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Peterhof

Peterhof

Peterhof is a widespread ensemble of palaces, parks and gardens, located in the suburbs of Petersburg. It was created on the shore of the Gulf of Finland for the Emperor Peter I. Peterhof was laid in 1710 as a summer country residence of the royal family. Peter I wanted to build the ensemble that would be the symbol of the marine power of the Russian fleet and could match the residences of the European kings.

In 1714 the Great palace of Peterhof was constructed and in 1723 the building of the ensemble was finished. Peterhof became the example of the palace and park arts. The ensemble of Peterhof consisted of the Upper Garden, the Great palace with the Grand Cascade and the Lower Park with different constructions and fountains. The largest complex of the fountains in the world ? more that 150 fountains and 4 cascades ? is situated in the Lower Park of Peterhof. The Lower Park and the Upper Garden were designed as the first regular parks in Russia on the model of Versailles of the king Ludovic XIV. Different buildings, made in the baroque style, were located in the Lower Park: the palaces ? Marly, MonPlaisir, the Hermitage and others. Each fountain in Peterhof had its own form and design: the world-famous Grand Cascade with the fountain ?Samson, tearing the jaws of lion?, the pair fountains ?Adam? and ?Eve?, the ?Rome fountains?, the ?Lion Cascade? and the ?Chess cascade?, ?the Sun? and others. The strict alleys of Peterhof were adorned with bronze and gild sculptures, vases and bas-reliefs. The parterres and the variety of different plants and trees also were an integral part of the ensemble of Peterhof.

After the Revolution in 1918 Peterhof was turned into a culture preserve and the palaces of the ensemble were transformed into museums. During Second World War the German forces occupied the territory of Peterhof and the palace and the park were virtually destroyed. After the War Peterhof was renovated and in 1997 it got a status of the world cultural heritage of the UNESCO. Nowadays Peterhof is one of the most popular attractions for tourists among the suburbs of Petersburg.

Marly
Marly

The Marly palace is situated at the artificial island between the Marly?s pond and the Areal ponds. To the north of the palace a bank protects Marly of the wind from the Gulf of Finland. At first the palace was called the Lesser Seaside Hall, but after Peter?s voyage to France the palace was titled on the analogy of the residence of French royal family ? Marly-le-Rua. In the second half of the XVIII century Marly was transformed into the depository of the objects connected with Peter the Great.


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Gardens and Parks
Gardens and Parks

The Upper Garden serves as the entrance to the culture preserve Peterhof. This is the regular park with rectangular ponds, sculptures, clipped lime alleys, trellis galleries and pergolas. At first the garden served only as vegetable garden with vegetable patches and reservoir ponds for the supply of work of the fountains, located in the Lower Park.


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The Lion Cascade
The Lion Cascade

The Lion Cascade, at first planned as Hermitage Cascade, was designed by A.Voronikhin in 1801. It was the rectangular pool with waterfall projections, 8 marble bowls and with lions from the jaws of that the jets of water spouted. In 1857 the fountain was reconstructed by A. Stackenschnaider.


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The Great Palace
The Great Palace

In 1716 the Great Palace of Peterhoff was built by G.B. Leblon in the style of ?Peter?s baroque?. But to the order of Empress Elizabeth the palace was reconstructed by B. Rastrelli on the model of Versailles. The length of the facade, directed to the sea, is 268 meters. The right wing of the palace ends by the Church building, the left wing ? by the building Under the National Emblem (or the Heraldic Building). . Both buildings had the ceremonial meaning earlier: in the days of celebrations the royal family went out of the tsar?s rooms and went to the Church building.


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The Adam and Eve fontains
The Adam and Eve fontains

The oldest fountains ?Adam? and ?Eve? divide the Lower Park into two parts: male and female. The fountain ?Adam? stands in eastern part of the park, and ?Eve? ? in western. The pair fountains are similar: the sculpture on the pedestal stands in the center of each composition. The sculpture is framed by 16 inclined jets of water spouting at the 7 meter?s height. The peculiarity of the fountains is the water falling to big drops.


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The Great Cascade
The Great Cascade

The Grand Cascade is one of the most gorgeous fountain structures in the world. It symbolizes the idea of the sea power of Russian Empire. There are 138 jets of water spouting into the air, 250 bronze sculptures, bas-reliefs, bowls and other adornments. The fountain consists of three water staircases. In the center of the Cascade is the Lower Grotto with the fountain ?Basket? in front of it. On the two sides of the Grotto there are two water cascades composed of 7 steps.


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The Hermitage
The Hermitage

The Hermitage pavilion was built by I.Braunstein in 1725. The idea of the pavilion was brought be Peter I from Eastern Prussia. The title ?Hermitage? is translated from French as ?the place of solitude? and the whole palace is dedicated to this idea. Hermitage was intended for the dinners in the intimate circle. At first the palace was encircled with a moat.


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The Palace of Monplaisir
The Palace of Monplaisir

The title of MonPlaisir (or Mon Plaisir) palace is literally translated from French as ?my pleasure?. It is considered that MonPlaisir had been the favorite residence of Peter the Great. It was built by J.B.Leblon and N. Miketti in 1714-1723. After the death of Peter the First the palace was transformed into peculiar memorial. Nothing has changed in the rooms of MonPlaisir.


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