Around Saint Petersburg – an afternoon in Peterhof

Peterhof near Saint Petersburg is my favorite park ever. I was there with Ernst – some fifteen years ago. I was here alone in the pouring rain – some four years ago. Now on a sunny Sunday in June 2017, I return with Ursula and I am happy to see that she enjoys Peterhof as well.

We take the hydrofoil or meteor at the Admiralty Embankment and chase along the Newa and the Baltic Sea.

At the peer of Peterhof we buy entry tickets for the park. This is the view of the peer with the Gulf of Finland taken from the castle.

The channel leads from the Sea to the castle. It must have made a great impression on visitors visiting Peter the Great at Peterhof. A clever demonstration of power that Peter the Great had  conceived together with his German architect Braunstein. The castle has been designed by Rastrelli, one of Peter’s main baroque architects.

The central cascade with the fountain of Samson reflects in the sun.

And Rastrelli’s castle is a romantic silhouette behind the “water curtain”.

It is Sunday, and many, many, many more people from Saint Petersburg enjoy the park with us. We can feel, they do ENJOY the park. The atmosphere is relaxed. Actually, the large number of relaxed visitors adds to the charm of the park with its fountains.

We first explore the fountains west of the castle. This is the Golden Mountain fountain and we believe the tree in the foreground is a quince tree.

Then there are the Lion’s fountain,…

… Eva and…

towards the east of the castle, Adam.

I am not sure, what this fountain is called like.

These are the Christmas Tree Fountain (Peter added humor to his park)…

… and the Chestboard Fountain.

There are also some nice Pavillons in the park.

This pavillon is called “Marly”. It was a guesthouse that now has been renovated to show the furniture that Peter had selected for his guests. For instance the kitchen with the blue Dutch tiles and the sleeping room with millefleur wallpaper and matching curtains. The Marly can only be visited with a tour guide that goes into detail… we escaped silently in the middle of the tour.

Peter the Great loved his Monplaisir house located on the shore of the Gulf of Finland. The garden leading to his Monplaisir shines red – the tulips are in full bloom, as in June it is still spring in Petersburg.

Unfortunately we could not enter Rastrelli’s palace. When we tried to buy tickets more than an hour before closing time, the ticket office was already closed. Well, we enjoyed the gardens and we look forward to seeing Rastrelli in Puschkin – he has also conceived the Palace of Catherine I.

Around six o’clock, we return to the peer. We say good-bye to Monplaisir (in the background) and to mama duck with her chicken…

… and take the hydrofoil back to the Ermitage in Petersburg.

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