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Strel'na, St. Petersburg

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The 18th and first half of the 19th century Strel'na Palace and Park complex is 27kms from St Petersburg on the way to Petrodvorets. Peter I had a summer residence here. In 1707, Poputnye Khoromy - a mansion - was built on the spot where Strel'na's small river flows into the Gulf of Finland and this is where he lodged. In 1711, a wooden palace was built and from 1716-1720, Rastrelli, Le Blanc and Machetti worked on the foundation of Strel'na's diagramatically laid-out park. The complex's main attraction is the Grand (Constantine) Palace built under Machetti between 1720 and 1730, with contributions from Meier, Voronikhin, Rouscault and others. In 1797, the complex came into the hands of Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich (Paul I's son) and was passed on to Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolaevich (Nicholas I's son) in 1831. It suffered considerable damage during the war years. Strelna can be reached by trams no. 36 & 60 (Sat only) or by minibuses no. T-300, T-103 & T-424 going to Petrodvorets from Avtovo metro station. Alternatively, take the elektrichka from Baltic station in the direction of Oranienbaum.