Explorer goes inside abandoned palace which once belonged to ROYALTY – and is located behind Putin’s home

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An urban explorer has sneaked past security guards into an abandoned palace that sits behind a president’s seaside residence.

Dmitry Rzhannikov, 56, a journalist from Saint-Petersburg, Russia, is an avid explorer of abandoned buildings and, whilst exploring his hometown, he came across a decadent hidden property.

The palace is located right next to Konstantinovsky Palace – President Putin’s seaside residence – and was owned by Grand Duke Mikhail Nikolaevich, the son of Russian Emperor, Nicholas the First.

Pictured: The abandoned Konstantinovsky Palace captured by Dmitry Rzhannikov

Dmitry documented his trip, photographing the desolate property.

In one image, a large room with a scratched high ceiling is pictured as light beams through the three archways in the centre of the room.

In another, a staircase drops down onto a lower floor that has red and black etchings across the wall.

Above the staircase are two sculptures, along with a piece of artwork that shows a screaming skull.

Other shots show the foot of a broken statue leaning against a pole, while other angles show the remains of the broken statue.

Pictured: The abandoned Konstantinovsky Palace captured by Dmitry Rzhannikov

As the palace is still protected by private security, Dmitry had to sneak past security guards to gain access.

Luckily for him, he didn’t meet a single guard – but the building itself still remains difficult to access due to construction restrictions.

“All the doors and windows of the palace were boarded up, so it was difficult to find the entrance,” Dmitry told Jam Press.

“I went during the day, because I wanted to take good photos.

“Several caryatid sculptures have been preserved outside, and inside you can see the broken plaster statues of lions that are used to guard the main entrance.

“The original mouldings on the walls and ceiling have also been preserved, but in general, the interior is completely destroyed.

“From the roof, you can see the Government highway for Saint-Petersburg, as well as the Gulf of Finland far on the horizon.

“It was easy for me to imagine how great balls and high-society receptions took place in this palace and even how there was a rest house for Soviet working people here.

“Decay, rust and a thick layer of dust from construction debris, as well as scraps of electrical wiring, broken tiles and broken interior doors and windows remain.

“[On another wall] is etched: ‘For those who are afraid, there is no entrance.’

Pictured: The abandoned Konstantinovsky Palace captured by Dmitry Rzhannikov

“[The palace] is not well-known or in a secret location – just located too far from the centre of the city, so there are no tourists, only a few locals who visit.

“Of course there were concerns [about being caught] but it is unlikely that I would have been shot or put in jail.

“They could have kept me with the police for several hours or fined me.”

In 1834, two buildings based on the palace grounds of Mikhailovskaya Dacha were bought and allocated for Grand Duke Mikhail, before being torn down in 1850.

Nicholas the First instructed an architect to design a new palace, which was finished in 1862 – but it was ruined during World War II along with many other buildings.

In 1967, the estate was given to Kirovsky Plant and was partially restored in the 1970s as a recreation centre, but closed its doors in the 1990s.

Pictured: The abandoned Konstantinovsky Palace captured by Dmitry Rzhannikov

Dmitry said: “In the 90s, when Russia lost in the Cold War, the country was in complete ruin and the economy was in decline.

“There was no money in the budget and not only were architectural monuments destroyed, but also factories and enterprises.

“Small restoration was carried out, which is noticeable on the roof – but as always, money ran out or perhaps it was stolen.

“The building now stands completely destroyed and abandoned.”

In July 2006, the palace grounds were given to St. Petersburg State University, as a place to put their graduate school of management.

However, this restoration hasn’t yet been completed and the building still stands abandoned.

In other news, have you seen the soviet-era ‘ghost town’ – where people use rundown cable cars to get to work