Located in the seaside town of Strelna, the Constantine Palace today forms part of the National Congress Palace complex of St. Petersburg. Strelna was originally chosen by Peter the Great to be the site of his summer residence in 1714, but the palace stood unfinished until the early 19th century. It served as a residence for the Romanov grand dukes until falling into decay after the Russian Revolution. Later, all interior decorations were stripped during the German occupation of St. Petersburg.
In 2001, Vladimir Putin ordered the palace to be renovated and converted into a presidential residence. It hosted more than 50 heads of state during St. Petersburg’s tercentenary celebration in 2003 and recently held the qualifying draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Visitors to the palace today can see exhibitions of Russian painting, decorative and applied arts and the history of Russian glass production from the 1700s. The palace also boasts a thousand masterpieces of Russian art from the 17th to 20th centuries, based on collection of Russian musicians Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya.
Constantine Palace is located in Strelna, about halfway between St Petersburg and Peterhof and can be reached by hydrofoil from St Petersburg in about 25 minutes. It is also possible to get there by tram 36 or 60 from the Avtovo Metro station or marshrutka T-300, T-103 or T-424. The palace is open daily except Wednesdays, from noon until 6:00 p.m. and can be visited only by guided tour.