Peterhof is an immensely luxurious and beautifully preserved Imperial estate, founded in 1710 by Peter the Great on the shore of the Gulf of Finland (Baltic Sea). It combines several ornate palaces, a number of beautifully landscaped parks and a dazzling array of magnificent statues and fountains, lending it the epithet "The Russian Versailles
The Grand Cascade flows spectacularly from beneath the palace towards the Baltic Sea and is one of the largest fountain ensembles in the world. From the Grand Cascade's largest fountain, decorated with a magnificent gold statue of Samson battling with the lion, a channel flows through the park to the pier, where hydrofoils and boats from St. Petersburg dock
The focus of the Tsarskoselsky ensemble is Catherine's Palace, containing exquisite decorative objects, furniture, Russian and West-European paintings, unique collections of porcelain, amber, weapons, decorative bronze, sculptures, etc. Nowadays, the collection of the museum in Tsarskoye Selo comprises about 20,000 items. During the celebrations of the tercentenary to St.Petersburg, the "Amber Room" was opened after its restoration, one of the official halls in Catherine's Palace.
We are still at our 1st stop, the Old Stock exchange.
This is also where we encounter our first stalls selling souvenirs.
One seller, had just laid a small piece of tarp on the ground, and had a few Russian Hats and scarves for sale.
The Piskaryov Memorial Cemetery is where 470,000 civilians from the Leningrad blockade and 100,000 soldiers from the Leningrad front are buried.
The memorial is situated in the northeast of the city, on Prospekt Nepokoryonnykh (Avenue of the Undefeated).
A hammer and sickle on the tombstones indicate that civilians are buried here. Soldiers are buried under tombstones with stars on them. Over 600,000 total died.
Sad, solemn music is played in the cemetery. Because of the outdoor acoustics, it sounds like the music is everywhere, but it's low.
Somewhat of an eyesore compared to every other shot of the Neva River youll ever see. The Vyborg "side" isnt a tourist area and most Rfs wont be thrilled to take you here.
The prison has dozens of relatives/friends etc outside in the street waiting to communicate with encarcerated loved ones, these days probably not the political type prisoners but more likely real criminals.(That said, I saw alot less crime in the streets than in many other world cities).
The people used a huge number of hand signals to communicate with loved ones and its often a bit sad but always interesting to watch.
In the USSR times factories were placed throughout all the nieghborhoods without too much regard for industry invading a living area largely I think to facilitate commuting for the worker. Just on my bus #7 to Leninsky Station some days I noticed dozens of such factories along the way.
Far from being an ugly thing to me, it appealed to me REAL timeline of days gone by. Times when the workers, productiion and the USSRs percieved place in the world was based on labor, productivity and solely how it benefitted Russia.
Imagine how shocking this would all become after glastnost and people were free travel to and see all of Europe and America actually had better planned cities, less poverty and hugely better economies. Certainly they now struggle with "what happened".
I see these factories as mirrors of the past.
Tsarskoye Selo (Russian: Ца́рское Село́; meaning "Tsar's Village") is the town containing a former Russian residence of the imperial family and visiting nobility. All that complex is located about 24 km (15 mi) south from the center of St. Petersburg. Now is part of the town of Pushkin and of the World Heritage Site Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments.
At the moment of my visiting regular fee was 100 R.ruble. I pay 50 with ISIC discount.
Another thing is wedding in the park so all buildings was close for visitors. However, on lake was XII worlds and XI European championship in formula future. It was first time that I see this interesting motor-boat and I pay full attention. It was great day!
St.Pete dwellers sneer at us unsophisticated Muscovites, even when we go out of our way to say something pleasant about their imperial capital, but I will still try.
Peterhof is unique. You must absolutely see it, otherwise you will think we Russians are simply rude not to go into raptures about Versailles gardens – we are not that rich, but no one so far had such a thrifty idea as to switch off the fountains except for Sundays!
And, if you read the history chapter, you will see why even the younger generation takes World War II rather personal.
The official museum site is, well… no sight! The ‘people’s’ site is much better. Both in Russian only.
Photos are: courtesy Dirk Franke, http://peterhofmuseum.ru, http://www.peterhof.ru
What I can write about city that erected in mud and swamp on battlefield?!
This City was creation from an idea and vision and then the real material was shaped into the reality. As I big fan of creative and expedition and architecture this City was a real dream come trough. This City was build by same plan over 350 years. Even during mass destruction and ideological clashes it survive and pushed to its invaders to to readjust to its essential. I heard of stories that all what is shines in Saint Petersburg are gold. I would have to say that I think that this City is real treasure.
I'll just briefly look at some interesting places that I visited outside the inner urban core during my first visit to the city:
1. Petergof - famous Imperial summer residences and his numerous fountains settled on Baltic Sea coast;
2. Tsarskoye Selo (today Pushkin) - another famous imperial summer residences with its own lake and other attractions;
3. Pavlovsk - imperial summer residences with beautiful nature.
Petergof (Russian: Петерго́ф) or Peterhof (Dutch/German for "Peter's Court"), known also as Petrodvorets (Russian: Петродворец) from 1944 to 1997, is a municipal town in Petrodvortsovy District of the federal city of St. Petersburg. The town itself hosts one of two campuses of Saint Petersburg State University and the Petrodvorets Watch Factory, one of the leading Russian watch manufactures. But its more famous on another thing. A series of palaces and gardens, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great is also situated there. That is reason why Petrodvorets is often call as "Russian Versailles". The palace-ensemble along with the city center is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Situated on southern cost Gulf of Finland Peterhof very popular resort not just for its importance trough history but also because its beautify.
Visit Peterhof and discover fun on royal way!
Peter the Great had this incredibly beautiful place built as a summer residence for the royal family and wanted it to be like Versailles but just a little bit more. There are many palaces and hundreds of fountains. This time, we only walked in the gardens and plan to go inside the grand palace another trip. Queing to go inside would have taken at least an hour and there's so much to see outside. There is an ongoing restoration process and, each year, some new fountains are ready to be opened.
Driving in St. Petersburg looked to be a nightmare to us, but to our Russian driver, he just joined the mad house, cutting people off, beeping hooter, and squeezing tight inbetween cars. I was glad I was in the back seat! Even though it was chaotic, I never once felt scared, or that we were going to crash!
As it turned out, it was about a 30km drive to Peterhof from St. Petersburg.
I enjoyed the drive, as it was away from the city, and we saw many an old Tram, still being used on the tramlines, and we saw people sunbaking anywhere there was some grass to lay on.
Our guide said they do this as soon as they get some good weather, as they don't have many chances in a year!
As we came close to Peterhof, the buildings became nicer and some had some beautiful architecture. Don't miss the Church [previous tip]
I think it took about 3/4hour, soon passed by with new scenery to see!
St. Petersburg is a large, diverse city. Some people call it the Venice of the North, but we thought it is the Apartment Complex of the North as well. Much of it was destroyed in the Second World War 900 day seige, and it seems to have been rebuilt vertically. Given that, it is an enjoyable city in which to photograph since picture opportunities can be found in cityscapes.