This is how Peterhof is often called. I still keep the book I bought there.
It is a book about Peterhof in English published in 1978.
It's a mine of information about all the sights of Peterhof!
Fondest memory: visiting the Grand Palace and the fountains
Favorite thing: This fountain is the centerpiece of the Grand Cascade. It has the biblical figure Samson prying open the jaws of a beast. This fountain commemorates the Russian victory over Sweden which guaranteed that Russia would have access to the Gulf of Finland and beyond. The fountain can be found just at the head of the Grand Cascade at the very end of the canal leading to the gulf. On a sunny day, you might see a rainbow at just the right angle.
Favorite thing: Besides the Grand Cascade, there are a variety of fountains spread throughout the gardens of Peterhof. If one should have the fortune to visit the grounds on a nice day (as we had), then this will be a wonderful experience. Several paths lead to various fountains set amidst the pine forests. As with many palaces in Europe, the fountain statues may be set after biblical, allegorical, or mythological figures. The photo is of the "Eve Fountain". Indeed, a visitor to Peterhof can also see the "Adam Fountain". The fountains are modeled after sculptures found at Venice's Doge Palace.
Favorite thing: These fountains echo the ones that can be found in St. Peter's Square in the Vatican. Peter the Great was much inspired by the gardens and palaces of Western Europe. In turn, he brought many concepts back to Russia with him. Although the photo shows just one, there are in fact two of these fountains on the grounds.
Favorite thing: A canal connects the palace between the Gulf of Finland and the Grand Cascade. This has somewhat of a similarity with Versailles in France, except here, the canal links to an important waterway. When Peter the Great ruled Russia, he considered it a priority that Russia establish itself as a sea power. The Gulf of Finland would connect St. Petersburg to the rest of the world. The hydrofoils bring visitors to the shore by the Gulf of Finland. From here, one can walk along the canal until they arrive at the great palace.
Tickets to the Great Palace cost 250 rubles in May 2003 (that's about 8 USD). It's not a bad price, but you will also have to pay another fee for any other building that you want to enter.
As well, tickets must be purchased for the grounds, they were only 100 rubles and give you access to an extensive network of paths and fountains.
We enjoyed wandering among the fountains so much that we never actually made it into any buildings other than the Great Palace (time was limited due to the schedule of the Hydrofoil). However, if you time your visit well, you can also pop into the Monplaisir palace (a favourite of Peter the Great's) or the Cottage Palace (designed for Nicholas & Alexandra) among others. . .there is a lot to choose from.
Fondest memory: The grounds are extensive and could likely take up more than a day, if you were so inclined. . .we really felt our time was cut a bit short, but we made the most of what we had.
Favorite thing: Only certain state rooms are open to the public, therefore I don't think we got to have a look at the interior of the pavilions (there is one on each side of the main section of the Great Palace). But, they are very photogenic and you'll find many spots around the exterior of the palace that call out to your camera.
The fountains of Peterhof are a big draw for tourists. . .and they do not disappoint.
Fondest memory: Walking the upper and lower grounds, checking of the varied jets and designs, was one of the most enjoyable parts of a visit. In fact, so much so, that I wouldn't really recommend visiting if the fountains are not yet running.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory has to be a late evening visit, with everything lit up and sparkling, including the famous fountains right near the main palace building!