To the west of the park of Konstantinovskiy's palace, on a high hill, there is the earliest construction of Strelna - the small white-yellow wooden palace of typical architecture for Peter I's time. It is the only construction of the simple suburban homestead of Peter I, that preserved. He was staying here during his frequent visits to Kronstadt, Peterhof and Oranienbaum.
The construction of the imperial estate began here, in 1711, however, the palace appeared five years later. The original draftsman is unknown. In 1719 - 1720 the palace was rebuilt by the order of the tsar: the suds bath with a front room and a mezzanine appeared.
The household services kept on the location, were the greenhouse, beehives, fruit and lime-tree gardens, the kitchen-garden with honey scented plants and various vegetable cultures, grown on its soil beds. The peculiarity of Peter I's garden, was the co-cultivation of spice and medicinal plants on the same soil beds. This tradition came from Holland, and therefore received its name "Garden for the Dutch taste". According to the legend, it was specifically in Strelna, where by the order of Peter, for the first time in Russia, potatoes were planted.
The Strelka river, that flowed down from the south side of the estate, was used for setting up of the fish ponds. Сarp and trout fish were bred in Strelna to serve for the tsar's table, especially during the fasting days.
The estate complex included the wooden Transfiguration Church, built in 1708. The military relics of Peter I's time were kept here; also Natalia Nikolaevna, the widow of A.S. Pushkin, had her church wedding ceremony with the general P.P.Lanskoy here. During the Second World War, the temple burned down. Now, one can see the remains of the church foundation and the wooden memorial cross, installed after the war.
The wooden palace in Strelna, as a memory of Peter the Great, was the subject of special care and attention. In the middle of the XVIII century, in the time of Elizabeth Petrovna, the capital restoration of the dilapidated wooden building, was held under the management of the architect, F.B. Rastrelli.
The successors of Peter I, used the wooden palace more for short stays during their travels from St.Petersburg to Peterhof. In different times, the habitants of the small wooden palace, were such prominent figures as Grigory Potemkin , the Duchess E.R. Dashkova and A.V. Suvorov.
In times of Catherine II, the palace was restored again and since 1786, it hosted a military hospital. The next restoration was done in 1837-1840, by the architect H.F. Meyer, who disassembled the building and re-created it in conformity with the project of F.B. Rastrelli, of 1750.
For a long time, the palace, that miraculously survived in the period of the Second World war, served as a hospital building and later as a kindergarten. In 1987, it was transferred to the Peterhof State Museum Reserve (SMR) and the renovating works began, completed in 1999. On the basis of the preserved materials, the palace interiors were re-created, that currently host a museum composition.
In the palace collection, there are private things of the first Russian emperor: the holiday suit of Peter I; the patchwork blanket, that according to the legend, was sewed for the tsar by his spouse Catherine II and the folding screen for the bedroom, painted in the "chinoiserie" style. Interesting exhibits include the bronze bas-relief of Peter I, created according to the design of the sculptor K. Rastrelli; cast of the impression of the emperor's hand; grand portrait of Peter I - a rare lifetime image of a young tsar, work of an unknown artist. The palace is under the state protection as one of the rare, preserved until our days, memorials of the Russian architecture of the beginning of the XVIII century.