The architectural and landscape complex of Oranienbaum is a unique palace and park ensemble of the 18th-early 20th century, which survived World War II in its historic condition. It is situated in the distance of 40 km from St Petersburg, and being on the way after Strelna and Peterhof, it finishes the sequence of maritime residences of the Peterhof road.
The palaces-museums of Oranienbaum are located in the territory of the Upper Landscape Park and the Lower Regular Garden with the total area of 162 hectares. Its structure includes three architectural ensembles, reflecting the history of this estate throughout the 18th century.
Oranienbaum was formed over the course of two centuries, from 1711 to 1915. In September 2011, the estate celebrates its three-hundredth anniversary. Located further down the coast from Peterhof, Oranienbaum completes the long line of imperial residences on the Gulf of Finland. The first owner of these lands was Prince Alexander Menshikov, the former right-hand man of Peter the Great. Between 1743 and 1762, the estate belonged to the future Peter III, husband of Catherine the Great. Over the centuries, leading architects, decorators and landscape gardeners have worked to create a unique ensemble at Oranienbaum. One of the masters who left a particular indelible mark on this place was Italian architect Antonio Rinaldi. Oranienbaum survived the Second World War virtually unscathed. The original interiors and decor still exist in many palaces and pavilions. The famous landmarks scattered throughout the park include the Palace of Peter III, Chinese Palace, Menshikov Palace and the Rollercoaster Pavilion.