The first references to the territory of the modern Summer and Mikhailovsky Gardens, Engineering Square and the Mikhailovsky Castle Garden date back to the 17th century. In this period, after the Pillar of Peace concluded between the Kingdom of Sweden and the Grand Duchy of Moscow in 1617, all the lands along the Neva passed under the sway of Sweden. From the occupied territories began a mass exodus of the Orthodox population. The Swedish crown is trying to populate this area with immigrants from northern Europe, Finnish and Swedish peasants. In 1638, Queen Christina gave the lands of the entire lower reaches of the Neva to the auditor General Bernhard Steen von Steenhausen, a German from the Baltic provinces of Sweden. He built at the head of the Kaarnajoki River (now the Fontanka River) a estate called Usadiss hoff (Usadiss Hof). The estate is printed on the Swedish map of 1643. After the death of his father, his daughter Maria Elizabeth, who was married to Joachim von Konow, lived in this estate. Konow was the son of a German who had come from Mark Brandenburg and worked as a manager for the governor of the region.
Widowed early, Mary-Elizabeth in 1652 married a neighbor named Lieutenant Klas Akerfelt. He lived with his brother Urban in the family home Akerfeltz hoff (Akerfelt Hof), which was located at the source of the Moika, where the Mikhailovsky Castle and the circus are now located. In the middle of the XVII century the estate was also referred to as Perwuskina hoff, from the Finnish word “land”.

By the 1660s, Usadiss hoff was in decline. In 1662, the estate was transferred to Konou’s eldest son, Erich-Berndt von Konow. At the age of 20, he retired from the Swedish fleet in order to independently manage the estate. Through the efforts of Erich-Berndt, the estate was put in order, there was even a garden in the Dutch style. On the plan of Karl Eldberg in 1701, this estate was called Konos hoff (Konos Hof).

However, no detailed descriptions or drawings of the Swedish estate were found. Only indirect evidence suggests where Konau’s house was located. The Palace Alley falls out of the orthogonal grid of the paths of the Summer Garden and Andrei Ukhnalev believes that this path was saved by Peter from the original Swedish garden. So, the house could be located on the main alley of the Summer Garden between the first and second sites, the front facade was directed towards the Neva.

In 1703, during the offensive of the Russian troops, Erich-Berndt von Konow fled to central Sweden, and the summer residence of Peter the Great, the Summer Garden, was located on the territory of his estate.

In composing the message, materials from the publications of V.A. Korenzvita, S.V. Sementsova and A.E. Uhnalova.

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