Peterhof (Petrodvorets) is a country residence of russian emprerors located in 29 kilometers from St. Petersburg, Russia. Peterhof is called a “capital of fountains”. There is a wonderful view you can observe when you are coming to Peterhof from the sea side: a huge Palace is situated at the higest point of 16 meters terrace.A huge cascade sparkles with golden sculptures and silver fountain streams at her slope.
In the middle of the water basin and in front of the casacde there is a fountain named “Samson”, further the water goes to the Gulf. The Gulf is the one of the oldest buildings in Peterhof, it was created by Peter 1 and was built in 1715 during the building of Upper Gardens. The Gulf became transport artillery and a front entrance in Peterhof, but when in 1735 the Samson Fountain was built in the centre of the basin, it got complicated to use the Gulf.
Peter 1 suggested to built 22 fountains, that could look like in the stories of Aesop, with sculptures along the Gulf. But later it was decided to make the fountains in a view of vases. In 1854-1860 the old vases were removed and there were left 14 fountains.Now their powerful streams creat a huge connonade that leads to the Great Cascade. The Gulf is considered to be one of the best attracts of the Peterhof, known for its beauty. It is decorated with granite and gold, but moreover the Gulf depicts an artistic and georaphical connection between the residence and the water.
The Gulf divides the Park into two parts: the eastern and western. In the eastern part there are situated many splendid attracts, such as: “Monplaisir”, “Rome Fountains”, “Pyramid Fountains”, “A chess mountain”, “The Sun”. In the western there are situated the “Hermitage”, “Marly Palace”, a “cascade Golden Mountain”.
Peter 1 chose this place for building of Peterhof because while his researches in the surroundings he found several water streams, that is how the creation of water system was given to Vasiliy Tuvolkov to charge over the building. Tuvolkov was a russian master educated in Holland and France.
In 1721 under the guidance of Tuvolkov were built channels and sluice-gates,by them from Ropshinskie visoty water moved by itself to the Upper Gardens basins, so that is why here it was possible to built only small fountains, though in the Lower Park,that was situated in the foot of the terrace, the water moved from the 16 meters height down to the basin of the Upper Garden and fell down with lots of streams making a huge fountain the park.
Nowadays is still greatly appreciated the talent of Peter 1, who found all the water resources, the water system works till now that tells us about his skills.
Peterhof is also known not only by its fountains, but also by a great quantity of Palaces and Museums. Museums are situated as on the territory of the Lower Park and above it. The Hermitage is situated in the eastern part of the Lower Park on the seaside of the Gulf. In terms of french language The Hermitage means – “a hut of a desert-dweller”. The front appearance of the Hermitage is depicted in its elegance. Its building started in 1721 by the order of Peter 1.
The Marly Palace is another beautiful building and a near gorgeous Marly Basin looks like a huge mirror that is divided into 4 sections. Building of the Marly Basin and its ponds started in 1719-1720. At first it was built as a one floor building, but by the order of Peter 1, there was added one more floor that gave the building an amazing balance.
The Great Palace is the largest and the most famous building in Peterhof, it is situated in the very center of the park. Near the Great Palace is situated the Great Basin, it is a balanced building built with three floors with galleries and with golden domes that stretches for almost 300 meters.
The look of the Great Palace today is a result of repairing and transformation of the building during 2 centuries. The Cottage Palace – is an architecture building of Alexandria Park in Petrodvorets. It is located on the Upper terrace in the south-eastern part of the park. From here you can observe the Finland Gulf and St.Petersburg surroundings. It was built in 1826-1829 by the project of Menelas architect in a gothic style.
14 September of 1947 is a historical moment in Peterhof, in front of the Great Cascade took its place golden bronze figures of Lions with open mouth. Peterhof impresses with its architecture, sculpter, harmony, art and nature.