Posted - 26th July 2017
During our stay in St. Petersburg, as you may have read in our blog A week in: St. Petersburg, we went on a day trip to the summer palace of Peter the Great called Peterpalace.
This is located in the Peterhof town, outside of St. Petersburg, on the Gulf of Finland. The Peterpalace and its grounds are known for their beautiful fountains and gardens. The palace is located just off the Finnish bay, so when you visit the palace, you can get close to the bay and even take a boat tour out on the bay, or even all the way to St. Petersburg town. The palace was first built in 1714, but sadly it was destroyed during the War of 1941-45, and what you see there today is thanks to the restoration works that took place after the war.
The most magical of the entire palace is the main fountain called the Great Cascade that you can see in the lower park, right in front of the palace. To gain access to the lower gardens and the entire park, you have to buy a ticket at the ticket office. There are many ticket booths, so buying a ticket is quick and easy and not that many queues. We would recommend you get to the palace before 11, as at 11am sharp, the fountains are turned on, with music playing in the background, which is just magical.
We decided that after our experience at the Catherine Palace at Tsarskoe Selo, we didn’t want to enter the Peterpalace, but just enjoy it’s beauty from the outside, and enjoy its gardens.
Tip: If you want to see all the gardens and the palace, we would recommend staying there the entire day, and make sure you bring a picnic as buying food there is very expensive.
As the weather was quite nice while we were there, walking around the gardens was exactly what we needed. We cannot even describe the amount of fountains we saw in these gardens.
There was the Lion Cascade fountain, which looked more like a massive temple / statue, with water pouring everywhere:
Then there was Cascade of the Golden Hill fountain. This fountain was a beautiful cascade of water, with marble stairs on each side, surrounded by beautiful marble statues.
There was also a fountain called Adam and Eve that was surrounded by nice green hallways.
There was a fountain in a shape of a pyramid called the Pyramid fountain:
Another special fountain, was the Cascade of the Checked Hill. This looked like a big check board, with many statues on each side, and staircases on either side, with water cascading down:
Our favourite fountains were of course, the joke fountains. They would turn on when you least expect it and spray you wet. All the children in the park were having a great time trying to escape these fountains.
Of course these grounds didn’t just have fountains, there were huge lakes and places where you could sit, a labyrinth and beautiful flowerbeds.
There were other beautiful buildings in the gardens as well that you could enter if you bought separate tickets, such as the Marly Palace, which sat beautifully on a small lake.
There was also a Hermitage Pavillion, that was used for dinner parties and meaningful discussions in the olden times.
On the bay, you also had the Montplaisir Palace, which again, you could enter, but our favourite part was its view over the Gulf of Finland, and fountains and gardens in front.
And finally, there was a stunning Orangery Garden that again, had a stunning fountain in front of it. This building was transformed into a restaurant, so if you feel like treating yourself, you should definitely have a bite to eat.
If you’ve had enough of walking around the lower gardens of the palace, you can also go to the top garden, where you can see the other side of the palace as well. This front garden is free to access and again, has stunning fountains and gardens.
One thing that I really enjoyed about this park was that there was text and pictures everywhere that showed how the grounds and the palace looked after the world war, and how damaged everything got. It really impresses you, just how much work was done and how much blood, sweat and tears was put into restoring this beauty.
If you do have some time to spare after your visit to the Peterhof grounds and Peterpalace, we would suggest you have a stroll around the Peterhof town. We were so impressed by how cute and quaint the city was. Every single house was decorated and restored, and the church was beautiful.
We hope you enjoyed our little story and photos of our day in Peterhof, and we hope that this inspired you to go there.
Xoxo Ani and Sam