Peter The Great Summer Cottage
In one corner of the Summer Garden stands the palace in which dwelt Peter the Great. It is a little, low, white house, with a few tasteless bas-reliefs painted yellow. On the roof between the chimneys, St. George, mounted on a tin horse, is in the act of piercing the Dragon. In the interior, a few articles of furniture formerly used by Peter are still preserved. The house seems to have grown ashamed of its littleness, for it hides itself completely among the tall linden-trees of the garden, as though fearful of intruding into the company of the stately palaces that have grown up around. Still it twinkles every now and then with its old-fashioned windows through the foliage, as if it took a pleasure in the proud children to which it has given birth. How differently it must have looked when it was yet sole lord of the wilderness when it stood there, the only elegant among a mod of fishers' huts !
J. Kohl, Panorama of St. Petersburg
The original house contains only three rooms, but for protection it is built over by another house of brick. The room on the right was his study, or work-room, opening into a tiny bedroom ; that on the left was his kitchen and has been transformed into a chapel full of shrines, ikons and burning candles. Service is daily performed and it is a favorite place of worship for the people. The big boat built by Peter's own hands is preserved in the outside corridor, and the images he worshiped are in the chapel. It was in this neighborhood that the building of the city was begun, and the little wooden church, nearby, is the oldest in St. Petersburg. A great variety of articles is exhibited in the cottage as the handiwork of Peter and when to these is added the incongruous array at the Muse the cottage um, one is forced to conclude that Peter Petersburg r0se early and retired late and labored all day with the frenzied and inconsequent energy of a maniac. Why he should have made a chandelier, for instance, with his own hands or manufactured his own carriage, it is hard to tell, to say nothing of other specimens of mere manual industry.
Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat, A Fortnight in St. Petersburg, 1899