When you travel to Russia, especially when you take a trip to St. Petersburg, you will notice the number of gardens and parks inside the city and in its suburban area. Tsars and Emperors of Russia had loved their gardens, and there are many majestic gardens around imperial palaces. One of the famous suburb imperial estates in St. Petersburg tour is the Peterhof, which has two magnificent gardens that one of them is the main attractive places of St. Petersburg in Peterhof, which introduce as Nizhny Park in Russia tour. There are several other examples for parks and gardens to be the main attractive places in St. Petersburg tour, but there’s one particular garden in the historical center of St. Petersburg that everyone would agree to be the gem among all the marvelous parks and gardens in St. Petersburg, and that’s the Summer Garden of Peter the Great.
The Summer Garden took its name from the adjacent Summer Palace, and it locates between the Neva River and Fontanka River near the Field of Mars. Many believes that the Summer Garden is the most romantic, beautiful and redolent places in St. Petersburg, especially during summer, when Russia tour agencies and even regular people of St. Petersburg describe the Summer Garden as the pearl of garden neckless in St. Petersburg to the tourists who have decided to take a trip to St. Petersburg in their travel to Russia.
The original garden was laid out in 1704, but Peter I, who had desired a garden like the leading European ones of the time, hired several famous architects and gardeners to design his garden, and even he helped out in the sketches and designing of the place. Throughout the time, many architects and landscape designers have worked on the Summer Garden, such as Ivan Matveev, I.Yakovlev, Domenico Trezzini, Jan Roosen, and Jean-Baptiste Leblond. The first official layout of the garden from when Peter I decided to create his Summer Garden was designed by Jan Roosen in 1713. Peter I made some changes and improvements to the plans and strictly supervised the work.
A. Schluter with the help of other architects had constructed the first-ever Grotto in Russia, and its walls were covered in seashells. There was no structure of this kind in Russia before that. Whoever entered the Grotto would found themselves at the center of the Sea God’s kingdom that lit up from a small window on the top of the Grotto. The interior design of the Grotto was full of sculptures and paintings that symbolized the victory of Peter I over the Swedish Empire.
The golden age of the garden had begun; Peter had brought about 100 marble sculptures by Venetian masters from Europe to the garden; several fountains had been installed; many unique flowers and trees had planted; several extraordinary structures had constructed on each part, and nobles and imperial family held their balls and ceremonies inside the garden.
The Second half of the 18th century wasn’t quite fortunate for the garden as the first half was since landscape park became widespread, and old-fashioned gardens went out of interest. The flooding of 1777 was also followed, which resulted in destroying most of the trees and flowers of the garden; demolished all of the structures in the garden except the Summer Palace of the Peter the Great and the Grotto; the flooding was also destroyed all the fountains and most of the sculptures.
By the time that Catherine II had succeeded the crown, most of the garden was ruined. Though Catherine II had directed to replant the trees and unique flowers, the fountains were demolished, and most of the sculptures were lost; however, it was during this time that a new decoration had joined to the garden; the Yury Felten’s architectural masterpiece.
Though the design of the railing had modified several times, the results made it as one of the architectural masterpieces of the time. The fence took around 16 years to be completed, and more than a dozen sketches would reveal every change that made to the original plan. The railing and gates were made out of Tula’s iron; the other elements in the fence, including the columns and vases, were made out of quarries of Vyborg’s stone. It was decorated with shiny bronze ornaments as well. There were originally three gates on the railing, but after the unsuccessful attempt on Alexander II’s life, the two side gates were relocated on each side of the chapel that constructed on the attempt’s spot. The chapel no longer stands in the garden since the Soviet Union had destroyed it.
When Nicholas I became the emperor, the Summer Garden underwent several changes; the grotto had turned into a Coffee House, and a Tea Pavillion had constructed in the garden as well; various sculptures and statues were added to the garden, including a monument of children writer, Ivan Krylov. The Summer Garden had become one of the favorite walking paths for the citizens of St. Petersburg.
Following the October Revolution, all the imperial representatives were removed from the garden. During the flooding of 1924, more than half a thousand trees had perished, and most of the sculptures had heavily damaged. A complex renovation began in 1934. During the second world war, all sculptures were buried underground and only replaced to their original positions after the war and when the garden’s renovation finished. The latest restoration in the Summer Garden had begun in 2009 and went on until 2011.
Today, the Summer Garden recognized as one of the most beautiful and romantic places in St. Petersburg and highly recommended by Russia tour agencies to people who visit St. Petersburg. There are many rare flowers, unique sculptures, beautiful fountains, and many walking paths in the Summer Garden, which makes it one of the major attractions of St. Petersburg on tour to Russia. You can also enjoy the coffee tea houses in the Summer Garden. We at the Star Travel Group highly recommend you visit this garden during the summer or the White Night Festivals. The Summer Garden is also recognized as a marvelous outdoor museum in which you can observe the masterpieces done by European masters dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. In the late 20th century, all the sculptures were repaired and rearranged to their original places. The Summer Garden is now a part of the State Russian Museum.
If you have plans to visit this garden on your travel to St. Petersburg, make sure to visit other St. Petersburg attractive places nearby, such as Field of Mars, and St. Michael Castle. We at the Star Travel Group suggest all the tourists visit our weblog to learn more about the top attractions of Russia, or received our tips and advice on how to travel to Russia.