Russia: Peterhof

On the outskirts of Saint Petersburg are a number of former royal sites, of which one is Peterhof.  Peterhof is oftentimes compared to Versailles due to its opulent palace and gardens.  There are also hundreds of fountains that serve different functions.  They’re primarily decorative, but as Emily and I can attest there are also some that are triggered by children walking down a path or by the time of day.  It is a wonderful place to spend a day and get lost in a park.

The palace itself is beautiful, but a reconstruction of what was once there.  During World War II it was occupied by the Nazis who destroyed just about everything.  After the war it was patiently put back together.  The tour of the interior seemed very informative, but it was in Russian and there were no English pamphlets.  If you want to tour the inside of the palaces we highly recommend going with a friend who can interpret or hire a guide to explain everything.  You don’t need a guide outside as it is beautiful.

There are a couple different ways to get there.  Most people take the speedboat, but we took the subway and then hopped a local bus.  It was filled with local university students and took us through the outskirts of the city.  We saw tram lines and lots of communist era apartment complexes.  The new construction had Chinese written all over it.  I’m curious what the relationship is.  When we arrived at the palace a local church outside the gates caught our attention and we walked over there first.  The domes were ornate and it was the only church we entered during the trip that wasn’t really geared to accept tourists.

Here are some photos, but there are a lot more at SmugMug.

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~ by Rob Page III on August 2, 2009.

One Response to “Russia: Peterhof”

  1. I can see the similarities with Versailles. We visited France in August and very few of the fountains were in use. I always wanted to go back to Versailles when the special water/fountain shows were held. Guess now I can just switch my travel plans to Saint Petersburg.

    Your photos of the fountains are awesome!

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