Mansions and Villas
Central St. Petersburg and its near surroundings contain several historic mansions and villas that were once the property of the rich and famous in pre-Revolutionary Russia. While not as grand or excessive as the city's renowned palaces, these private houses were however more affordable for the upper echelons of St. Petersburg's intelligentsia and the more successful of its artists. The musical and literary salons that were held in the mansions of the Baryatinskiys, the Dolgorukovs, the Kochubeys, the Derzhavins, and the Nabokovs, for example, became the real centre of St. Petersburg's cultural life.
Nowadays, many of these buildings have been fully restored to their past glories, and give guests the chance to explore their heady past through interesting themed exhibitions.