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Principal "Green Zones" of St. Petersburg
August 8, 2011 12:19

The Summer Garden

The Summer Garden was laid out in 1704 by order of Peter the Great, who personally took part in its constrcution. It was made in regular style with strict geometricla alley layout. Marble European sculptures were placed, rare flower species were planted and fountains were constructed. It was founded for the court life. Many balls were held here along with the strolls for noble families.There was a summer imperial residence here. A great palace, built by the architect Trezini for Peter I, was constructed.Now it is one of the main tourist attractions. 
Its alleys are decorated with the works of Italian sculptors of the 17th and 18th centuries- Boratta, Bozazza and many others. It is the oldest Russian collection of garden sculpture.The Summer Garden possesses 89 splendid marble sculptures. The sculptures can be divided into three main theme groups: Historical, Allegorical (Truth, Beauty, Faith, Nobility, Glory, Victory) and Mythological characters. "Peace and Abundance" sculpted by Pietro Baratta is situateded in front of the southern facade of the Summer Palace and symbolizes the victory of Russia over Sweden in the Northern (Severnaya) war and is an allegorical representation of the Niestadt Peace Treaty.
All the statues depict the images of ancient gods and heroes, it was one of the ways to represent the idea of state and improvement work of Peter the Great.
Even the garden fence is a true masterpiece. Made by the architect Phelten,it consists of several granite columns and iron links with bronze decorations. Ine can also admire " Coffee House" ( made by Rossi) and " Tea House". In front of the last one a monument to the Russian fabulist Krilov was founded. The pedestal of the monument is covered with bas-reliefs of the fable characters.

The garden is mentioned in the poem of Pushkin  "Evgeny Onegin" and also in the verse of Akhmatova  "The Summer Garden".

How to get here: the Summer Graden, Kutuzov embankment, 2

It is open : 10.00 -21.30 (from May to September) ; 10.00-18.00 (from October to March). Days off : Tuesday and last Monday of the month.

Tavrichesky Garden
The garden was laid out in 1783-1789 on the territory of the mansion of Grigory Potemkin, the favourite of Katherine the great. This land was a gift from the Empress for outstanding service in opening up Tavrida ( peninsula Crimea). Garden architecture and decoration were charged with the architect Starov and English garden master Guld. Ponds and channels were dug through the garden and picturesque hills were constructed. Special trees and bushes were brought from England for the decoration. The garden was made in a romantic style, imitating the nature. 
 In the 30s of the 20th century there was a Public Park of Culture there and later on - children's park with the sportground and attractons.
The garden played an important role in the period of the Great Patriotic War, when it was udsed as a vegetable garden and citizens could plant something there, as the city was surrounded from all sides.
It was also a place of car-repair workshops and cars, realizing the transporation of products on the "Road of Life", were repaired there.
The garden got suffered during the war-a German bomber fell down on its territory in 1941.After the war the garden was restored and in 1962 a monument " To the young heroes of the defence of Leningrad" was opened.
One of the gifts for the anniversary of St. Petersburg was Parlament Alley, opened in 2003.The garden has been decorated recently with the statues of the composer Tchaikovsky and poet Esenin.

How to get there: Kirochnaya street,50. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 20.00 p.m.

Alexander Garden

The garden was laid out in 1872-1874 on the territory of Admiralteyskay square and was projected by Regel. All the improvement and garden works were timed to the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Peter the Great. The ceremonial opening was in 1874 in the presence of the Emperor Alexander II who agreed to give his name to the garden. People started calling it simply " Sashkin garden" ( Sashka is the shortening of Alexander).

The Emperor even planted the first oak of the park, which keeps on growing there nowadays. Generally speaking, the trees and bushes were the pride of the garden from the very outset. Five thousand trees and twelve thousand bushes of different species were planted.

It was decorated with "musical" or "dancing" garden, as the height of its spurt depends on the musical time. In the end of the 19th century several new monuments were opened: to Zhukovsky, Gogol , Lermontov and Glinka.The garden was a very meeting point. Well-known Russian poet Sasha Cherniy descibed this garden as a place full of people, especially in spring, when it is very hard to find " a free bench ".
During the siege of the city it suffered a lot from artillery shelling and bombing. Despite of the fact that people needed firewood to heat the flats,especially in winter, nobody cut down the garden trees. The citizens prefered to burn their own wooden furniture.

The last reconstruction was held in the early 2000s, when architects restored the historical layout.

How to get here: Admiralteysky passage, 1.

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg is one of the oldest ones in the country. Founded in 1714 as Pharmaceutical Vegetable Garden, it turned soon into the center of investigations. Its significance and collection can be compared with the best botanical gardens. Initially, only herbs were planted on the territory of the garden. Later seeds and saplings were brought there and planted in special hothouses. Because of the frequent expeditions to various corners of the world the collection increased regularly.  
Most part of the modern territory of Botanical Garden is designed in English landscape style. Typical Russian plants are bed out, tropical and subtropical ones are in the hothouses, the examples of Caucasian, Mediterranean and Asian flora can be found in rock garden. Besides, there is a collection of ferns, Chinese and Japanese plants, palms, bamboos, coniferous trees, orchids etc. In the swimming-pool of one of the hothouses one can see giant lily flowers that blossom out in autumn and spring. Its leaves are two metres long and can bear 60 kilos. There is also a rare exotic flower " Queen of the night ", flowering only once a year.
During the Great Patriotic War garden collections took heavy losses : many unique examples were destroyed. After the war collections were partially restored.

How to get here: Professor Popov Street ,2. It is open every day except Friday from 10.00 a.m. to 18.00 p.m. Hothouses are open from 11.00 a.m. to 16.00 p.m.

Maritime Victory Park
Maritime Victory Park belong to the parks of the 20th century, it was opened in 1945. It was dedicated to the victory of USSR in the Great Patriotic War. It soon became a popular place of recreation. It combined the functions of sport centre and memorial monument.
The basis of the park design is a combination of landscape and regular styles. The compositional axis of the park is the Main Alley, 2 metres long. It is decorated with flowerbeds and bushes. On the two paths parallel to the Main Alley are situated bronze sculptures " Sailor of the Black Sea Fleet "and " Girl meeting the winners ". Ot ends with the square with the monument to Kirov.  
Another important alley is the Alley of Friendship of Cities. Since 1966 delegates of various countrieshave planted here trees and flowers. There is a stone slab near each tree, where the name of sister city is mentioned. You can see trees planted by delegates from Poland, France, Germany, Finland and many others.

One of the places of interest is a pillbox, operating during the war. There is also an inscription beside it : " Here in the days of siege was a defensive line of Leningrad ". In the southern part of the park a memorial stele is set where in allegorical form a victory over Germany is depicted. The stele was founded on the 20th anniversary of the park.
Maritime Victory Park is one of the main places of walks and meetings. There are attractions, restaurant and even well-organized park. Young people come here to ride a bicycle or skate. Southern and Northern ponds can be wonderful places for a romantic walk.

How to get here : Krestovsky avenue, 21.

Alexandra Dibizheva

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