Summer Gardens and Peter I Summer Palace

Summer Gardens and Peter I Summer Palace

Summer Gardens (Letny Sad) 191186 St. Petersburg
Open: gardens 10am - 10pm, palace 1lam - 7pm
Closed: Tuesdays and the last Monday of every month
Tel. 314-0374, 314-0456
Nearest metro stations: Nevsky prospekt and Gostiny Dvor

The Summer Garden and Summer house of Peter the Great are two obvious examples of early 18th century Russian art which already felt the influence of best European samples of art.

The oldest garden in St Petersburg is almost as old as the city itself, and dates back to 1704 when Peter I proposed design for it with the formal imperior style and numerous sculptures and fountains. 

The flood of 1777 destroyed the original system of pipes and fountains which could have never been fully restored. Over 150 sculptures were also lost as a result of a flood. 

The formal but magnificent atmosphere of the Summer Gardens made it a perfect place for Peter the Great to hold the famous assemblies and court celebrations here. It was also a place where he saw foreign ambassadors.

Till the very end of the 18th century the Summer Gardens were open only to a selected number of royal courtiers. However, time passed and the Gardens became one the most popular pleasure grounds in the city. 

The fence of the Summer Gardens, one of the city cards, was designed in 1773-1786 by Y.Velten and P.Yegorov from the Neva side, and by L.Charlemagne in 1820s from Moika side. 

Yet another place of interest among must-see sights of St Petersburg is the Summer Palace. The modest facedes of it were built between 1710 and 1714 by Domenico Trezzini and Andreas Schluter. 29 basreliefs featuring glory of Russian naval decorate the Palace. The Palace, also known as the Summer House of Peter the Great, has two floors. It's interesting that despite of the numerous reconstructions the place has gone through, the interior of the vestivubes, the oak stairs and both lower and upper kitchens have survived. Permanent exhibitions in the Palace feature clothes of the Imperor and his wife, as well as other personal effects.
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