Off the Beaten Track: Peterhof Gardens

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Grand Cascade, Peterhof Gardens.

“Does the group want to take the optional tour to Peterhof Gardens,” asked our guide, Olga to our Expressrussia.com/Intourist.com tour. Unanimous! On a cloudy, October 2015 day, we entered the world of the wealthy Tsars of the largest country on earth.

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Peterhof Gardens
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fountain
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Fountain and gardens.

Peterhof Gardens is part of Peter’s Palace complex (Peterhof) located in St. Petersburg, Russia. Peter the Great was inspired by Versailles palace in France. It was created on this model. The grandeur and opulence is one of a kind and unseen in our Western culture. It is an immense estate almost as large as Orlando, Florida’s Disney theme park. The Grand Cascade is shaped on the French King Louis IX Chateau de Marty’s.  It is impressive with multiple fountains and gold statues of Samson.

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WWII devastation
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WWII devastation

The changing of tree foliage enhanced the gardens’ beauty. We enjoyed the trick fountains that rained on us. A white bench dropped a curtain of water suddenly on persons. In addition, adorable ducks swam in a picturesque fountain.

Fountains operate without the use of pumps. Water is supplied from natural springs and collects in reservoirs in the upper gardens. The elevation difference creates the pressure that drives all the fountains.

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trick fountain

“Like almost all St. Petersburg’s suburban estate, Peterhof was ravaged by German troops during the Second War. It was, however one of the first to be resurrected and thanks to the work of Military engineers as well as over 1,000 volunteers, the lower Park opened to the public in 1945 and the facades of the Grand Palace were restored in 1952. The name was also de-Germanized in 1944, becoming Petrodvorets, the name under which the surrounding town is still known. The palace and park are once again known as Peterhof.”1 St. Petersburg past has strong roots with German culture. Europe and Russia’s monarchs of 100 years ago were German related.

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fountain

The Russian people, whose income is lower than persons in the West, sacrificed to bring Peterhof Gardens and Peter’s Palace back to life after WW II. They are tough and determined. The Tsarist and Russian Orthodox civilization came to life again. They shared with our group the beauty of Peterhof Gardens.

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trick fountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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trick fountain

References:

  1. http://www.saint-petersburg.com/peterhof

Links:

http://www.saint-petersburg.com/peterhof/   – guide

picasaweb.google.com/105743188183721570894/6280880271907662721  – photo album

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