Strelna (Стре́льна) is a historic settlement situated about halfway between St. Petersburg and Peterhof, Russia, and overlooking the shore of the Gulf of Finland. Administratively, it is a municipal settlement under jurisdiction of Petrodvortsovy District of St. Petersburg. It has a population of 12,751 (2002 Census).
In 1718, a temporary wooden palace was constructed in Strelna. It had been used by the Russian royalty as a sort of hunting lodge, and has been faithfully preserved to this day. After Le Blond's death, the commission to build the grand palace passed to Nicholo Michetti, a disciple of the great Carlo Fontana. A cornerstone was laid in June 1720, but next year it became apparent that the place was ill-adapted for installation of fountains, the reason why Peter decided to concentrate his attention on the nearby Peterhof. Disappointed Michetti left Russia, and all works in Strelna were suspended.
On ascending the throne in 1741, Peter's daughter Elizabeth intended to complete her father's project. Her favourite architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli was asked to expand and aggrandize Michetti's design. But Rastrelli's attention was soon diverted to other palaces, in Peterhof and Tsarskoye Selo, so the Strelna palace stood unfinished until the end of the century.
After the ravages of German occupation, only the palace walls were left standing, all interior decoration was gone. No effective restoration had been undertaken until 2001 when Vladimir Putin ordered the palace to be converted into a presidential residence in St. Petersburg. The park with canals, fountains and drawbridges was then recreated to Le Blond's original designs, complete with a water-bound pavilion by the sea shore. In front of the palace are the equestrian statue of Peter the Great, originally installed in 1911 in Riga, while Mikhail Shemyakin's modernist sculpture of Peter's family strolling through the garden may be found closer to the sea shore. Several rooms in the restored palace are dedicated to the poet Konstantin Romanov (who was born there).
The renovated Constantine Palace hosted more than fifty heads of state during St. Petersburg tercentenary celebrations in 2003. Three years later, in July 2006 (July 15-17), it hosted the 32nd G8 summit. During these summits, the world leaders were accommodated in eighteen luxurious cottages by the sea-side. Each of the cottages is named after a historic Russian town. The early 19th-century stables were reconstructed into a four-star hotel for other visitors.
Other landmarks in Strelna include a dacha of Mathilde Kschessinska and a ruined monastery, with numerous churches by Luigi Rusca. The monastery is noted as a burial place of the Zubov brothers and other Russian nobles. The imperial chancellor Alexander Gorchakov was interred here in 1883.
Remarks following discussions with President Hu Jintao of China in Strelna.(Week Ending Friday, July 21, 2006)(Russia)(Speech)
Jul 24, 2006; July 16, 2006 President Bush. Mr. President, thank you for coming by to say hello. I remember fondly your visit to Washington,...
Remarks following discussions with President Jacques Chirac of France in Strelna.(Week Ending Friday, July 21, 2006)(Russia)(Speech)
Jul 24, 2006; July 16, 2006 President Bush. I want to thank Jacques Chirac for coming over. It's always a pleasure to visit with Jacques. He is...