When in Saint Petersburg visitors absolutely must visit Peterhof. Peterhof is a succession of palaces, incredible fountain complex and numerous picture perfect parks. Peterhof Palace was imagined as the royal palace of Peter the Great. It was built in 1711. Peter the Great wanted to celebrate a crucial victory in the great northern war against the Swedish troops and he dedicated Peterhof to the victory over Karl XII (the Swedish king). Peter’s inspiration came from the Palace of Versailles, as he had visited France in 1716 and he was impressed with the palace’s architecture and rich decorations.
Indeed, if visitors do pay a closer attention, they will see the similarities between Versailles and Peterhof. However, there is one huge difference between the two and that is the enormous fountain complex, constructed on a much larger scale, with 176 fountains and four cascades. These fountains are located in a stunningly beautiful Lower Park. The most famous cascade is the Great Cascade that consists of 64 fountains and 37 gilded bronze sculptures. The most important sculpture depicts Samson (a character from the Bible, known as Heracles in Greek mythology and as Hercules in Roman mythology) and his fight with the lion. There is a 20m high jet of water that oozes out of the lion’s mouth. This sculpture symbolizes the victory of Russia over Sweden in the battle of Poltava.
We would recommend that our visitors should enter the Grand Palace. Even though there are all manner of other museums and the church to visit in Peterhof, this palace is arguably the most impressive one. The Grand Palace was built in the Baroque style and the interior decorations are absolutely divine. Visitors will have the chance to see the numerous porcelain vases, huge mirrors, intricately decorated fireplaces. It is evident that this was the Royal Residence built for the Tsar of Russia.
Parks and the garden take up the total surface of 414 hectares which means that it can take hours to see everything. Beautifully unique walks are guaranteed.
It is important to mention that Peterhof hosts 32 museums where over 320.000 museum items and works of art that belonged to the Royal family are exhibited. Therefore, visitors should prepare because they should be at the entrance gate early in the morning in order to see as much as possible of this grand palace.
Peterhof has been on the UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites since 1990.
The ticket price and working hours for Peterhof
The ticket price for the Lower Park in Peterhof is: 1000 RUB per person.
The Lower Park is open every day from 9:00am to 8:00pm (the last entrance is at 7:30pm).
Fountains in Lower Park operate from 10:00am to 6:00 pm and till 7:00 pm during the weekends. Please pay attention that fountains operate from May till October (it could be that they will operate even a bit longer, this however depends on the weather).
The admission to the Upper Garden is free of charge. Working hours is every day from 9:00am to 8:00pm.
The ticket price for Grand Peterhof Palace is 600 RUB per person. Working hours for Grand Palace is every day from 10:30 am to 6:00pm (last entrance at 5:00pm).
It is forbidden to take photos inside of the Grand Palace.
Notice: As mentioned above there are 32 museums in the Peterhof complex, among them Monplaisir, the private residence of Peter the Great in Peterhof, Catherine Wing, private chambers of the Empress, Bath Wing, Hermitage Pavilion, Alexandria Park, Tsarina's Pavilion and Olga's Pavilion and many more.
The ticket for each of these museums can be purchased separately, at the entrance of each if these museums. We would advise our visitors to check on the internet, before their visit to Peterhof, as to what they would like to visit. Visitors can also ask the staff of Peterhof, what they would suggest visiting according to the visitor’s preferences. But lest we forget , do try and keep in mind that surely all cannot be visited in one day.