Visit to the Menshikov Palace. The construction of the palace, one of the oldest and most emblematic buildings in the imperial capital, started in 1710 on land offered by Peter I to Menshikov just after the foundation of the city. It is the only surviving private building from that time period. For 17 years top architects (Trezzini, Rastrelli, Leblond, Mattarnovi) worked on its embellishment, and in 1727 the Palace was considered the most beautiful in St. Petersburg. It was used as a residence for the first president of the Military College, Alexander Menshikov, and was also the centеr of the political and cultural life of the city. Peter I organized receptions for ambassadors, political meetings, and victory celebrations here, while Menshikov used it as the headquarters from which he managed the Army and the construction of the city. From 1725 to 1727 Menshikov also ruled the country from this palace. The fight for power ended badly for him as he was arrested in September 1729 and exiled. At that point the palace underwent some changes, as the Corps of Cadets took ownership and modified its layout. In 1956 heavy reconstruction got underway in an attempt to restore its original look and was completed in 1981 with the palace restored to its former beauty and splendor. It holds rich collections of furniture and objects from the end of 17th century through 1830.