Peterhof, St. Petersburg, Russia

Peterhof (or Peter's Court in German) served as Peter the Great’s personal landing during the later part of his reign as Tsar of Russia. A cluster of breathtaking palaces, the biggest overlooking a lush French formal garden with numerous fountains (all gravity-fed), the locale has been described as the “Russian Versailles.”

Situated on a 16-meter (55-foot) bluff overlooking Kotlin Island (today’s Kronstadt naval base), the site was selected by Peter in 1705 as a landing for ships that would take him on state excursions to Europe. At the time St. Petersburg was hardly two years old, many of its buildings were just barely under construction, and the Great Northern War was ongoing with Sweden. However, the waters off the palace site were sufficiently deep to allow the site to serve as a state reception manor.

After Peter defeated King Charles of Sweden he began construction in the new capital and broke ground for his summer palace called “Monplaisir” or “My Pleasure” in 1714. In 11 years the earliest of the Peterhof palace was erected. Initially designed by Braunstein, later modified by Jean-Baptiste LeBlonde and then by Niccolo Michetti into a Baroque-structure that still stands near the shore. After Peter’s death, the palace was preserved as a private museum dedicated to the Tsar.

Unfortunately the Peterhof complex was was badly damaged during the German occupation at the Siege of Leningrad, yet it has been restored to the most to its original state. Among the other beauties of the complex are the Marly Palace, a Russian replica of the French Château de Marly at Marly le Roi, that served as a repository for Tsar Peter’s many collections. It took until 1982 before the building could again house exhibits and still serves the important purpose of protecting the Upper Gardens from the winds coming off the Gulf of Finland.

Another highlight is the Grand Palace built by Peter’s daughter Elizabeth who brought Bartolomeo Rastrelli that created a new extravagant baroque building between 1747 and 1752. During the siege of Leningrad, the palace was almost completely destroyed, it took 7 years to restore and it was reopened in 1964.

The Samson Fountain, dating back to 1735 and depicting the Greek hero tearing apart the mouth of a lion, had a similar fate. Symbolizing the defeat of the Swedes (which used the lion as an emblem), the statue was badly damaged by the retreating Germans, yet was quickly restored by 1947.

Of course, the greatest fountain at Peterhof is the Grand Cascade. This work of art was modeled on an existing French fountain. It extends downward from the Samson Fountain toward the Baltic Sea. What is more, all of the Peterhof fountains operate without the use of pumps, water is supplied from natural springs. Thus the artistic achievement of the Peterhof is a must-see attraction when visiting St. Petersburg.
Peterhof, St. Petersburg, Russia
Peterhof, St. Petersburg, Russia

See it on following tours

Rating:
4.92
4.918550175845213

Treasures of Two Capitals

Moscow Saint Petersburg

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Treat yourself to an outstanding experience of Moscow & St. Petersburg with our 5-star small group tour in Russia. An enhanced itinerary of our signature tour with luxury central hotels & extra tours

Rating: 5.00
From
$3,098

Classic Moscow & St. Petersburg

Moscow Saint Petersburg

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Unmatched in convenience and price, this 4+ star program takes you through main highlights of Russian capitals in our signature style: best guides, downtown hotels & seamless logistics

Rating: 4.95
From
$2,498

Treasures of Two Russian Capitals

9 days / Private tour
Moscow Saint Petersburg
COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Our private tour of Russia's Moscow & St. Petersburg covers all major highlights in a completely carefree fashion. As always offering top-notch quality and service throughout
Rating: 4.98
From
$3,096

Venice of the North

7 days / Private tour
Saint Petersburg
COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Meet Saint Petersburg, Russia's most beautiful city. Our private St. Petersburg tour shows you the very best of what the city has to offer, from canals to remarkable palaces and imperial estates
Rating: 4.89
From
$2,518

Platinum Russia

Moscow Saint Petersburg
COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Be treated like royalty discovering Moscow and St. Petersburg with the best 5-star hotels, thoroughly designed tours, Russian visas, 1st class train tickets and transfers included in our 5+ star luxury tour
Rating: 5.00
From
$6,794

UNESCO Tour

13 days / Private tour
Moscow Suzdal Yaroslavl Kazan Saint Petersburg

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Set off on an outstanding 13-day tour dedicated to Russia's top UNESCO World Heritage Sites from Moscow to Kazan to Saint Petersburg.

Rating: 4.80
From
$3,768

Volga Dream St. Petersburg - Moscow

11 days / 5-star cruise
Saint Petersburg Kizhi Island Yaroslavl Uglich Moscow
FREE FLIGHTS: Reverse sailing of the Volga Dream from St. Petersburg. Free limited-time flight credit for airfares to Russia included.
Rating: 5.00
From
$4,396

Treasures of Three Capitals

13 days / Private tour
Moscow Kazan Saint Petersburg

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Experience the best of Russia's three capitals: the gorgeous Kremlins of Moscow and Kazan and exquisite palaces of St. Petersburg during the 13-day private tour.

Rating: 4.82
From
$3,768

Russia + Scandinavian Capitals

16 days / Private tour
Copenhagen Oslo Flam Bergen Stockholm Helsinki Saint Petersburg Moscow

RUSSIAN VISAS Treat yourself to the award-winning program that includes the highlights of Scandinavian cities and fjords combined with Russia's two stunning capitals.

Rating: 4.96
From
$7,291

Volga Dream Moscow - St. Petersburg

11 days / 5-star cruise
Moscow Uglich Yaroslavl Kizhi Island Saint Petersburg
FREE FLIGHTS: Don't miss out on our exclusive limited offer: flight credit for airfares to Russia included for the famous Volga Dream cruise.
Rating: 5.00
From
$4,396

Volga Dream Gold Moscow - St. Petersburg

13 days / 5-star cruise
Moscow Uglich Yaroslavl Kizhi Island Saint Petersburg

Set sail on the Volga Dream Gold cruise and see the best of genuine Russia and its two capitals on a 5-star ship.

Rating: 4.99
From
$4,495

Russian Ancient Kingdoms

Moscow Sergiev Posad Suzdal Saint Petersburg
COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Combine your premium experience of Moscow & St. Petersburg with a visit to the heart of ancient Russia, the Golden Ring. Bimonthly guaranteed departures.
Rating: 4.93
From
$3,298

Volga Dream Platinum Moscow - St. Petersburg

13 days / 5-star cruise
Moscow Uglich Yaroslavl Kizhi Island Saint Petersburg

Get inspired by the beauty of authentic Russian Volga River towns with the Platinum Volga Dream program.

Rating: 4.99
From
$6,245

Private Tour SPECIAL: Treasures of Two Capitals 5*

9 days / Private tour
Moscow Saint Petersburg

Our 5-star private tour to Moscow and St. Petersburg is a dream come true. Choose one of our fixed dates to benefit from the exclusive hotel rates and have it all with our SPECIAL OFFER.

Rating: 5.00
From
$3,248

Private Tour SPECIAL: Treasures of Two Capitals 4*

9 days / Private tour
Moscow Saint Petersburg

Travel to Moscow and St. Petersburg with our hallmark private tour to Russia and take advantage of the SPECIAL OFFER: pick one of our fixed dates and benefit from the exclusive hotel rates. 

Rating: 5.00
From
$2,916

From Saint Petersburg to Beijing

Saint Petersburg Moscow Kazan Ekaterinburg Irkutsk Ulan Bator Beijing

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS An extended journey from Russia to China starting in one of the most beautiful places on Earth - the Venice of the North, St. Petersburg.

Rating: 4.00
From
$7,368

Wonders of Russia

13 days / Private tour
Moscow Irkutsk Saint Petersburg

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Explore the most incredible places in Russia and discover the best of Moscow, Irkutsk, St. Petersburg and the gorgeous Pearl of Siberia - Lake Baikal.

Rating: 4.88
From
$4,498

Firebird Cruise Moscow - St. Petersburg

12 days / 5-star cruise
Moscow Uglich Kizhi Island Saint Petersburg
FREE FLIGHTS: Exclusive Suites offer on board the 5-star MS Rostropovich - cruise with free flights, luxurious suites, land tours in small groups
Rating: 4.88
From
$4,981

Firebird Cruise St. Petersburg - Moscow

12 days / 5-star cruise
Saint Petersburg Kizhi Island Uglich Moscow
FREE FLIGHTS: Exclusive Suites offer on board the 5-star MS Rostropovich, included free flights and suites on the ship
Rating: 4.88
From
$4,981

Revolutionary Capitals

9 days / Private tour
Moscow Saint Petersburg

COMPLIMENTARY VISAS Follow the traces of the Russian Revolution while exploring Moscow and St. Petersburg sights in 9 days. Find out many secrets of the revolution leader, Lenin, and get an insight of the life of the Russian royal Romanov family.

Rating: 4.92
From
$2,917