Peterhof is possibly St. Petersburg’s most spectacular and popular attraction. It is not just one palace, but a number of grand palaces and parks spread out across the city’s Petrodvorets suburb. These Russian Versailles, modelled on the French palace, were inspired by Peter the Great. His vision was to create an imperial palace outwith the city centre, in which he was successful. This vision was first recorded in his journal as early as 1705, and construction began on the first palace, Monplaisir, in 1714. Over the years, the palaces and parks we expanded until the completion in 1725.
As with much of St. Petersburg, Peterhof was heavily damaged during the Second World War. By 1947, with the hard graft of military engineers and over 1000 volunteers, many of the buildings were restored to their former glory, however, restoration work still continues to this day. After the war, the suburb regained its Russian name, Petrodvorets, and the palace area became Peterhof once again.
Peterhof Palaces and Parks
Peterhof Palaces and Parks come under the umbrella title ‘Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments’ on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Peter the Great had a vision, not just for the palaces, but also for the whole city, and his influence is strongly seen along the canals, bridges and streets of St. Petersburg’s River Neva
The most famous feature of Peterhof is undoubtedly the Grand Palace. Looking onward from the lower garden, this palace does indeed seem grand. However, on a closer look, it is actually fairly modest, comprising of thirty rooms, the highlight being the vibrant Chesma Hall. The other main attraction of Peterhof is the beautiful Grand Cascade and Samson Fountain, also a must see sight. The area can easily be enjoyed by walking around the various gardens with many fountains, statues and sculptures that will catch your eye.
Accommodation near Peterhof
As this city is so large, it is recommended to choose accommodation in central St. Petersburg
so that you are close to public transport links. The Park Inn by Radisson Nevsky St. Petersburg Hotel is located on the city’s main avenue, Nevsky Prospect, and is adjacent to Moskovsky Railway Station and other public transport. This provides easy links to major attractions such as Peterhof.