The Summer Palace is an ideal place for those who want to immerse themselves fully in the troubled era of Peter the Great.
This is one of the very first palaces in St. Petersburg, it was built almost 300 years ago, and during all this time it has hardly changed. The original layout of the palace did not undergo any significant adjustments and in most of the rooms the original interior decoration remained as it was. The interiors had been designed and created by the famous Russian artists, Zakharov, Zavarzin and Matveyev. The main decoration of the palace facades are twenty-eight bas-reliefs located between the first and second floor.
The first exhibition was launched in the Summer Palace in 1903 for the bicentenary of St. Petersburg and it was dedicated to Peter I. From this moment, the history of the palace began.
After the revolution of 1917, the Summer Palace was declared an historical and architectural monument and seventeen years later, a memorial museum of history and art was opened.
Currently, the Summer Palace exhibits personal belongings of Peter the Great and Catherine I, as well as furniture, paintings, tapestries, glass and porcelain items of the Petrine era.
The summer garden was laid in 1704 and the regular gardens of Europe served as a model for it. In the Summer Garden was a unique collection of statues and busts, most of which was created in the late XVII - early XVIII century by the best Italian masters. It was the first collection of secular sculpture in our country. Unfortunately, not all sculptures have survived until the present day, as some of them were destroyed as a result of floods and others changed their "place of residence" - they were taken to Peterhof, Pavlovsk and Tsarskoe Selo, or they were transferred to the Hermitage. As a result, the Summer Garden is currently decorated with only ninety sculptures.
Another spectacular decoration of the Summer Garden is a fence with gold-tipped wrought-iron spears supported by pink granite columns. This fence is listed as a Heritage Landmark by UNESCO. It was created, 1770-1784, by Yuri Felten, whose German father came to St Petersburg as a master chef for Peter the Great in 1703.