The palace is located in a suburb of Tallinn. We owe it to the Russian Tsar Peter the Great. In 1710 he drove the Swedes out of Estonia and Estonia became Russian. In the summer of 1718, the Tsar commissioned a Baroque castle and park ensemble to be built between the Lasnamäe (German Laaksberg) cliff and the Baltic Sea as his Tallinn summer residence. He named the valley after his second wife Katharina. The planner and architect was the Italian Nicola Michetti (1675-1758), who was later also involved in the planning of the residence in Peterhof. In 1722, 550 trees were planted in the park. With the unexpected death of the Tsar in 1725, the project remained unfinished for the time being.
In the 19th century, despite its palace and park, Kadriorg was a lower-class suburb of Tallinn. Buildings had been erected around it for the construction workers, and later also for servants. Since most of the inhabitants of the settlement were Russians and the buildings were built in the style of a Russian village, the district was long nicknamed Sloboda (roughly Russian village). Only gradually did Tallinn's day-trippers discover the beaches on the Baltic Sea. A fashionable seaside resort developed, salons and town houses were built. Kadriorg's final rise to a finer area was achieved in 1832, when three daughters of Tsar Nicholas I spent the summer in Kadriorg. Subsequently, members of the Tsar's family repeatedly spent the summer months in Kadriorg.