Andreas Schlüter

Born: 1662, Hamburg
Died: 1714, St Petersburg

Andreas Schlüter was a leading German master and court architect to the kings of Prussia. He came to Russia in 1713 at the age of fifty-two, at the instigation of James David Bruce, a Scottish military adviser to Peter the Great. When Bruce heard that Schlüter had quarrelled with the Prussian ministers and decided to go to the first place that would take him, he advised the tsar to lose no time in snatching him up, as the German was “a skilful man, of whom there are few in Berlin; not only is he a great architect, but he is also well renowned for his statues.” In Berlin, Schlüter had made a name for himself as the designer of the Arsenal and the magnificent Stadtschloss.

Peter I offered Schlüter a salary of five thousand roubles and he soon arrived in St Petersburg. The German architect was appointed the principal constructor (“Baumaster”) of the new capital and immediately began work. Although Schlüter died in February 1714, before he had even spent a year in Russia, he still managed to leave his mark on the history of St Petersburg and Peterhof. Talented and energetic, he built and decorated the Summer Palace, Kikin Palace, Kunstkammer and two palaces for Prince Alexander Menshikov in Oranienbaum and on Kotlin island. He created many other projects, including the Grotto in the Summer Garden. Schlüter also worked at Peterhof, where he designed Monplaisir and other edifices, the Grand Cascade and the Grand Grotto.

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