About Peterhof

Peterhof is a unique treasure of the cultural heritage of The Russian Federation. Every year Peterhof is visited by millions of tourists, who come to admire the greatness of Russian baroque style. It is no wonder, there are plenty places to admire - parks with beautiful ponds, palaces, unique landscapes and finally the world’s famous fountains. When you look at them it seems like the history is frozen in the luxury of imperial masterpieces… frozen to live forever.

The legendary fountains were conceived by Peter the Great as a triumphal monument in honor of Russia's victory in the Northern War and its’ long-awaited access to the Baltic Sea. Besides, the emperor had another goal - to compete with the French Versailles, whose glory had been bugging him for a long time. It must be admitted that Peterhof brilliantly coped with both tasks.

Future capital of fountains was the project of the best architects and experts of that time. During that time 173 fountains and 4 water cascades were founded in the parks. Incredibly, even today they all work without a single pump! The secret of water supplying is in the power of nature itself and the talent of engineers who have developed a unique system of canals operating on the principle of communicating vessels. As the result, water from the Ropshinsky Heights spontaneously flows into the Upper Garden pools.

A few people know that the original plan was to construct fountains in Strelna, where significant work had been done already but it was found soon that local landscape is not suitable for fountains continuous work. Meanwhile if water level would be elevated to sufficient level the whole neighborhood would have been floated. Fortunately, Perehof wasn’t very fare and hopefully it had absolutely perfect landscape to become the new Russian Versale.

The Grand Cascade , one of the most spectacular fountain structures in the world, which powerful jet beats up to 20 meters upwards. Its’ sculptural decoration fascinates with its elegance and is always popular with park visitors . According to the plan of Peter the Great, the key element of the fountain composition had to be the figure of Hercules triumphed over the Lernean hydra, which would become a symbol of the victory of the Russian Empire in the Northern War.

However, sooner the more suitable allegory was found - Samson, Tearing the Lion's Jaws. The point is that Poltava battle, which took place on St. Sampson the Stranophone’s Memorial day, has become very significant for Russian Empire. And the lion was on the enemies emblem. That’s how Samson from biblical legend moved straight to the center of the water structure.

Another brilliant place to visit is the hermitage pavilion which is very famous with its unique lifting table. Right heremeetings with high-ranking guests and important strategic issues were taking place. Therefore the presence of any strangers, even the servants during the dinner, was unacceptable. That’s how the idea of lifting table came up. Guests were located on the second floor, the servants fussed on the first. On the Emperor's call, the table went down, dishes and dishes were replaced on it and it went up to the guests again.

Finally, another attraction of Peterhof, which is not related to architectural masterpieces though,is sweet squirrels. Nimble red animals which are as courage as arrogance are full-fledged inhabitants of all parks of Peterhof, so it’s easy to feed them with hazelnuts and almonds, which you can buy right there or bring with you.

During its three hundred year history, Peterhof experienced many ups and downs. Emperors and empresses together with the best minds of their time tirelessly increased his greatness. I saw Peterhof and devastation - after the war it was restored bit by bit, the restoration work does not end to this day. But he was always a special place. A place where you come to breathe deeply in the air of a beautiful past era. Today, without a visit to Peterhof, not a single trip to St. Petersburg is unthinkable, and we are glad that you decided to share this joy with us. Let the journey into history begin!