While visiting Saint Petersburg, you might want to take a chance to see the famous Tsar’s summer residences in Peterhov, Pushkin and Pavlovsk . You will need a day for each of the cities. If you want to save money on taxes, going by train is your other option. To the Peterhov it is also possible to go by boat from the city centre of Saint Petersburg, just in front of the Hermitage.
Peterhov Palace and Park in the city of Peterhov (Petrodvorets) were built by the order of the Peter the Great in the beginning of 17th century. Nowadays it is one of the objects of the UNESCO World Heritage and is often compared to the French Versailles. It is a great ensemble of Palaces, Parks and fountains that blow your mind by its perfection. The Grand Cascade and the Samson Fountain are the most significant and the most fabulous ones of the parks, but there are many others, that would take your attention. If you travel with kids, they will most probably enjoy the fountains with funny tricks like “Mushroom” (the water comes from the edge of the mushroom’s hat, your job is to get under the mushroom without getting wet) , “Stones” (the fountain has an area with stones, stepping on some of them will make you wet, so your challenge is to run through the area and remain dry) and “Benches” (you might think they are normal benches, but as soon as you sit on one of them you get splashed with the water from behind). Visit the Grand Palace and the smaller ones Monplaisir, Marly and the Hermitage. They all have Tsar’s collections of art, Royal family’s interiors with pompous furniture, sculptures and other objects of design of 17th century.
Catherine Palace and Parks are located in a small town of Pushkin (Tsarskoe selo) in the outskirts of Saint Petersburg. It was built for Catherine of Russia in 1717 and reconstructed for her daughter the Empress Elizabeth in 1733. It is a built in gorgeous Rococo style and has enormous amount of gold used for the construction. All its halls and chambers are impressive overall, but one that will probably interest you the most is the Amber room. The Amber room is decorated with amber panels, mirrors and gold leaf, but it is not what makes it so known. It was considered to be “The eighth wonder of the World” before it disappeared during the World War II and was recreation in 2003. It is believed that it was stolen by the Army Group North by the Nazi Germany, until today it remains a mystery what has happened to it and where it is now.
The huge park, surrounding the Palace has several curious constructions and an artificial lake. It takes hours to walk around and there are many hidden places to relax and enjoy summer weather.
The Pavlovsk Palace and Parks are situated not so far from the Catherine ones. It is either one train stop from one town to another or a mini bus ride. The Pavlovsk park, the English landscape Garden with its perfect landscapes, is especially famous for family walks during the months of autumn when all the leaves are yellow and red or winter when the whole park is a white fairy-tale. People come here to spend time at the nature, feed squirrels and enjoy some Russian traditional activities like going by a small boat for 2 on the channels in the summer or doing the Russian harness driving, Troika, as well as going down the hills on sledges during in the snowy winter months.
Pavlovsk Palace was the Imperial summer residence of Paul I of Russia, built in the end of 17th, beginning of 18th century.
Both the Palace and the Park were severely damaged during the World War II and reconstructed only after 1957.
By visiting all these palaces and parks you really submerge into the Russian history, which will be a great edition to your Saint Petersburg’s stay.