In 1703, Peter the Great captured both the Kotlin Island and a fledging seaport (the future Saint Petersburg) from the Swedish Empire during the Great Northern War. In 1705, during a voyage between the two conquests, Peter I spotted a dilapidated farm along the shore. He envisioned this as an idyllic location for his summer palace. A small wooden home was finished with five years. It was replaced with Monplaisir Palace (on the right) in 1721. This position near the eastern head of the Gulf of Finland gave him solitude. Yet he also had a commanding view of the waterway leading to his new capital city. If you are interested in learning how the Russian emperors – from Peter I through Nicholas II – were infatuated with the sea, make sure you visit the Imperial Yachts Museum near the landing wharf.