St Petersburg’s charming parks and gardens offer peaceful, restful and calm to take visitors out of the stresses of the world. St Petersburg has the greenest space of any major Russian city, with more than 200 gardens and parks, a 1,000 plus streets lined with trees and over 700 greenery squares.
Peterhof Palace Garden – “The Russian Versailles”, “The Capital of Fountains”, “Peter’s Yard”, the most magnificent Russian attraction. Peter the Great created this spectacular complex as his summer palace, his “Seaside Paradise”. The natural spring water in the fountains moves from the Upper Gardens with a system that runs by gravity rather than pumps.
Peter amused himself by playing with his Oak Trick and musical fountains on the nobility and royalty who visited the gardens. Kids love the stepping stones that activate some of the fountains. Watch as visitors reach for a piece of artificial fruit from a bowl and get soaked with water. “The Sun” is a circular piece which rotates and changes direction with water jetting around the structure. There is a bench to sit down with an umbrella which surprises guests as it sprays them with water.
There are 150 fountains, 3 cascading waterfalls and 37 golden gilded statues. The Grand Cascade itself has more than 200 bronzed statues, 64 distinctive fountains and in the center is the Samson statue with him wrestling a lion. The lion fountain shoots out the highest of any at Peterhof, at 20 meters into the air.
The Peterhof compound is comprised of the Chess/Dragon Hill waterfall cascade, Pyramid Fountain, Menager Fountain, Oranzhereiny Fountain, Upper Garden, Lower Garden with Hermitage Pavilion and a formal French garden, Marli Palace and the Grand Palace Church. Also in the Peterhof complex are numerous pavilions such as the Aviary, Olgin and Tsaritsyn.
Many thousands of tourists from the world are delighted and awed by this special place.
Each year there is a festival in May for the opening of the fountains, with fireworks, classical music and other activities near each fountain as each is started up one at a time.
Tauride Garden & Flowers Exhibit Hall (Tavrichesky Garden) – an indoor paradise for year round enjoyment. Owned by Catherine the Great’s lover, Grigory Potemkin, there are flowers exhibits, art shows and concerts surrounded by the beautiful tropical and sub-tropical plants. Flowers Garden is part of the Tauride Palace complex. A complicated hydraulic arrangement runs 2 ponds joined by canals which are stocked with sturgeon. Flowers greenhouse was filmed in scenes from famous movies, “The Three Musketeers 20 Years Later”, “Mister Designer”, and “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson”.
Catherine Garden – this small but famous garden was built by Carlo Rossi, a famous architect from Italy. It is a popular place for young adults. Decorating the garden is a remarkable statue of Catherine the Great.
The Summer Garden – The most famous and oldest park in St Petersburg. This centrally located formal garden was designed by Peter the Great for his first Summer Palace. The garden was specially, geometrically designed and is decorated with marble sculptures of gods and mythological heroes from the 18th century. The beautiful fountains, rare plants and flowers create a serene spot for visitors. A Tea House created by Ludwig Charlemagne and a Coffee House by Carlo Rossi are there for refreshment.
Mikhailovsky (Michael) Garden – Located behind the State Russian Museum (Mikhailovsky Palace) this peaceful, French and English inspired garden is a hidden treasure in St Petersburg on the Moika River.
Alexander Garden – Located behind the Admiralty across from the Hermitage, this garden has a fun musical fountain that lights up at night. The fountain dances to any music played in the garden. Famous cultural Russians are commerated by statues scattered in the garden.
Field of Mars – One of the most architecturally beautiful parks in the center of the city, houses an eternal flame monument to fallen soldiers of the revolution. Today it is a cemetery full of flowers for soldiers from the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Maritime Victory Park – Located on Krestovsky Island is a memorial to the World War II victory against the Nazi’s from Germany. The 600 acre park offers formal designed gardens, natural preserved areas, a small beach and bronzed sculptures. North and South Lakes are popular for strolling, biking and skating.
The “Avenue of Friendship of Cities” contains flowers and trees that were planted by representatives of countries from all over the world.
Divo Ostrov Amusement Park — The theme park has some attractions that are included in the top ten in the world. A small zoo is located here also to delight the children.
Zenit Arena – a new football stadium is in the process of being built on the island and is set to open in 2016.
Russkaya Rybalka Restaurant – Fish for your dinner in the pond and they will cook it up for you.
Take some time to enjoy the natural beauty of St Petersburg.