Peterhof is the vision of Peter the Great and every year the fountains here attract millions of visitors. It was created in the early 18th century when the tsar built a series of palaces and parks in the Petrodvorets suburb of the city. Peterhof is known as the ‘Russian Versailles’ and was modelled on the French palace. The building was completed in 1725. During WWII the palaces were badly damaged, but by 1947 much of the reconstruction had already taken place. Today, this is one of St. Petersburg’s largest attractions. One of the biggest draws to visit Peterhof is the magnificent ornate gardens which are full of sculptures and fountains.
For Peter the Great, it was the engineering challenge that water could be propelled from jet fountains that pushed him to create the magnificent fountains that stand at Peterhof today. Since his time, many predecessors have worked to create even grander fountains in the parks and gardens.
Grand Cascade and other Fountains
The best feature has to be the Grand Cascade situated by Peterhof Grand Palace
. This incredible feature is made up of 64 fountains, all adorning over 200 bronze statues, sculptures and other ornate decorations. At the centre of the main feature is a large statue depicting Samson as he wrestles the jaws of a lion. Certainly arriving by sea provides a spectacular impression of the Grand Cascade. On the approach it stands in the foreground, with the Grand Palace dominating the background. However, no matter which angle you are standing at, you cannot help but be blown away by this remarkable fountain.
Although this is the main feature of the park, as you walk around you will find many other fountains worth admiring. The Chess Cascade looks like a giant misshapen chess board with the pieces dotted around the edges. Be aware though, that as you stroll around the gardens an unsuspected fountain might come to life as you pass through it.
Accommodation near Peterhof
The Peterhof Fountains are open from the end of May, after the winter snow clears. The official opening is celebrated by a one day festival, accompanied by music and performances as well as fireworks. Each of the parks fountains are turned on one by one.
When staying at St. Petersburg airport accommodation
, take time to travel into the city and visit the main attractions. From the Park Inn by Radisson Pulkovskaya Hotel you can take advantage of excellent transport links making the city centre and famous sights such as Peterhof easy to reach.