A Wonderful Place to Come!
Peterhof Park and Palaces with its beautiful fountains are definitely one of the most popular places in Russia. If you come to St. Petersburg in late spring, summer or early autumn, visit Peterhof, one of the former countryside residences of the Russian royal family.
Peterhof is located at a distance of 29 km (18 miles) from St. Petersburg and this is an approximately 1-hour drive or you can take a hydrofoil from the centre of St. Petersburg and reach Peterhof in just 35 minutes by water, of course in the summertime.
The place, founded in 1705 by the Russian tzar Peter is situated on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. Peterhof, a name given to this place by the Russian tzar Peter the Great, can be translated from German as Peter’s yard. In an attempt to create a park better than Versailles in France Peter ordered to build beautiful fountains there. Today one can count nearly 150 fountains in the park.
Many of the fountains symbolize Russia’s victory over Sweden in the Northern war, as a result of which Russia got an access to the Baltic Sea. The fountains are decorated with gilded and marble sculptures.
Peterhof Park and Palaces
Peterhof Park consists of two Parks, -a Lower garden, located at sea level with an area of 115.5 ha (278 acres) and an Upper garden with an area of 15 ha (37 acres), located on a terrace. There is an elevation difference in the Park, which gives a special charm to cascade fountains that decorate the park.
Due to the northern climate of St. Petersburg, the fountains of the Peterhof Park and Palaces do not function the whole year round. They start the fountains late April and there is running water until late September, daily starting at 11:00 a.m – 6:00 p.m.
There are several palaces in the park: The Grand Palace in the centre was initially built for Peter the Great in 1714, but later rebuilt by Francesco Rastrelli for Elizabeth, daughter of the tzar. Three smaller ones built during the time of Peter I, are the Monplasier palace, the Hermitage pavilion and the Marli palace respectively.
Instead of wasting time in palaces, many visitors prefer when coming to Peterhof, especially in summer to spend more time walking along the picturesque alleys among the trees and admire the silver rays of water in the fountains.
The Grand Cascade, Chessboard Hill Cascade, Lion Cascade, Samson Fountain, Adam and Eve Fountains impress the visitors with their unfading beauty. In Peterhof Park, you will also find the so-called trick fountains, in which the water goes off unexpectedly. It can be really amusing and refreshing in hot summer weather. All in all, Peterhof Park and Palaces is a wonderful place to come and enjoy both the rich history and nature.
Entrance fee for the Peterhof Grand Palace
Non-Russians: Russian and Belarus citizens
adults — 600 rubles adults – 450 rubles
students and pupils — 300 rubles students and pupils – 300 rubles
Open Daily 10:30 – 18
Tickets’ Offices are open until 17.00
The Palace is closed on the last Tuesday every month.
Please note that the Palace is not open to individuals permanently, at some hours it is being closed for serving tourist groups, which are numerous in the summer season. The museum tends to be overcrowded on weekends as well as the whole Peterhof complex itself.