Peterhof (Peter"s Court) is the summer palace of Peter the Great built originally in the early 1700's and severly damaged in WWII. Peter built it, Elizabebeth the granddaughter renovated it and added much of the gold gilding and further renovation was done under Caherine the Great. Damage during WWII lead to major reconstruction. Today Peterhof is a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE. The Russian Baroque grand design was influenced by Versailles. No photos are allowed in Peterhof although I did see some people taking pictures on the sly.
Security is all about and they did not seem friendly. Slipper bags to put over shoes are provided to those entering the palace.The major rooms are the Ballroom, Blue Dining Room and the Picture Hall. Much gold gilding of molding makes the rooms seem rich and opulent.
The gardens are spectacular. Entrance to the gardens is an additional charge of about $18 US. The marble Grand Cascade is the focal point with the Statue of Samson in the central fountain. There are trick fountains which activate when you approach, sit down or touch something. The Sun foutain rotates once activated. People in period costumes walk about and pictures are available at a cost. Peterhof is about an hours bus ride from St. Petersburg. There is a hyrofoil which leaves from the Hermitage which will also take you there. A doubledecker bus leaves at the Baltic Train station. It is pay toilets only at the palace.
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