Petergof & Petrodvorets, A series of palaces and gardens.
Petergof or Peterhof, known as Petrodvorets from 1944 to 1997, is a municipal town in Petrodvortsovy District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, located on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland.
The town hosts one of two campuses of Saint Petersburg State University and the Petrodvorets Watch Factory, one of the leading Russian watch manufactures. A series of palaces and gardens, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great, and sometimes called the "Russian Versailles", is also situated there. The palace-ensemble along with the city center is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The dominant natural feature of Peterhof Grand Palace is a sixteen-meter-high bluff lying less than a hundred meters from the shore. The so-called Lower Gardens (Nizhny Sad), at 1.02 square kilometers (0.39 sq mi) comprising the better part of the palace complex land area, are confined between this bluff and the shore, stretching east and west for roughly 200 meters (660 ft). The majority of Peterhof's fountains are contained here, as are several small palaces and outbuildings. East of the Lower Gardens lies the Alexandria Park with 19th-century Gothic Revival structures such as the Gothic Chapel.
Atop the bluff, near the middle of the Lower Gardens, stands the Grand Palace (Bolshoy Dvorets). To the south of it are the comparatively small Upper Gardens (Verhny Sad). Upon the bluff's face below the Palace is the Grand Cascade (Bolshoy Kaskad). This and the Grand Palace are the centerpiece of the entire complex. At its foot begins the Sea Channel (Morskoy Kanal), one of the most extensive waterworks of the Baroque period, which bisects the Lower Gardens.
Founded at the beginning of XVIII century by Emperor Peter I in the vicinity of the new capital - St. Petersburg, Peterhof has become one of the most luxurious royal summer residence and a unique monument of triumphant success of Russia's struggle for access to the Baltic Sea. By the mid-20s of the XVIII century were broken regularly Upper Garden and the Lower Park, built the Grand Palace and some "small" palaces and pavilions, created the world's largest system of fountains and water cascades, made much of the sculptural decoration.
Entrance fees to the Lower Park:
First place is mentioned in the "outdoorsy magazine" Peter the Great September 13, 1705, but in 1714 he had the idea for a country house, which is in its luxury was not inferior to the French Versailles. I must say that Peterhof could literally be called "Peter's creation." Preserved to handwritten drawings emperor drawings with his notes and corrections, and other documents to prove that Peter was not only engaged in a common plan Peterhof ensemble, but also to develop individual components of architectural structures and fountains.
Work on the creation of a new residence were at amazing speed. Already in August 1723, the opening ceremony of Peterhof, and by this time was laid Lower Park, Sea Canal was dug, operated part fountains were decorated with the upper chambers, and built palaces "Mon Plaisir" and "Marley." According to Peter's vision, Peterhof was, on the one hand, equal in splendor with the most famous royal residence in Europe, on the other - to become a triumphal monument to the successful completion of Russia's struggle for access to the Baltic Sea. Both succeeded brilliantly done.
On a natural ledge height of 16 meters was erected the Great Palace, in the mid 18th century, rebuilt in the Baroque style under Rastrelli. As conceived by Peter, who wanted to decorate the main entrance of the palace waterfalls, built the Great Cascade - a huge cave, the sides of which are richly decorated with waterfall staircase. This is one of the most spectacular fountains in the world, which is the compositional center fountain "Samson" with a statue of the biblical Samson tearing the lion's mouth. This fountain has become a symbol of the Russian victory over Sweden: Leo was part of the coat of arms of Sweden, and often compared to Peter Samson. "Samson" - the highest Peterhof fountain, the height of the jet which can rise up to 20 meters.
The family of the fountains of Peterhof is vast and diverse. Fountain "Pyramid", similar to the shape of an obelisk - a monument to the victory of Russian troops over the Swedes. Bunk "Roman Fountains" modeled on the stone fountains, set in Rome in front of St. Peter's. Fancy and refined stage "Chess Mountain" ("Cascade Dragons"), but the Fountains "Umbrella", "Dubok" and "Herringbone" is clearly intended to raise the spirits of the visitors who are not afraid to get wet.
During World War Peterhof was captured by the Germans. His occupation lasted almost three years, and during that time the Germans blew up and burned the Grand Palace, the heavy toll the Great Cascade, Cascade "Golden Mountain" and "The Chess Mountain," destroyed the underground water lines, cut down, dug up and mined parks, took many statues, including "Samson." The fact that we now have an opportunity to admire the unique beauty of Peterhof, the harmony of art and nature, which was reflected in the parks and fountains of the city-museum - the fruits of hard work and dedication of many people.
In the time of Peter the Great, the sea floor just north of the Petergof site and to the east toward St. Petersburg was too shallow for either commercial ships or warships. However, to the west of Petergof, the sea floor dropped off to be deep enough for sea vessels. Accordingly, when Peter the Great decided to build St. Petersburg at the eastern end of the Gulf of Finland, he first captured the Kotlin Island clearly visible from the Petergof site just to the northeast in the middle of the Gulf. At Kotlin Island he would build the commercial harbor for St. Petersburg as well as the Kronshtadt fortifications across the 20 kilometers (12 mi) of shallow sea to provision and defend the Navy that he would build.
Peter the Great first mentions the Petergof site in his journal in 1705, during the Great Northern War, as a good place to construct a landing for use in traveling to and from the island fortress of Kronshtadt. In 1714, Peter began construction of the Monplaisir ("my pleasure") Palace based on his own sketches of the palace that he wanted close to the shoreline. This was Peter's Summer Palace that he would use on his way coming and going from Europe through the harbor at Kronshtadt. On the walls of this seacoast palace hung hundreds of paintings that Peter brought from Europe and allowed to weather Russian winters without heat together with the dampness of being so close to the sea. And in the seaward corner of his Monplaisir Palace, Peter made his Maritime Study from which he could see Kronshtadt Island to the left and St. Petersburg to the right. Later, he expanded his plans to include a vaster royal cha^teau of palaces and gardens further inland, on the model of Versailles. Each of the Tsars after Peter expanded on the inland palaces and gardens of Peterhof, but the major contributions by Peter the Great were completed by 1725. Peter had also entertained plans of a similar palace at Strelna, a short way to the east, but these plans were abandoned.
Peterhof originally appeared quite differently than it does today. Many of the fountains had not yet been installed. The entire Alexandrine Park and Upper Gardens did not exist—the latter was used to grow vegetables, and its ponds, then numbering only three, were used for growing fish. The Samson Fountain and its massive pedestal had not yet been installed in the Sea Channel, and the channel itself was used as a grand marine entrance into the complex.
Perhaps the most important change augmenting Peter's design was the elevation of the Grand Palace to central status and prominence. The Grand Palace was originally called simply 'Upper', and was hardly larger than any of the other structures of the complex. The addition of wings, undertaken between 1745 and 1755, was one of the many projects commissioned from the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli by Elizabeth of Russia. Likewise, the Grand Cascade was more sparsely decorated when initially built.
The augmentation of Peterhof's original fountains and the addition of new ones continued well into the 19th century.
On both sides of the Sea Canal, which connects the Great Cascade Gulf of Finland, located Alley fountains. This layout was designed by Peter I, who wanted to make worthy "sea gate" in his residence.
22 fountain along the Sea Canal was built in the years 1723-1724 by the architect M. Zemtsov. Originally they were called "Nishelnymi" because they were placed in the niches of a trellis, and much farther from the water than today. In the basins of tufa, exactly in the middle, found wooden bowls, of which hit the water jet. Four swimming pools, next to the Grand Cascade, a lead-coated cups were placed sculptural group H. Pino based on Aesop's fables. Plots were sculpted scenes allegorical satire on the main enemies of Russia at that time - the Swedes. Sculptures made Pinot fountains along the Sea channel name "fabolnye" (from "fabola" - a fable), the very same idea of sculpture was inspired by memories of Peter Versailles labyrinth.
In 1735, when he was installed fountain "Samson", M. Zemtsov moved Nishelnye fountains through the mall to the bank of the canal. Instead of wooden bowls were made of limestone pools in the form of baskets, fountains and pipes were altered so that the jets of water to form various geometric shapes. Among these figures were the pyramids by which the fountains were called Pyramid.
In 1853, architect A. Shtakenshneider planned remake Nishelnye fountains. By 1860, the master Peterhof Lapidary Factory in his drawings produced and installed along the Sea Canal, from the Grand Cascade, 14 round marble basins. They replaced the limestone pools established by M. Zemtsov, although 8 of old basins have remained in place, but were painted the color of the marble. They were replaced much later, in the 60 years of the 20th century.
In round basins were installed single-jet water cannons, and probably it has since emerged the name "Fountain Alley." It was due to the fact that four-meter jets gushing from a flat marble bowls, basins, is strikingly similar to the fabulous, created out of the water trees. During World War II the Germans were damaged pressure pipelines, wells with control devices and curbs marble basins. Alley fountains work again August 25, 1946.
1723-1724 years. - By architect M. Zemtsov built 22 Fountain along the Sea Canal.
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.
The main entrance is located in the west wing of the palace. This solution allows BF Rastrelli deploy a suite of state rooms, strung along the front of the axle (this principle is most fully realized in the next architect for the establishment of the grand palace - Catherine). Square in plan room with double-height staircase - one of the most spectacular palace interiors, featuring a grand and luxurious finish. It peaked Rastrelli synthesis of the arts, using almost all possible means dressing: oil painting ceiling, tempera paintings on the walls, moldings, wood carvings, wrought metal. The interior stairs are diversely different sculptural forms, bas-reliefs, cartouches, statues, rocaille, vases. But the main element of decoration, traditional interior Rastrelli, is a gilded wood carvings. Execution of works related to 1751; brigade headed by Russian masters Joseph Shtalmeer.
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