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PETERHOF (PETRODVORETS)
 

 

 

 

Petergof known as Petrodvorets from 1944 to 1992, is a municipal town within Petrodvortsovy District of the federal city of Saint-Petersburg, on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. Population: 64,791. A series of palaces and gardens, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great, and sometimes called the "Russian Versailles" is situated in Peterhof. The palace-ensemble along with the city center is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Peter the Great first mentions the Petergof site in his journal in 1705, during the Great Northern War, as a good place to construct a landing for use in traveling to and from the island fortress of Kronshtadt. In 1714, Peter began construction of the Monplaisir Palace based on his own sketches of the palace that he wanted close to the shoreline. This was Peter's Summer Palace that he would use on his way coming and going from Europe through the harbor at Kronshtadt. On the walls of this seacoast palace hung hundreds of paintings that Peter brought from Europe and allowed to weather Russian winters without heat together with the dampness of being so close to the sea. And in the seaward corner of his Monplaisir Palace, Peter made his Maritime Study from which he could see Kronshtadt Island to the left and Saint-Petersburg to the right. Later, he expanded his plans to include a vaster royal château of palaces and gardens further inland, on the model of Versailles. Each of the Tsars after Peter expanded on the inland palaces and gardens of Peterhof, but the major contributions by Peter the Great were completed by 1725.

The dominant natural feature of Peterhof Grand Palace is a sixteen-meter-high bluff lying less than a hundred meters from the shore. The so-called Lower Gardens, at 1.02 square kilometers (0.4 sq mi) comprising the better part of the palace complex land area, are confined between this bluff and the shore, stretching east and west for roughly 200 meters (656 ft). The majority of Peterhof's fountains are contained here, as are several small palaces and outbuildings. East of the Lower Gardens lies the Alexandria Park with 19th-century Gothic Revival structures such as the Kapella.
Atop the bluff, near the middle of the Lower Gardens, stands the Grand Palace. To the south of it are the comparatively small Upper Gardens. Upon the bluff's face below the Palace is the Grand Cascade. This and the Grand Palace are the centerpiece of the entire complex. At its foot begins the Sea Channel, one of the most extensive waterworks of the Baroque period, which bisects the Lower Gardens.The Peterhof Grand Palace, is actually a part of palaces and gardens, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These Palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the "Russian Versailles". The palace-ensemble along with the city center is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.