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Peterhof: The Historical Palace of Peter The Great

16. September 2009 by Gregg 0 Comments

Peter I, Tsar of Russia and later of the Russian Empire founded, the city of Saint Petersburg on what was formerly Swedish land in 1703. He named the city after his namesake Saint and it served as the seat of his power until his death.

Peter I, also known as Peter the Great, began construction on Peterhof, his pleasure palace and summer home shortly afterwards. While during Peter’s life the palace was quite extravagant, the majority of the expansions and additions to the structures happened well after his death. Many fountains were built, without using a pump system to provide them with water and instead deriving their water from natural springs and reservoirs in the Upper Gardens of the palace.

Throughout the centuries, the Palace expanded further. The Grand Palace building was elevated and wings were added by notable Italian-Russian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Several gardens and a park were added and fountains were added into the 19th century. The palace, now more of a town in its size was captured by the Germans during the Second World War and heavily damaged. After the defeat of the Axis powers, restoration began.

Today, the town and Palace are recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage sites and function as a National museum.