Frequently referred to as the ‘Versailles of the North’, Peterhof is another fine monument to Peter the Great.
Construction of the palace and gardens began in 1714, but additions to the grounds by later Russian rulers have given the park its unique features. Despite suffering damage during World War II, Peterhof was immediately restored to its former glory when the Soviet government realized its importance as a national symbol to the people of Russia. The Grand Palace itself is an interesting place to visit, with its commanding view over the Bay of Finland, but the real highlights of Peterhof are the fountains. Erected to celebrate the triumph of Russia over Sweden in the Great Northern War, the Grand Cascade is a collection of bronze statues spewing water in delightful arcs, while elsewhere in the grounds the Adam and Eve fountains give the idea of an earthly paradise. The best way to visit the grounds is to take a 30-minute hydrofoil ride along the Neva River; ask your concierge to arrange this for you.