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Sunday, November 17, 2019

 Petergof is situated on the southern shore of the Finnish Gulf, 30 km away from St. Petersburg. It became a magnificent royal residence and a monument of successful completion of Russia over the Baltic Sea as it was conceived by Peter the Great. Petergof is known worldwide for its park ensembles and amazing fountains. Today Petergof has more than 150 fountains, 4 cascades, 10 museums are open for public.

Petergof is one of the grandest palace and parks ensembles of XVIII-XIX centuries. For the first time the name of Petergof (the Peter’s yard) was mentioned in 1705 at travel journal of Peter the Great. Peterhof was meant to become one of the greatest royal summer residences.

Building of a new residence was leading very fast. Construction of ensemble began with the construction of the palace “Monplaisir” on the shore of Finnish Gulf. The palace was built according to plan and under the supervision of Peter by the architect A.Schluter. In 1723 the grand opening of Petergof was held. By that time the main Sea channel was dug out, most of the fountains were functioning.  petergof

The Great Palace was built in 1714 – 1725 by architects Braunstein, Leblon and Michetti. In 1745 – 1755 Rastrelli rebuilt The Great Palace by decree of Empress Elizabeth. The laconism of exterior contrasted with a variety of decorative interiors: the Throne room, White dining room, East and West Chinese rooms among them. Simultaneously with the construction of the palace the Upper Garden and the Lower Park were planned. FountainsdifferentinstyleanddesignwereplacedintheLowerPark. This park is planned as Versailles – the residence of French King Louis XIV and has brought worldwide fame to Petergof.  

The most treasured among fountains is the famous Great Cascade designed by Peter the Great. This grandiose fountain construction unmatched in the world is shaped as a grotto with stairs-waterfalls on the both sides. The Samson Fountain with a great spewing lion became the brightest monument to the glorious victory of the Russians over the Swedes in 1709.

petergofThe wonderful parks, countless fountains of various forms and styles, cascades, majestic palaces, numerous gilded statues of ancient gods and heroes were to demonstrate the might and glory of Russia that had turned into a navy state and become firmly established on the Baltic Sea.

In World War II Peterhof was occupied and during this time the Nazis blasted and burnt the Great Palace, severely damaged the Great Cascade and the cascades of the Gold Hill and the Chess Hill, destroyed the underground systems of water pipes, cut down the trees, dug and mined the parks, took away many statues, the famous Samson among them.

Restoration work began shortly after the release of Peterhof and continues to this day. 

 

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