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Peterhof (Petrodvorets)

Peterhof is perhaps St. Petersburg's most spectacular imperial estate. Nestled on the shore of the Gulf of Finland (part of the Baltic Sea), the palace was built on a sixteen-metre-high bluff lying less than a hundred metres from the shore.

The palace was initially built by Peter the Great as a resting place. Some buildings still retain the modest style of “Peter’s Dutch”.  First Peter, and then Elizabeth, intended to rival the famous Versailles in France, so the garden was decorated with fountains operating without pumps while the palace was redecorated by F. Rastrelli in the glamorous style of “Elizabeth’s Baroque”.

Peterhof reminds us both of the epoch of Peter with his passion for the sea and water, and the time of generous and frivolous “Merry Empress”, Elizabeth.

 

Grand Palace

At first, it was designed by Jean-Baptiste Le Blond as a modest palace. The building was completed in 1721. However, the palace appeared to be inadequate after the gardens were redecorated with the magnificent golden fountains.

Bartolomeo Rastrelli, who was commissioned by Elizabeth to redecorate the palace, expanded it by adding wings and pavilions with gilded domes. The interiors were redecorated in lavish, baroque style. Some of them were later redone in “Catherine’s Classical” style during the reign of this empress.

 

 Please note: In our opinion, the interiors of the Grand Palace and Catherine’s Palace bear certain similarity in styles both being a combination of “Elizabeth’s Baroque” and “Catherine’s Classic”. If you have Catherine’s palace on your agenda, we would recommend to do without an inside visit to the Grand Palace. Instead, we suggest you spend more time walking around the beautiful, peaceful, and entertaining fountain parks or visiting Monplaisir or the Cottage palaces.

 

Monplaisir Palace

This small but absolutely unique palace was designed by Peter for himself and remained his favorite retreat where he liked to receive and entertain his closest friends.

It is the only palace where so much reminds us of the spirit of Peter the Great. When inside, you can see a kitchen in the Dutch style, which Peter was so fond of, where his food was prepared. You can also tour Peter’s study with the view of the Gulf of Finland, his bedroom, and even a bathroom.

 

 

 

Cottage Palace and Alexandria park

Named after Alexandra Fedorovna, the wife of Nicholas I, after he commissioned a Scottish architect, A. Menelaws, to create an English park and a palace styled like a cottage. Cottage Palace is an extremely elegant building where you can feel the spirit of privacy and everyday life of Nicholas I, Alexandra, their children and grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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