Founded at the beginning of the 18th century by Emperor Peter I not far from St. Petersburg, Peterhof was designed to become the most splendid official royal summer residence. Work on the creation of a new residence progressed at an amazing speed. In August 1723, Peterhof was opened in a grand ceremony and by this time the Lower Park had already been laid out, the Sea Channel had been dug, some of the fountains were already working, the upper chambers had been decorated, and Monplaisir and Marley palaces had been built.
On the one hand, Peter wanted Peterhof to rival in splendor the most famous royal residences of Europe, while, on the other, the place had to become a symbol of the successful conclusion of Russia's long struggle for an outlet to the Baltic Sea. Both plans were brilliantly implemented. By the 1720s the Upper Garden (15 hectares) and the Lower Park (102.5 hectares) had been established as regular parks, the Grand Palace had been built, the world's largest system of fountains and water cascades had been created, and most of the sculptures were in place: numerous gilded statues made of lead, bas-reliefs, mascarons, and vases. In 1799-1806 the lead statues were replaced by ones made of gilded bronze. The sculptures of Peterhof were created by the masters Martos, Prokofiev, Rachette, Shubin, and Shchedrin.
In terms of its layout, the Peterhof ensemble combines the regularity and symmetry of the general composition with the skillful use of the natural terrain and with a variety of artistic styles in individual sections of the park, its pavilions, and fountains. The park's trees consist mostly of linden, oak, maple, ash, birch, black alder, spruce, as well as individual specimens of chestnut, fir, and larch. Flowers include numerous bulbs, aromatic medicinal herbs, and roses. The extensive area of the park features a wide variety of picturesque corners, and everyone will find something to suit their taste.
The Lower Park of Peterhof is world famous due to its unique and numerous fountains.
The official tourist portal of St. Petersburg / visit-petersburg.ru
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