Peterhof was planned by Peter I as a call to country residences of the European monarchs, it should surpass Versailles in luxury. Peter personally worked over the concept of a lay-out of dvortsovo-park ensemble and even developed separate elements of architecture and fountains
The new country residence built up unusually quickly and actively. By the time of solemn opening of Peterhof which has taken place in August, 1723, already there was a Sea channel and the Bottom park, the part of fountains, including the Big cascade functioned, Gauze and Monplezir palaces have been constructed, the Hermitage was almost ready. Besides it, it has been constructed more than twenty various pavilions and galleries.
After Peter the Great death of work in Peterhof for some time have stood. The second wave of active building has risen only in 1730, at Anna Ioannovne who aspired to present itself Peter I worthy successor. The new period of active building in Peterhof has lasted ten years. At this time one of the most talented Russian architects of a XVIII-th century has taken a hand in formation of shape of Peterhof Zemtsov.
Presently Peterhof has the status of an outstanding monument of architecture and landscape gardening art, it name «capital of fountains» and know all over the world.
The most known cascade of Peterhof, practically its "card", the Big Cascade is. It settles down on a slope natural шестнадцатиметровой terraces on the brink of which the Big palace towers. The most well-known among fountains of the Big Cascade is a fountain of "Samson", its stream rises on 21 metre over a water ladle in which centre it is established. Further water directs on absolutely direct Sea channel to the gulf. Along the Sea channel there are fourteen gushing pools beating from them water columns form a colonnade going to the Big Cascade.
The sea channel divides the Bottom park of Peterhof into the western and east parts. In the first there is a palace of the Gauze and pavilion the Hermitage, "Menazhernye" fountains and the cascade «Gold mountain», and in the second – a palace of Monplezir, "the Roman" fountains and fountains-shutihi, the cascade «Chess mountain», fountains "Pyramid" and "Sun".
Besides all aforesaid into dvortsovo-park ensemble "Peterhof" enter: a palace the Cottage and the Ekaterina's case, the Top garden, park Alexandria and landscape parks (English, Meadow and Kolonistsky).
The big Palace
The big palace not always had that magnificent and majestic appearance which is characteristic for it now. In 1714-1721 on this place the Upper chambers which, in comparison with that Big palace which to us is known, were very modest have been erected.
The building of the Upper chambers also during lifetime of Peter was many times reconstructed, but building has accepted the present scope only at empress Elizabeth Petrovne. By the time of its ascent on a throne, an old palace of her father already at all did not correspond to tastes of a growing imperial court yard. Therefore Elizabeth has charged to the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli to erect on a place of an old palace new, as by it has been made.
In the sixties 18 centuries on change to a Baroque taste new style – classicism has come, and the Big palace have begun to reconstruct again, according to requirements of a new architectural fashion. During this period over interiors of the Big palace architects of Vallen-Delamot and Felten worked.
However, what in him would not be made reorganisations, the Big palace always remained the centre of the Peterhof ensemble. This graceful three-storyed building with galleries costs on the brink of natural шестнадцатиметровой terraces. Halls of the Big palace differ unusual beauty, the Dance hall, the Chesmensky hall, the Western and East Chinese offices and Kuropatochnaja a drawing room are especially interesting.
The dance hall at first sight seems simply huge, but it only illusion. A secret of this hall in the false mirror windows hanging on a wall, opposite from the present windows, thanking it illumination amplifies and the impression of huge space is made. Earlier when false windows-mirrors hung also on the western wall of a hall, this illusion was even more powerful.
The Chesmensky hall has received the name after on its walls there were twelve huge pictures, belonging to a brush of German artist Jacob Hakkerta. Events of Russian-Turkish war became the general theme for them. Six pictures are devoted battle of the Russian fleet with fleet of Turkey in a bay of Chesma, and a victory of the first. In the remained pictures high points of the basic battles of the Russian fleet which have occurred after Chesmensky fight are represented most.
The Chinese offices of the Big palace are similar more likely to a piracy chest with treasures, than on the premises intended that on them people went. They sparkle and are poured by gold and silver, a varnish and porcelain, enamels and precious breeds of a tree. On walls of these offices there "live" coiling dragons and the various fantastic beings, flitting butterflies and birds, people in strange clothes, and a light source here are small lamps with painted glasses. The sensation is created that you have got to the far fantastic world.
The kuropatochnaja drawing room, it a boudoir, has received the name thanks to drawing of silk by which its walls are upholstered. On a celestial-blue fabric with improbable realness three partridges in gold ears of wheat and bright colours are represented.
Palace of Monplezir
The palace of Monplezir is a main architectural construction of east part of the Bottom park, all its lay-out ориентированна on it. From Monplezira three avenues every which way disperse, one of them goes to the cascade «Chess mountain», and two others are directed to fountains "Pyramid" and "Adam".
The place for Monplezira has been chosen unusually successfully – it costs on the coast of a gulf, from the sea on a palace the surprising kind opens really. The high terrace on which there is a palace, is laid out by powerful granite boulders, абрис buildings are repeated by an easy white balustrade. From a South side of Monplezir makes absolutely other impression – an easy arcade of galleries and streams of light flowing through glazed apertures.
Except the palace the Monplezirsky complex includes two Guest galleries – one in the west from a palace, another in the east, – Bannyj the case and мыльня, the Ekaterina's case, a small garden with fountains and flower beds and Assamblejnyj of halls.
Formation of the Monplezirsky complex has ended to the middle of 18 centuries. The name to all complex was given by Peter I small pleasure palace which Monplezir was called that in a translation from French means «my pleasure». However, originally the palace name was another. It was called «the Dutch small house» – the lay-out and furnish of its facades and interiors reminded small "burgher" dwellings in Holland, for what and have given it such name.
It is possible to tell that all Peterhof has begun with a palace of Monplezir and. This building in dvortsovo-park ensemble nowadays known for the whole world has been constructed by the first.
The greatest interest in Monplezire is represented by Varnish and Sea offices, and also the Steam room.
Walls of the Varnish office decorate black varnish panels with a red frame. The black relief background is painted by gold landscapes, birds, plants and hunting scenes. On the carved gilt shelves attached between a panel east porcelain flaunts.
Ancient navigating tools and steel casket are stored in the Sea office with Peter the Great monogram. On office walls – oak panels on which thirteen types of the ships of the beginning of a XVIII-th century are represented, and its windows leave on the sea, through them Petersburg and Kronstadt are perfectly well looked through.
The mission Steam is completely reflected in the name of this premise – here were soared. The room ceiling is sheathed by lime boards which at a heat and humidity of air start to smell as honey, and walls and a floor – a pine. In Steam are exposed various банные accessories – gang for запаривания birch brooms, the tub etc. In a room corner costs the tile furnace, and on it lies more than hundred pig-iron kernels. Besides it in Steam it is possible to look at a collection of the female underwear concerning by the end XIX – to the XX-th century beginning – a white silk shirt on shoulder-straps and drawers with laces, a nightgown and stockings.
The graceful two-storeyed palace of the Gauze is the central construction of the western part of the Bottom park. The name as Monplezir and the Hermitage, the Gauze has received from the French language. So one of residences of the French kings in a place near to Paris which Peter has visited during the travel across Europe was called.
From the Gauze palace three avenues (Malibansky, Birch and Marlinsky), dissecting park from the West on the east and leaders to a fountain "Eve", to pavilion "Hermitage" and the Lion's cascade every which way disperse. Besides the Marlinsky pond and Sectoral ponds, Parternyj enter into the Marlinsky complex a garden and a garden of Venus.
Today in ponds near the Gauze palace laps trout and sturgeons who can be caught for some payment, and then most with appetite to eat.
It was initially planned that the Gauze palace becomes one more place where notable persons will live. But has not passed also three decades from the moment of the building termination as the palace has turned to something like a memorial museum to Peter I. Here the things anyhow connected with his name were stored.
Except Petrovsky clothes, the furniture, the gifts presented to Peter, various subjects of a life belonging to it was stored in the Gauze palace and a picture.
The palace the Cottage is the basic architectural construction of park Alexandria and settles down in its southeast part, on a terrace from which the magnificent panorama of gulf of Finland with outlines of Petersburg seen in the distance and Kronstadt opens. The palace the Cottage surrounds landscape park, with set of shady avenues, lawns and twisting paths.
The palace the Cottage has been erected in 1826-1829, the author of the project of a palace is architect A.Menelas. The palace is constructed in Gothic style, this small building in height of all in two floors.
Walls and ceilings of many premises in a palace the Cottage decorates painting.
The palace the Cottage was summer residence of emperor Nikolay I and his wife Aleksandry Fedorovny. The most interesting and beautiful interiors of a palace settle down on the ground floor. It is possible to carry the Office to them Aleksandry Fedorovny, the Big drawing room, Library, and also the Big and Small receptions. In 1842-1843 to a palace have been attached the Table and Marble terrace. On the second floor of the Cottage settles down Nikolay I Office.
After 1917 in a palace the Cottage has been organised an istoriko-art museum.
Now in premises of a palace the Cottage can be seen more than two hundred pictures, products of arts and crafts, art furniture, collections of the West European and Russian porcelain of a XIX-th century and colour glass, marble sculptures, engravings and many other things.
Fountains of Peterhof
Today, the Peterhof ensemble amounts over 150 fountains and 4 cascades.