The State Peterhof Museum Reserve
Петергоф Государственный Музей Заповедник
The brilliant palace and park ensemble of Peterhof, conceived and created at the will of Peter the Great as a counterpart of Versailles, is situated on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, 29 kilometers from St. Petersburg. In the course of 200 years, it served as a summer residence of the Russian monarchs. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was a setting for majestic receptions, grand festivities, balls, concerts and masquerades.
The Peterhof ensemble includes the Upper and Lower Parks with 150 fountains spurting upwards powerful jets if water and four resplendent cascades. The Peterhof system of water supply is unequalled as concerns the time of its operation. At the edge of the 16-metre high natural terrace soars the Great Palace – the focal center of the ensemble designed by Rastrelli. The rich display of the palace acquaints its visitors with magnificent state rooms and halls and the living apartments of the Russian Emperors. At the foot of the palace you can see a pageant of the Great Cascade with silvery fountain jets and numerous golden sculptures, including the famous Samson Fountain. Water failing down the cascade runs through the Sea to the Gulf of Finland.