Visit Peterhof, the magnificent imperial estate of Peter the Great, marvel at the architectural beauty of the palace, get impressed by the grandeur of the famous fountain system including the spectacular Grand Cascade, and enjoy the great park. Peterhof is often referred to as the Russian Versailles – make sure to see one of Saint Petersburg’s most popular tourist spot.
- Region in Russia: Saint Petersburg
- Topic: Sightseeing, Mansion
- Best Season: May, Summer, September
- Family & Kids: Yes
Peterhof – the Magnificent Imperial Estate of Peter the Great
Peterhof is a splendid, grand, magnificent and beautiful imperial estate founded in 1710 by Peter the Great on the shore of Baltic See, in the Gulf of Finland. The Russian Versailles, as it is often referred to, combines several palaces, a number of masterfully landscaped parks and dozens of marvelous statues and fountains. It is true, though, that Versailles was an inspiration for Peter the Great who wanted to build an imperial palace in the suburbs of the new capital. The estate was also a popular spot during the reign of Peter’s daughter, Elizabeth, who expanded the Great Palace, the park and the fountain system.
Today, Peterhof is Saint Petersburg’s most popular tourist spot. If you are in the city not for so long and have time to make only one trip out of Saint Petersburg, then choose Peterhof, the magnificent imperial estate of Peter the Great. Summer is the best season to visit Peterhof since at that time all the building are open to visitors and the famous fountain system is working (early May to early October). However, the summer season in Peterhof is also the most crowded time with quite long queues for attractions and for transport. Our advice is to visit Peterhof in September – beautiful fall colours and fewer crowds will make your visit to this popular tourist spot unforgettable.
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Peterhof Monplaisir Palace © Saint-Petersburg.com
Peterhof Marly Palace © Saint-Petersburg.com
Peterhof Hermitage © Saint-Petersburg.com
The buildings of Peterhof
Peterhof is the magnificent imperial estate of Peter the Great and later on of Romanov tsars many of which contributed to the architectural beauty of the vast territory of Peterhof. Let us have a look at the most interesting buildings of Peterhof.
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is the main building of Peterhof. The first and quite modest version of the palace was built here in Petrine baroque in 1725 by Jean-Baptiste Le Blond during the time of Peter the Great. After Peter’s death Peterhof was almost abandoned until Peter’s daughter Elizabeth came to power and decided to build a genuinely regal palace. Bartolomeo Rastrelli rebuilt the palace retaining the original building within his design. The elegant Grand Palace is majestic without being overwhelming, and provides a perfect connection to the Upper Garden and the Grand Cascade. The interior of the Grand Palace is indeed more lavish with 30 halls and ballrooms.
This small charming summer palace was designed by and for Peter the Great in 1723. Located in the eastern corner of the Lower Park, right on the shoreline of the Gulf of Finland, Monplaisir reminds Dutch mansion with its high gabled roof over the central corpus and narrow windows of rectangular form, and shows a charming mixture of grandeur and homely comfort (typical of Peter).
Sitting in the western part of the Lower Park, the Marly Palace is a lovely baroque mansion built by Peter the Great as an intimate retreat near the Grand Palace. The royal hunting lodge at Marly Le Roi, outside Paris, was Peter’s inspiration for this palace.
Located on a moted island on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, the elegant Peterhof Hermitage was intended by Peter the Great as an informal dining room for the closest friends and associates. The walls of the dining room are paneled with canvases, and now the paintings of French, Dutch, Flemish and German artists of 17th and 18th centuries are displayed there. The paintings were chosen from the stocks of the State Hermitage and show landscape and battle scenes to approximate the tastes of Peter.
Cottage Palace and Alexandria Park
Located to the east of the main park, landscaped parkland in the English style named after wife of Nicholas I – Alexandra Fedorovna. An English-style estate with a cottage palace, home-farm and Gothic Capella was built here in 1820s. Alexandra, former Charlotte of Prussia, did not like the pomp of lavishness of court life, and the Cottage Palace became the permanent summer residence of the royal family.
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Peterhof – Location Map & Contact Information
[om_gmap zoom=”15″ lat=”59.88450030000001″ lng=”29.8851756″ styles=”_map_box”]
Razvodnaya Ulitsa 2
Peterhof (town), Russia
How to get there – ARRIVAL INFORMATION
By train: Electric trains run from Baltiskiy Station to Noviy Peterhof (45 minute trip). The station is 20 min walk to the Upper Garden, or there are buses.
By bus or small mini bus (marshrutka): from in front of Baltiskiy Station to the park gates in Peterhof.
By hydrofoil: Regular hydrofoil run from the Hermitage jetty or from Admiralteyskaya Naberezhnaya. Works only in summer.