Peterhof Things to Do

  • Dutch-tiled pantry where Catherine would cook
    Dutch-tiled pantry where Catherine would...
    by grandmaR
  • Russian immitation of Oriental lacquer
    Russian immitation of Oriental lacquer
    by grandmaR
  • Upper Palace at Peterhof
    Upper Palace at Peterhof
    by grandmaR

Best Rated Things to Do in Peterhof

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Appreciate Peterhof castle before the Fountains

    by jumpingnorman Written Feb 1, 2009

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    Peterhof Castle, St. Petersburg, Russia

    When I first went to Peterhof, I was so intent on seeing the fountains, but my guide assured me there was enough time to roam around later and that I had to appreciate the castle itself first.

    She was right.

    There are about thirty rooms in this narrow palace which has some French interior design. It is adorned by paintings like Battle of Chesma, a stunning naval victory of the Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774 painted between 1771 and 1773 by the German artist Jacob Philipp Hackert.
    There is also an oriental influence through the East and West Chinese Cabinets decorated between 1766 and 1769 to exhibit objects of decorative Asian art. Chinese landscape paintings in yellow and black lacquer are in some of the walls.

    A Picture Hall also has its walls are almost entirely covered by a series of 368 paintings, mostly of variously dressed women (but apparently drawn from a single model) purchased in 1764 from the widow of the Italian artist P. Rotari, who died in St. Petersburg.

    Truly there’s a lot of treasures to be found in the castle and appreciated before you venture outside.

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    Museum Halls

    by hunterV Written Sep 15, 2009

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    Grand Palace, Peterhof
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    The Grand Palace of Peterhof includes a lot of museum halls and historic places , among them:
    - the main staircase;
    - exhibition rooms;
    - the Blue Reception Room;
    - Chesma Room;
    - The Throne Room;
    - The Audience Chamber;
    - The White Dining Hall;
    - The Dish Heating Room;
    - The Buffet Room;
    - The Western Chinese Study;
    - The Picture Hall;
    - The Eastern Chinese Study;
    - The Partridge Drawing Room;
    - The Lounge;
    - The Dressing Room;
    - The Study;
    - The Staddards Room;
    - The Cavaliers’ Room;
    - The Minor Passage Room;
    - The Blue Drawing Room;
    - The Secretary’s Room;
    - The Reserve Quarters Room
    - The Crown Chamber;
    - The Oak Study;
    - The Oak Staircase.

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  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    See the "Russian Versailles" and more at Peterhof

    by jumpingnorman Updated Apr 5, 2009

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    Amazing fountain gardens at Peterhof, Russia

    I first heard about the Peterhof Fountains after I booked my trip to St. Petersburg. It has been known as the Russian Versailles – and I love Versailles!

    And when you see the fountains for the first time, you are just in awe about how opulent they lived in the past. The Grand Cascade Fountains are just amazing with their golden statues – the water flowing in a semi-circular pool and the Samson Fountain showing Samson himself (Russia) opening up the jaws of a lion (defeated Sweden) to reveal a 20-meter high jet of water! Amazing!

    And all the waters operate without pumps – the water comes from natural springs and collects in reservoirs in the upper gardens and the elevation difference creates the pressure drive.

    Definitely a wonder and ranks as one of the world top fountain gardens! I love Versailles -and although Peterhof is similar to Versailles in some ways, both of them have their unique characters...

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  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Get wet in the playful fountains of Peterhof!

    by jumpingnorman Written Feb 1, 2009

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    Russian guide gets me wet in this Russian fountain

    When you walk the grounds of Peterhof Castle, you will find several fountains giving you the opportunity to get wet ---- it's a sort of Wet and Wild from the times of Czars and Palaces...

    I was walking and saw a group of Japanese tourists huddling together at a certain fountain -- one of their members was covering herself with her kacket as she attempted to cross a water fountain --- once she runs on that ground, water spews out to wet her! I caught the moment in one of my videos here on VT!

    Hehehe, I should have tried that! Maybe you can! I will next time I visit...

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    Oak Study

    by Canadienne Updated Aug 19, 2003

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    Oak Study

    In contrast to the other rooms of the palace, Peter the Great's Oak Study is simple, functional, and very rich in character. It was one of the more interesting rooms to us, precisely because it felt used and "lived in," a feeling that many of the other rooms weren't able to convey. It is one of the only rooms that is in its original form, virtually unchanged since the initial design and construction of the palace.

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    The Picture Hall

    by Canadienne Updated Aug 19, 2003

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    Rotari Portraits

    The Picture Hall was the most interesting (to us at least!) of all the rooms ~ it was re-decorated in 1764 with the portraits (by Count Pietro Rotari) of 364 women.

    The roof in this room is very high, so the floor to ceiling effect of the paintings is stunning. There's also a wide variety in the ages, expressions and costumes of the women who posed for Rotari. . .it's definitely worth pausing to examine them.

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    State Rooms

    by Canadienne Updated Aug 19, 2003

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    Blue Dining Room?

    There is some uniqueness to a few of the rooms ~ the Picture Hall, Chinese Studies and Oak Study in particular ~ but the others are a variation of the one photographed here. The height of luxury: sumptuous fabrics, exquisitely detailed decorations. . .but little character to bring the room to life.

    Still, you can set your own pace on the walking tour. . .and the estate offers other delights, outside of the palace, as well.

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    Grand Cascade & Marine Canal

    by Canadienne Updated Aug 19, 2003

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    Grand Cascade & Marine Canal

    From the terrace of the Great Palace, you can look back over the route you have just covered, from the Gulf of Finland to the palace door.

    Note the tour groups (Russian & Spanish were the languages we heard) in the right of the photo. If they join you in a palace room, it's best to stand back and let them pass. They'll be led at a quick pace (and given viewing priority), so it's easier to do that than to try to rush ahead of them.

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    The Palace

    by Canadienne Updated Aug 19, 2003

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    The Palace

    Known today as the Great Palace, the main building of Peterhof was actually not Peter the Great's favourite (nor does today's estate look anything like his original design, thanks largely to Elizabeth I's alternations and additions).

    Although he designed the Palace (and Petersburg) after the fashion of Western Europe, his personal tastes were more modest and he spent most of his time in the smaller building called Monplaisir (closed during our visit).

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    Grand Cascade Sculpture

    by Canadienne Updated Aug 19, 2003

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    Grand Cascade Sculpture

    Aside from the statues, there are also 64 fountains and 142 jets of water making up the Grand Cascade

    The fountains are usually turned on from May to October, but, if it is important to you, I would recommend calling first. I will freely admit that if the fountains had not been running, I wouldn't have been nearly as satisfied with the visit.

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    Marine Canal

    by Canadienne Updated Aug 19, 2003

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    Mom & the Marine Canal

    Initially designed and used as a transportation route, the Marine Canal's construction began in 1715.

    Once the Grand Cascade fountain was placed in its way two decades later, it's purpose became purely decorative.

    If you arrive by hydrofoil, as we did, your walk to the palace will take you along this north-south route. The palace is revealed bit by bit. . .and the effect is fairly impressive.

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    Palace Tour

    by sswagner Written Jan 4, 2005

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    Palace of Peterhof

    Over the years, the palace has undergone extensive restoration since taking on damage during the German advance to Leningrad. There are many fine rooms in the interior. You can see a throne room, a dining room, a bedchamber, and several themed rooms. My favorite was the study of Peter the Great, which is the room with the globe. Peter travelled to other countries to get a better understanding of the world he lived in. He took the knowledge of his travels back with him to make Russia a great country.

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    Trick Fountains

    by grandmaR Updated Sep 8, 2013

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    when you walk up to the bench you get sprayed
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    The Lower gardens are between the shore and the Palace. These gardens have a lot of beautiful vistas, and some trick fountains. My granddaughter gave me her camera and went to activate one of the trick fountains - there was a bench there and if you walked up to sit on the bench, water would spray up your back. But I couldn't get the camera to work so I missed the picture. She did get one of someone else. There are other trick fountains Two take the form of gangly trees rigged with jets that activate when someone approaches. Another, disguised as an umbrella with a circular bench set around the stem, drops a curtain of water from its rim when someone enters to take a seat, but I think we only saw the one with the bench with the cobblestone fountain area in front of it.

    The smaller Upper Gardens are free, but entry to the Lower Gardens requires the purchase of tickets (not included in the boat fee for visitors arriving by hydrofoil). Our tickets were purchased for us by our guide so I don't know what they cost and the website doesn't really say what the price is.

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    Peter's the Great's Little Palace

    by grandmaR Updated Sep 8, 2013

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    Dutch-tiled pantry where Catherine would cook
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    The only palace that we toured at Peterhof was Monplaisir. which the guide told us was the favorite residence of Peter the Great. She said that the Peter and Catherine would come out here to relax by themselves with just some close friends - without a lot of servants. She even did the cooking. When we got to Monplaisir itself, we put on the booties over our shoes. There were two wings with black and white tile floors and decorated ceilings and paintings on the walls. They had floor to ceiling windows on both sides of the fairly narrow corridor.

    This is a small palace - other than the two wings, there was a sitting room, dining room, kitchen and butlers pantry, bedroom and study. There was also a water closet. The decorative moulding is a masterpiece of interior decoration.

    The tsar himself chose the location, perched right on the Gulf of Finland. Besides planning the inner layout and much of the interior decor, Peter also came up with the name for the palace — Monplaisir (meaning "my pleasure").

    The palace was built between 1714 and 1723 by Andreas Schluter, Johann Friedrich Braunstein, Jean-Baptiste-Alexandre Le Blond and Nicola Michetti. The exhibits include, Chinese porcelain, Dutch faience, Russian glass and eighteenth-century cooking appliances.

    June 5 to October 9: daily, 10:30 am to 6 pm. Last admission is at 5 pm.
    Admission: RUB 360.00. Audio-guide: RUB 150.00
    Photo and video: not allowed

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    The Russian Versailles

    by grandmaR Written Sep 9, 2013

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    Upper palace from afar
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    After lunch, I made my way up to the upper palace and waited for the guide and my granddaughter. The long, narrow palace has minimal decoration. with two white pavilions with gilded cupolas at the end of the wings. But it is still impressive from the outside

    When we were here, we did not go inside of the Higher Palace which was (like many palaces in many countries from this period of time) modeled after Versailles. Inside, the Grand Palace is reported to be considerably more lavish, although the interiors had to be almost entirely reconstructed after World War 2.

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