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Summer Garden

Excursions with Summer Garden

Summer Garden is one of most picturesque and surely most famous parks of Saint Petersburg. Peter the Great took part in projecting the future garden, and in 1704 first flowers, trees and bushes were planted, marble sculptures brought to Saint Petersburg from all Europe set in their places. Summer Garden was planned as a regular park with geometrically straight paths, trimmed trees and bushes and symmetrically placed fountains and sculptures. Many prominent architects, among them Zemtsov, Leblon, Miketti, participated in forming Summer Garden. Under Peter I Summer Garden was the center of court and society life of young Saint Petersburg. Balls and festivals, even tsar receptions were held here in summertime because the Summer Palace built by architect Trezini could not house all the Tsar's guests. Summer Garden often suffered from the floods, usual in Saint Petersburg. Especially bad damages were caused by the flood of 1777 when Summer Garden lost many trees, fountains and unique sculptures. Soon the garden was resurrected — with some changes according to the new taste of the new epoch, but its original layout preserved. Damaged sculptures were restored and many of them decorate the garden even nowadays. Summer Garden has a unique collection of park sculpture. Most famous item is so-called «Nymph of Summer Garden» or Flora created by an unknown Italian sculptor. In 1773-1786 Summer Garden received one more unique decoration, a famous railing made upon project of architects Feldman and Egorov. The railing bears a memorial plaque on the same place where in 1866 Russian revolutionary Karakozov tried to shoot Emperor Alexander II. The XIX-th century added to Summer Garden two pavilions — «Tea House» constructed by Rossi and «Coffee House» by Charlemagne. In 1855 monument to famous Russian writer Krylov was set before «Tea House». Its pedestal is decorated with bas-relieves dedicated to the heroes of Krylov's fables. In the XIX-th century Summer Garden was the most favorite walking place among the inhabitants of Saint Petersburg, mostly aristocrats and riches. Strict rules about clothes and behavior practically closed the garden for common people. Nowadays famous Summer Garden is open to everyone.

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Sights of St. Petersburg