Peterhoff is one of the most famous summer imperial residences next to St Petersburg.
Millions of visitors come there every year, but it is very easy to get lost in this enormous complex with lots of museums and palaces. Traditionally, everyone walks around the park and goes inside the Grand Palace. However, the smaller palaces should not be left behind, as they are sometimes even more interesting than the Grand Palace.
So, if you are doing a package tour of St Petersburg, which covers the main attractions, instead of requesting an inside visit of the Grand Palace of Peterhoff we recommend checking out the following:
- Monplaisir Palace
Monplaisir is one of the few original constructions of Peterhoff, that survived the WWII. Most of the buildings are newly made, but this palace remembers its first owner – Peter I. It was built according to Peter’s own ideas of a perfect dwelling, and after the death of Peter it remained the memorial palace with the interior kept exactly the same as the first Russian emperor had it.
- Bath House
This is probably the most interesting museum in the whole complex. If you would like to know about the everyday life of the Emperors, you should definitely look into this museum. It seems strange, but the Tzars were also humans, and had kitchens and bathrooms in their residences. Here you will see how they bathed, what they ate and in what ways they entertained themselves.
- Hermitage pavilion
The word “Hermitage” is usually associated with just the great art gallery in St Petersburg. However, originally this word was borrowed from French language and means “the asylum of a hermit” – an isolated hiding place. There were quite a few hermitages, and they were often used for secret dates and meetings. To keep the conspiracy, the owners of the residence even had mechanical tables in these pavilions – very peculiar thing really worth seeing!
- Catherine’s Block
This palace gained its name in the second half of the 18th century, as this was the place from where Catherine II went to St Petersburg on the day she became the Empress of Russia. However, this was one of the first gala palaces for balls, receptions and other high society parties, built for Elizabeth, daughter of Peter I. It is a great alternative to the Grand Palace, as the interiors there are fascinating, and it is never as crowded.
If you are coming to Peterhoff with children, the aviaries should not be missed out! Very often the kids get bored with the museums, but here they have an exciting chance to see the feathered dwellers of the imperial residences face to face. The two aviaries present the local birds in one of them, and the bright and exotic parrots in the other. By the way, behind this second building there is a small lake with swans and ducks.