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The Menshikov Palace, situated on University Embankment of Vasilyevsky
Island, was built for Alexander Menshikov, the first governor of
St Petersburg and Peter the Great's close
associate. The construction of the palace, the first large-scale
stone edifice in the city, started in 1710 to the design of Giovanni
Mario Fontana and was continued under the guidance of Johann Gottfried
Schaedel (1712-21). The design and decor of the palace are characteristic
of the early 18th century. The palace was the most luxurious building
in St Petersburg during the age of Peter the
Great and was then often used for official diplomatic receptions
and assemblies. The site where the Menshikov Palace is located affords
a majestic panoramic view of the Neva embankments.