Russia – Saint Petersburg – Peterhof Palace

Peterhof Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site outside Saint Petersburg, built by Peter the Great. It’s sometimes referred to as the “Russian Versailles”, thanks to the inspiration. It is a series of palaces set amongst magnificent gardens beside the Gulf of Finland seafront.

Peterhof Palace

Peterhof Palace

The Upper Garden has a trio of central fountain pools flanked with tightly manicured lawns and hedges.Frame 1

This expansive entrance leads to the Grand Palace, the largest of the palace buildings.

Grand Palace

Grand Palace

We didn’t go inside, but instead around the back to the palace’s main attraction; The Grand Cascade.

The Grand Cascade

The Grand Cascade

From the palace’s rear balcony, one gets sweeping views over the Lower Gardens and the Sea Channel, which (surprise surprise) leads directly north to the sea. A terraced grotto with gold statues overlook Samson Fountain, a spectacle in itself.

Samson Fountain

Samson Fountain

The fountain was built in the 1730s, depicting Samson tearing open the jaws of a lion, to represent Russia’s victory over Sweden in the Great Northern War. Why, you may ask? The lion is an element of the Swedish coat of arms, and one of the great victories of the war was won on St. Samson’s Day. It shoots a fountain of water 20m sky high.DSC03106

In fact, the Lower Gardens are filled with many fountains and pools of water. Impressively, they all operate without the use of pumps. There is a natural spring in the Upper Gardens that creates enough gravity pressure to drive the fountains, due to the land sloping down to the sea, which is equally difficult to notice due to the sheer scale of the whole place.DSC03088DSC03128

It is surprising just how vast the Lower Gardens area is. It stretches out east and west from the central Sea Channel, with multiple paths to wander, which intersect at more fountains and ponds. Every angle is different, providing many options for peaceful strolling.Frame 2

Some parts are manicured, while others are left more natural. You can imagine how amazing this would have been back in the day too. The perfect summer retreat!

Lower Gardens

Lower Gardens

On the seafront is the Hermitage Pavilion, a compact little palace building with its own balcony. A little seaside escape in itself!

Hermitage Pavilion

Hermitage Pavilion

Water features dominate the gardens. One of the largest  is Marly Pool; home to many ducks and a great reflection. The fog suddenly rolled in from the sea once we found it.

Marly Pool

Marly Pool

With a nice repeating arch promenade separating it from the sea, this was our last sight of a great day out.Frame 4DSC03031

Visited 11th September 2014.

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About starksepicadventure

We are Andrew and Lakshi Starks, young married couple from Melbourne, Australia. We are travelling around the world on our Starks Epic Adventure!
This entry was posted in Russia, Saint Petersburg and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Russia – Saint Petersburg – Peterhof Palace

  1. Rantasalot says:

    Amazing place and photos.

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