventures to the overseas countries. The navigational and measuring tools, presented on the shelves of a chest-type cabinet, are evidences of the naval exercises of the emperor - an expert of shipbuilding and maritime affairs.
The special atmosphere of the past epoch, is created by the preserved personal items of the tsar, that he used in his everyday life: the felt nightcap, the towel, the jug and the bowl for washing.
Not a single Russian monarch has ever forgotten about "Monplaisir", it was regarded, above all, as one of the most revered relics of the state history. The palace, that preserved a big part of the authentic finish and decoration until our days, is considered a gem of the palace collection of Peterhof.