The Peterhof Palace is a series of palaces and gardens laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These Palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the 'Russian Versailles'. The palace-ensemble along with the city centre is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Peter the Great first mentions the Peterhof site in his journal in 1705, during the Great Northern War, as a good place to construct a landing for use in travelling to and from the island fortress of Kronstadt. And in 1714, Peter began construction of the Monplaisir ('my pleasure') Palace based on his own sketches of the palace that he wanted close to the shoreline. This was Peter's Summer Palace that he would use on his way coming and going from Europe through the harbour at Kronstadt. On the walls of this seacoast palace hung hundreds of paintings that Peter brought from Europe and allowed to weather Russian winters without heat together with the dampness of being so close to the sea. And in the seaward corner of his Monplaisir Palace, Peter made his Maritime Study from which he could see Kronstadt Island to the left and St. Petersburg to the right. Later, he expanded his plans to include a vaster royal château of palaces and gardens further inland, on the model of Versailles. Each of the tsars after Peter expanded on the inland palaces and gardens of Peterhof, but the major contributions by Peter the Great were completed by 1725.

Peterhof originally appeared quite differently than it does today. Many of the fountains had not yet been installed. The entire Alexandrine Park and Upper Gardens didn't exist, the Samson Fountain and its massive pedestal had not yet been installed in the Sea Channel, and the channel itself was used as a grand marine entrance into the complex.

Perhaps the most important change augmenting Peter's design was the elevation of the Grand Palace to central status and prominence. The Grand Palace was originally called simply 'Upper', and was hardly larger than any of the other structures of the complex. The addition of wings, undertaken between 1745 and 1755, was one of the many projects commissioned from the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli by Elizabeth of Russia. Likewise, the Grand Cascade was more sparsely decorated when initially built. The augmentation of Peterhof's original fountains and the addition of new ones continued well into the 19th century.

Peterhof, like Catherine's Palace, was captured by German troops in 1941 and held until 1944. In the few months that elapsed between the outbreak of war in the west and the appearance of the German Army, employees were only able to save a portion of the treasures of the palaces and fountains. An attempt was made to dismantle and bury the fountain sculptures, but three quarters, including all of the largest ones, remained in place. The occupying forces of the German Army largely destroyed Peterhof. Many of the fountains were destroyed, and the palace was partially exploded and left to burn. Restoration work began almost immediately after the end of the war and continues to this day.

The name was changed to 'Petrodvorets' ('Peter's Palace') in 1944 as a result of wartime anti-German sentiment and propaganda, but the original name was restored in 1997 by the post-Soviet government of Russia. In 2003, Saint Petersburg celebrated its 300th anniversary. As a result, much of the building and statuary in Peterhof has been restored and new gilt-work abounds. Today Peterhof is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Saint Petersburg area.

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Founded: 1714
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Russia

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Gustavo Talles Silva (8 months ago)
The fountain is wonderful and the gardens are pleasant. However, no museum has accessibility, although the website claims that some are won. Buy tickets for the garden and a museum online but all museums were closed without notice. The queue to visit the palace is huge and admission is not included. It is better to arrive early and buy the personal ticket so as not to spend money for nothing. Exciting visit. Live history! Unforgettable in its ostentation and grandeur. Undisputed marks of the luxury and power of the tsars and the Orthodox Church. Mandatory visit. Set aside many hours.
RAGHVENDRA SINGH (8 months ago)
The Peterhof Palace (Russian: Петерго́ф, IPA: [pʲɪtʲɪrˈɡof],[1] (an emulation of early modern Dutch "Piterhof", meaning "Peter's Court"),[2] is a series of palaces and gardens located in Petergof, Saint Petersburg, Russia, commissioned by Peter the Great as a direct response to the Palace of Versailles by Louis XIV of France.[3] Originally intending it in 1709 for country habitation, Peter the Great sought to expand the property as a result of his visit to the French royal court in 1717,[3] inspiring the nickname of "The Russian Versailles".[4] The architect between 1714 and 1728 was Domenico Trezzini, and the style he employed became the foundation for the Petrine Baroque style favored throughout Saint Petersburg.[5] Also in 1714, Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond, likely chosen due to his previous collaborations[6] with Versailles landscaper André Le Nôtre, designed the gardens. Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli completed an expansion from 1747 to 1756 for Elizabeth of Russia. The palace-ensemble along with the city center is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the early 1700s, the original Peterhof appeared quite different from today. Many of the fountains had not yet been installed and the entire Alexandrine Park and Upper Gardens did not exist. What is now the Upper Gardens was used to grow vegetables, and its ponds, then numbering only three, for fish. The Samson Fountain and its massive pedestal had not yet been installed in the Sea Channel, and the channel itself was used as a grand marine entrance into the complex. Olgin Pond (1840s), by Yegor Meyer Perhaps the most important change augmenting Peter's design was the elevation of the Grand Palace to central status and prominence. The Grand Palace was originally called simply 'Upper', and was hardly larger than any of the other structures of the complex. The addition of wings, undertaken between 1745 and 1755, was one of the many projects commissioned from the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli by Elizabeth of Russia.[18] Likewise, the Grand Cascade was more sparsely decorated when initially built. The augmentation of Peterhof's original fountains and the addition of new ones continued well into the 19th century. 1941–Modern Day Edit Peterhof, like Tsarskoye Selo, was captured by German troops in 1941 and held until 1944. In the few months that elapsed between the German invasion of the Soviet Union and the appearance of the German Army, employees were only able to save a portion of the treasures of the palaces and fountains. An attempt was made to dismantle and bury the fountain sculptures, but three quarters, including all of the largest ones, remained in place. Monument of the naval landing in Lower Gardens of Peterhof near the pier. On 23 September 1941 German troops captured Peterhof. Two weeks later, on 5 October 1941, Soviet troops tried to recapture the town and block the highway by naval landing. 510 marines of the Soviet Baltic Fleet landed on the beach of the neighboring park of Alexandria but faced a heavy fire from the Germans. The commander of the operation was killed, all landing troops became disorganised, one landing craft was sunk and another one missed. Despite Soviet attempts to cover the landing forces by coastal artillery from Kronstadt, they were quickly suspended because of lack of connection with the landing troops. Evacuation attempts also failed due to heavy German artillery shelling (only one marine was picked up from the water). The Peterhof landing operation failed and all landing troops were cut off from the shore and surrounded. Some of them reached the Lower Gardens and fought until the bitter end, including hand-to-hand combat. The last pockets of resistance were destroyed on 7 October. Several dozen German Shepherd dogs were released into the gardens to find the hiding marines. Many of the wounded marines were bitten to death and several were captured.[19] In 1980 a memorial was erected near the pier of the Lower Gardens. The occupying forces of the German Army largely destroyed[20] Peterhof. Many of the founta
Isaac Leavitt (12 months ago)
This will require an all day trip since it us so amazing and grand, so make plans accordingly. I would also take some time to walk around the city itself and see all the different places there.
Илья Самойлов (12 months ago)
Wonderful place to visit with family or friends. Here you can walk hours and hours. But need at least 4-5 hours to visit and look carefully each part of the park
MJ Omidi (14 months ago)
My favourite place in Saint Petersburg and off course it was the favourite residence of Peter I. Its grandiose architectural and park ensemble is a masterpiece of eighteenth and nineteenth century. The lower park, in which there are a variety of buildings and numerous fountains, is in front of the northern facade of the palace, stretching down towards the sea. Take your time and enjoy your visit.
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Early modern times through Thirty Years' War

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17th through 19th centuries

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20th century

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Today

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