Strelna is located on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, 20 km away from the center of St. Petersburg, close to Pulkovo Airport. This year Strelna celebrates its 510th anniversary. Anyone approaching Strelna by Peterhof highway immediately pays attention to the grand building of the Konstantin Palace – the architectural dominant of the State Complex “The National Congress Palace”. This modern complex, comprising the palace, two parks and many other buildings and structures was created on the basis of the 18th century ensemble, included by UNESCO into the world heritage list.
In 1711 Peter the Great decided to build his New Versailles in Strelna – an Imperial residence for reception of important foreign guests. By the projects of the best European architects the magnificent palace was built here, and spacious park with canals and cascades was laid down. In the 19th century the palace and park ensemble in Strelna became the residence of Grand Dukes Romanovs – Konstantin Pavlovich, Konstantin Nikolaevich and his children, including the Queen of Greece Olga Konstantinovna. In the 21st century the Konstantin palace and park ensemble, originally designed in the 18th-19th centuries by Niccolo Michetti and Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, Andrey Voronikhin and Andrey Stakenschneider, became the basis of the State Complex “The National Congress Palace”, functioning under the auspices of the RF Presidential Administration. Today the State Complex is a member of international association Historical Conference Centers of Europe (ÍCCE). Here the events of world importance were held, including Russia – EU summit and G-8 summit. According to the President of RF guideline, one of the major requirements of the State Complex “The National Congress Palace” functioning is its openness for the public. It is used as a state residence, museum, cultural and business center at the same time.
Sightseeing and thematic excursions are held in the State Complex “The National Congress Palace”, allowing its guests to observe the gala halls and executive apartments of the palace, learn the history of the Romanovs’ House, see the collection of Russian art, which includes masterpieces of Ilya Repin, Nikolay Roerikh, Boris Grigoriev, Sergey Sudeykin. Visitors of the Konstantin Palace can taste finest wines in the famous wine cellars. From Anichkov Bridge in the center of St. Petersburg, the State Complex excursion buses depart to Strelna. During summer time walking excursions and electro mobile tours throughout the parks are arranged, comprising visiting of the Negotiations Pavilion. Tickets for the excursions and concerts are available on the spot or in the theater ticket offices thoroughout the city.
An integral part of the State Complex “The National Congress Palace” is a VIP-class hotel complex, including the Baltic Star Hotel, built in a style of an ancient Russian mansion, and the Consular Village, consisting of 20 luxurious cottages, each of which represents a historic Russian town. In the western part of the complex, near the Gulf of Finland, one can view the Conference Center, equipped by all means of communications. Here as well is the heliport, capable to receive up to four planes at a time, and the 800-meter landing mooring, equipped for landing of vessels and yachts. The guests arriving to the State Complex “The National Congress Palace” by water, can view the Tsar Stroll Sculpture by Mikhail Shemyakin.
Ticket offices of the State Complex are open from 10:00 till 17:00, closed on Wednesday.
Excursions reservation: tel. +7 812 438-53-60, fax +7 812 438-58-84, www.konstantinpalace.ru
How to get there: route taxis No. 300, 343, 404, 420, 424 from Avtovo, Baltiyskaya, Leninskiy Prospekt metro stations.