Until XVIIIe siècle, the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland is a relatively wild place, where only hunters and fishermen live. When Russia won the Great Northern War (1700-1721), pushed the Swedes out of mainland Russia and was given back this land, the governor of St. Petersburg, Menchikov, decided to build his summer residence there. The residence takes the German name Oranienbaum (meaning " oranger "), in reference to the many greenhouses where this exotic tree was grown, which also appears on his coat of arms. It is the least interesting of the palaces and parks surrounding St. Petersburg, but it is also the most atypical and the one that receives the fewest tourists.

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