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Peterhof: Main Attractions
March 5, 2016 00:59



The Lower Park
is a face of touristic Peterhof. It is the "Russian Versailles", the kingdom of fountains. The Park stretched  on the Gulf of Finland by 102.5 hectares. It is divided into the outlines of Peter I and according to the master plan of architect Braunstein.

The Grand Palace is overtopped on the ledge over the Park. The Sea Canal, dugged from the Gulf to the palace, divides the park into two parts, east and west. There is a complex of Marley and "Hermitage" Pavilion in the west of the palace. A complex of Monplaisir palace is situated in the east.  

Almost all of the Peterhof fountains are concentrated in the Lower Park: one hundred and fifty fountains and four cascades. 
The most famous are Samson’s fountain and the fountains of the Grand Cascade. The Fountain "Greenhouse" and cascade "Chess mountain", Roman fountains, fountain "Pyramid", fountains-firecrackers, fountain "Adam," fountains "Sheaf" and "Bells" are in the eastern part of the park. In the western part fountain "Eva", "Favorite" and "Whale", Lion Cascade and Cascade "Gold Mountain", Menager fountains and fountains "Cloche" are located. Another attraction of the park is parterre flower beds, typical for French parks. 

They are arranged on both sides of the Sea Canal bucket. Flowers are planted in such a way that together with the green lawns ("meadow") they form a multi-colored figures and intricate patterns. Near the Palace "Monplaisir" in the memory of the founder of Peterhof they traditionally plant Dutch tulips. In the Lower Park during the period of governing of Peter I the main entrance to Peterhof was located by sea channels directly to the palace.

Fontains alley
In Peterhof is represented by 22 pools with fountains on both sides of the Sea Canal. As conceived by Peter I, along the canal the round pools of limestone with "fable" fountains - sculptural groups on fables stories and vases-fountains were built. Jets of these fountains beat in different directions and rose to different heights. Later they were all moved closer to the channel. Then fourteen pools from the bucket to the Marly Bridge were replaced with new one of marble. Eight pools remained the same, but the fountains inside were made similar - round bowl with a high jet at the center. 

Cascade "Gold Mountain" is located in the west part of Lower Park at the Marley Palace. It is a marble staircase with 21 steps and with the height of 14 meters. There are Triton, Neptune and Bacchus statues upstairs   and there are gilded sea monsters-mascarons with the mouths from which the water flows, under the statues.  12 statues are located on both sides of the stairs which are the copies of ancient sculptures. There is a statue of Andromeda at the lower level. There is a marble goddess of spring Flora in the center of the pool under the stairs. The fountain season opens in Peterhof in the middle of May and ends in the middle of September.


The first palace of Peterhof, Monplaisir, was built according to the plan of Peter I on the site that he chose in the east of the Lower Park.

From the windows of the Tsar’s cabinet you can see Kronstadt and St. Petersburg. Peter I particularly liked Monplaisir, hence the French name - "my joy" or "my pleasure." The palace stands on the shore of the bay, lined with granite boulders on the terrace. With the water offers a wonderful view of the elegant building with a white balustrade. 

On the opposite side Monplaisir is decorated with the galleries filled with the light. Laconic architecture and decoration of facades remind the Dutch style, so beloved by Peter I. 

The palace includes the whole complex of buildings: the eastern and western Guest galleries, Assembly Hall, Catherine's section, Bath section and Washing section, as well as a garden with fountains and flowerbeds. The Chinese garden with sculptures of "Cupid and Psyche" and a small cascade "Shell" is situated close to the Bath section. In the palace you can see the lacquer panels of Chinese style, oak panels, porcelain and paintings from the collection, which Peter I collected personally. There are a lot of interesting things in the Bath section, for example, a chandelier in the form of shower, and in the old "washing section for gentlemen and ladies".

Book transfer to Peterhof from St. Petersburg

Marley is a two-storey palace in the western part of the Lower Park in Peterhof. It was built in 1720-1723 by architect Johann Braunstein. The palace was named as the residence of French kings, Marly-le-Roi, admired Peter I who visited it. Initially Marley served as a shalter for the noble guests of Peterhof. Despite this, the palace looks very restrained, a two-storey building of cubic volume, decorated with only a balcony with an openwork lattice. Here is an absolute harmony without any pomp.

A large rectangular pond is dug in front of the palace as a mirror that doubles its image and expands the space. In the west, there are four Sectoral ponds. During the Peter’s time the ponds were used as a pool for storing live fish caught in the bay, and the breeding of carp, pike and trout. In the garden of Venus, which is included in Marly ensemble, berries and flowers were grown. In recent years, the tradition was renovated: trout and sturgeon are again bred in the ponds. If desired, and for an additional fee you can catch fish and eat; it will be cooked for you in a restaurant nearby.  Three alleys pass from the palace crossing the whole Lower Park - Marly, Malibanskaya and Berezovaya. From the north and south it is surrounded by Bacchus and Venus gardens. Immediately after the death of Peter I the palace became his memorial. The Tsar’s personal belongings were collected there.

Among them you may  find the clothes, the jar for mineral water brought from Flanders, where Peter I had been treated at a spa resort as well as a collection of Dutch paintings. That palace, which we see today, is the result of careful work of restorers, who renovated it under the archival materials after the war. In 1944, Marley was blown up by the retreating Nazis.




Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Peterhof Leningrad Region    

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