When this waterfront estate was built in 1711 on Vasilyevsky Island, it was the residence of Alexander Menshikov. He was the first General-Governor of St. Petersburg. When Peter the Great died in 1725 and his wife, Catherine I of Russia, became empress, Menshikov was fundamentally the ruler of Russia. Menshikov Palace was the epicenter for the social life of aristocrats until it was confiscated in 1727 after Menshikov was exiled. It is now a Russian and European art museum encased by early 18th century décor and furniture. Many of the showcased pieces belonged to Alexander Menshikov. The palace is managed by the State Hermitage Museum.