In 1720 Peter the Great commissioned work on this maritime country residence that was to be a "Russian Versailles." Italian architect Nicolo Micketti designed not only the palace, but also beautiful fountains and waterworks meant to draw water from the Gulf of Finland. However, the fountains never worked, and the palace itself underwent several fires and was later redesigned. Nearly destroyed in World War II, this suburban
palace dazzles once again. After years of renovation, based on old photographs and plans, the Italian-baroque, coffee-color palace is now officially the Palace of Congress and used to host government functions.