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Saint Petersburg. A Royal Dream on Ice

Sezione 1
Sezione 2

Menšikov Palace

Aleksandr Menšikov. 1727


I was the statesman and marshal

favoured by Peter I, who in 1707 gave me Vasilievsky Island,
only to take it away from me seven years later... Nevertheless, in those years, I managed to build this splendid palace, the most sumptuous building in St Petersburg, at least for my time. Sitting in my favourite room, the "Walnut Studio", in front of my beloved chessmen of Indian craftsmanship, I look out the window,
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through the frosted glass. The Neva flows before my eyes, with its slow pace, while chunks of ice rise to the surface from the river. The icy wind comes in through the window frames. I get up and walk towards the bedroom to warm myself by the fire of my fireplace with its golden inlays, full of my precious objects and a gala portrait of me. Before that,

I stop to look at my image in Pietro's amber-framed mirror. Fortunately the period of the Domostroj, which forbade mirrors for religious reasons, is over, vain as I am! My palace is full of Dutch tiles, Russian majolica and white tiles with cobalt designs, reproducing pastoral scenes, paintings and statues brought back from my travels in Europe.

The room of my sister-in-law, Varvera, an extremely ambitious and bad-tempered woman, has elegant furniture with wood mosaics and Deft porcelain. Those were wonderful years for me. It's just a pity that my relationship with Peter deteriorated...
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Sezione 3

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Menšikov Palace

Aleksandr Menšikov. 1727

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