Exploring the Peterhof Estate

Posted by Laura Želvytė  |  August 19, 2016

The Russian Versaille – that‘s how people refer when talking about Peterhof. The majestic St. Petersburg province is like something taken straight from a fairy tale. The magnificent buildings and gardens, unique fountains and beautiful nature, takes your breath away as you stroll down along the significant scenery. The best time to visit Peterhof is, of course, in summer. Everything is more beautiful in Peterhof when nature is blooming. Undoubtedly, exploring the Exploring the Peterhof Estate will leave you in awe!

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Taking inspiration from Europe

There is a reason why people always compare Peterhof with Versaille. Peter the Great desired to build a magnificent palace in the suburbs of St. Petersburg and inspired by Versaille. Peter The Great actually made his own sketches of ideas how the palace and its surroundings are supposed to look like. He was inspired by European architecture and beautiful European cities.The whole area of the Palace is surrounded by a very impressive park ensemble, filled with marvellous statues, fountains, ponds. The architecture of the Palace and every one of its buildings is one of the most beautiful examples of brilliant Baroque art. When on a tour of Peterhof, sometimes it starts getting hard to believe, that you are visiting Russia and not Italy or France.

The Great Palace

The impressive Baroque building used to be a summer residence for the Russian Monarchs. It stands on the top of the ridge and separates the two, upper and lower, parks. The Great Palace is an impressive symmetrical baroque building. However, it was restored quite a few times, due to many different reasons. So the building that we see now looks not the same as the original one. After Peter the Great‘s death, people were about to abandon the Palace and forget about it completely, but luckily his daughter Elizabeth acceded to the throne and didn‘t let the Peterhof Palace go to waste. An architect of the royal court – Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli is behind the idea of turning The Great Palace into the Baroque masterpiece that we see now. The palace was heavily damaged during the WWII but carefully restored to make it look like it did.

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The Lower and Upper Parks

The Lower Gardens, also known as the Lower Park, are the main attraction of the whole ensemble. Surely when you visit Peterhof and go wandering around in the garden, you will feel inspired and refreshed! The park looks best in late spring and summer. Stretching from to Great Palace to the Gulf Of Finland. The best thing about the Lower Park is undoubtedly the fountains! Coming to an impressive amount – almost two hundred – the fountains are scattered all over the park. The most interesting thing is – there is no water pressure added to make the water come up. A gravity-fed grid of 22 kilometres of pipes supplies the water for the fountains. All of them are decorated with gold statutes; that do look impressive.
The Upper Park (the Upper Gardens) is the space that separates the Great Palace from the St. Petersburg-bound highway. The labyrinth-like paths are decorated with fountains, statues, ponds, arbours and beautiful plants.