Trekking with Becky

Photo Friday: Outside Petergof (Russia’s Versailles)

Petergof, which is also known as Peterhof, is a magnificent palace with expansive grounds. Petergof is Dutch for Peter’s court, and the tsar who ordered its construction was Peter I, also known as Peter the Great, who ruled from 1721-1725. Peter wanted the palace to be a symbol and a celebration of his access to the Baltic.  It is truly amazing, and it is known as Russia’s Versailles. Since Petergof commemorates Russian imperial power, there are dozens of paintings inside depicting sea battles.

Since you can’t take photos inside the palace even if you’re only looking out the window, this week’s Photo Friday is about the best part of what is outside the palace.  The architectural landscape is incredibly impressive because of the fountains.

With the water theme in mind, the incredible fountains make perfect sense.  I didn’t go when I went to St. Petersburg for the first time in October 2016 because I knew that the fountains wouldn’t be running with summer being over.

I trekked to St. Petersburg last weekend, and I’m so glad I that waited for the summer season to see Petergof.  It is absolutely incredible, and it was definitely worth the wait.

I also recommend going to see this UNESCO World Heritage Site by boat.  It’s 1,400 roubles for a return ticket, and it departs from behind the Winter Palace.  It’s the most convenient way to get there since you dock on the path that leads you to the palace.  There are three bridges over the canal leading to the palace, and here’s a shot from the one closest to Petergof. ↓

Almost there!


With the canal positioned in the middle, you can’t get a shot in front of the main fountain looking at the palace.  The view in the photo from the last bridge is the closest you can get dead centre.

Anyway, when you get closer, you’ll be able to see that most of the fountains have the water coming from the mouths of the faces or animals.  Personally, I never liked that idea. They look like they’re puking or at best, spitting.  Bleh!  I find that looking from a fair distance – far but not too far – gives you the prettiest view.


The best view I was able to get of the main fountain.

What you see in the centre is a statue of Samson tearing open a lion’s jaws.  It was installed in the 1730s as a symbol of Russia’s victory over Sweden; the lion represents Sweden since it’s on the Swedish coat of arms, and one of the major victories was won on Saint Samson’s Day.  The jet shooting from the lion’s mouth is 20m high, and it’s the highest of the whole complex.  The Nazis looted the original, so what we see is a replica that was installed in 1947.


Continuing left toward the stairs. This is my favourite.


Perhaps the greatest technological achievement of Peterhof is that all of the fountains operate without the use of pumps. Water is supplied from natural springs and collects in reservoirs in the Upper Gardens.


Making my way up the steps and looking from the side.


I like this angle looking down.


I love this view looking straight back to where I came from on the boat.

When I was inside the palace, I asked the staff if I could take a picture looking out the window that faces this view, but sadly, they wouldn’t let me.  I didn’t expect them to, but I had to try anyway.

Here’s a small panorama to for a wider look. ↓


I went down the other wide.  I only noticed the chapel when I came down this way.  I’m not sure what the small building on the other side is though.

Oh, do you think Samson looks better from this angle?

Aren’t these the prettiest fountains

you’ve ever seen?




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10 thoughts on “Photo Friday: Outside Petergof (Russia’s Versailles)

    1. Becky Post author

      Yes, it went through. I have to approve all comments before they become visible. 🙂

      Thanks. I’m glad you like the photos. 🙂

  1. Lyn (aka) The Travelling Lindfields

    My husband and I are in the process of planning a trip to St Petersburg so your timing with this post is perfect. Your photos are stunning and I especially like the tip about getting there by boat. I am saving this to Pinterest for future reference.

    1. Becky Post author

      GREAT! Give me a shout if you need any help/tips! 😀 Make sure you go to the Petergof by boat! 😀

  2. Rhonda Albom

    Great photos. I can see why they call Petergof the Russian Versailles. I didn’t go to St. Perersburg when I was in Russia and I wish I had planned it (the visa process is too onerous to bother with again).

    1. Becky Post author

      I understand. If I were you though, I’d plan a loooong trip to Russia so you can see everything and make the crazy visa process worth it. I’d do the trans-Siberian railway. 😀

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