Family home of the Konstantinovichi branch of the Romanovs
Strelna was granted to Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich(second son of Paul I) and his wife Grand Duchess Anna Feodorovna (aunt of Queen Victoria). Despite a great fire in 1803, the Constantine Palace was completed by 1807. Andrei Voronikhin and Luigi Rusca were held responsible for architecture of its upper storeys. After Constantine's death, the palace passed to his nephew, and the Konstantinovichi branch of the Romanov dynasty retained its ownership until the Revolution.
After the ravages of German occupation, only the palace walls were left standing, all interior decoration was gone. No effective restoration had been undertaken until 2001 when Vladimir Putin ordered the palace to be converted into a presidential residence in St. Petersburg. The park with canals, fountains and drawbridges was then recreated to Le Blond's original designs, complete with a water-bound pavilion by the sea shore. In front of the palace are the equestrian statue of Peter the Great, originally installed in 1911 in Riga, while Mikhail Shemyakin's modernist sculpture of Peter's family strolling through the garden may be found closer to the sea shore. Several rooms in the restored palace are dedicated to the poet Konstantin Romanov (who was born there).
Recreated neoclassical interiors housed the CIS Summit, June 2008
In preparation for the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the founding St. Petersburg, the Russian government decided to restore the palace and its grounds as a state conference center and presidential residence. The renovated Constantine Palace hosted more than fifty heads of state during St. Petersburg tercentenary celebrations in 2003. Three years later, in July 2006 (July 15-17), it hosted the 32nd G8 summit.