Peter's House - Step into a Different Era

Peter’s House is fortunately still located in St Petersburg for public viewing today, and has been carefully preserved. As the name might indicate, this house belonged to none other than Peter the Great. This historical building is one of the must see attractions of St Petersburg, not only because of the history attached to the building, but because of the atmosphere you experience on entering the house - it is as if Peter was still there.

After Peter the Great reclaimed the land near the Neva River, he wanted to personally supervise the construction of the Peter and Paul Fortress, and the construction of his new city, St Petersburg, which he called his “window on the west”. Needing to be close to the work, Peter the Great had a wooden house built for himself, which was the first residential building that was built in St Petersburg. Apparently the wooden cabin was constructed in a mere three days. Peter’s House is a strange combination of traditional Russian houses and Dutch homes, with their high roofs and wooden tiles, and massive windows. Peter the Great envisioned the city of St Petersburg be filled with buildings made from stone, as houses and buildings in Europe were being constructed in this manner. At the time of the wooden house, Peter the Great could not afford the stone required to build the house, so he ordered the sides to be painted, to project the look of being built with bricks. The house is a modest home of 60 square meters and Peter the Great lived here for six years, between 1703 and 1708.

The living room, study and bedroom, still bear the marks of the presence of Peter the Great, and many of his original belongings are displayed in the house for the public to view. The stone house surrounding Peter’s House was built by Catherine II and the red brick pavilion that now stands next to Peter’s House, has its walls shielding the building against bad weather. After the legendry 900 day siege at Leningrad, during the Second World War, Peter’s House was the first museum to re-open in 1944.


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