Peterhof is often called the Versailles of Russia. Peter the Great’s summer palace was built 0n a ridge overlooking the Gulf of Finland about 16 miles west of St Petersburg and is surrounded by extensive gardens and parks punctuated with statues and water displays. The chief attraction that keeps the crowds coming is the spectacular Grand Cascade fountain located directly in front of the Grand Palace. Peter’s palace was transformed during the reign of  Tsarina Elizabeth when Bartolomeo Rastrelli added a third story and wings with pavilions at either end (1747-54). It is possible to tour the Grand Palace rooms which have been beautifully restored, but we chose to save that tour for another day. When we arrived back in St Petersburg there was still enough good light for a scenic stroll back to our hotel.

Peterhof