Summer Garden in St. Petersburg: photo, description, history, opening hours

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Summer Garden in St. Petersburg: photo, description, history, opening hours
Summer Garden in St. Petersburg: photo, description, history, opening hours

The Summer Garden in St. Petersburg is the only park in the Russian Federation that is part of the European Garden Heritage Association, and the oldest of all parks in the city. The history of the appearance of the garden is closely connected with the construction of the Northern capital. He is practically the same age as her. The park appeared in 1704 and is a prominent example of the Dutch Baroque style. It is located between the Swan Canal, the rivers Fontanka and Moika, Neva.


The Summer Garden is the real and most beloved creation of Peter I. The sovereign wished to create a Western European-style park for himself and took part in the planning of the territory.

The best architects and gardeners of that time were involved in the implementation of the project. These were Rastrelli F., Schlueter A., ​​Trezzini D., Schroeder K. and others. In just a couple of years after the opening of the garden, it became a real cultural and official place where solemn events and various ceremonies were held. Peter I delved into anylittle things while the park was being built.

garden sculptures

Planning solutions

The summer garden in St. Petersburg has a fairly simple layout. From the Neva River there are three alleys that cross several perpendicular paths. The Fontanka and Neva rivers are the natural boundaries of the park area. It is fenced off from the southern and western parts by the Swan groove and canal.

The First Summer Garden is the northern part of the park, which is adjacent to the palace. Here is the parade. In the southern part of the garden there were orchards and outbuildings. In those days, this part was called the Second Garden. Both zones were separated by the Transverse Channel.

Shrubs were planted along all the alleys, which were neatly trimmed and called espaliers. Four bosquets were allocated, fenced with tapestries. There was an oval-shaped pond in the Menagerie Pond bosquet, in the middle of which there was an island with a gazebo.

Bosquet "Birdyard" had a dovecote and small houses for birds.

Bosquet "Cross Promenade" was created as a complex interweaving of bending roads, with tunnels made of vegetation. A sculptural fountain was installed in the middle.

The Bosquet "French parterre" is the most elegant area, where the gilded sculpture flaunted, surrounded by flower beds and cascades of vegetation.

All the alleys located in the First Summer Garden were decorated with marble sculptures and busts, which were specially brought from Italy. And in places where the alleys intersected, fountains were installed.

The first garden building in Russia is the Grotto in the park onbank of the Fontanka river. Inside the Grotto was lined with tuff and shells. There were lanterns and mirrors in the niches, which reflected the fountain of Tritons. It seemed to be the mysterious realm of the Sea God.

Neptune's chariot with gilding towered on an artificial mountain of shells and stones. There was a labyrinth in the garden, the paths of which were decorated with lead sculptures.

There were many buildings in the park. In the corner, in the northeast, was the Sovereign's Summer Palace, and in the northwest, the Second Summer Palace, connected to the gallery, where there were paintings by artists from Europe. The gallery and the Second Palace have not survived to this day.

coffee house

After Peter I

On the banks of the Neva River there were galleries where dinner parties and celebrations were held. In 1730, Rastrelli erected a wooden palace for Empress Anna Ioannovna on this site.

Elizaveta Petrovna also loved the Summer Garden. By this time, the trees had already grown, the fountains were working properly. The flower beds were re-arranged. The construction of the park area has already been moved beyond the Moika River. In 1740, a palace for Elizabeth was built according to the project of Rastrelli.

18th century and later

It was in this century that the Summer Garden flourished in St. Petersburg. After that, the whole world and Russia became interested in landscape parks, and the regular style in the landscape was considered obsolete.

The park was badly damaged in 1777 when the largest flood occurred. Not only vegetation was damaged, but also sculptures and fountains. By the beginning of the 19th century, there were practically nosculptures remained, and only the Summer Palace of Peter I and the Grotto, which was very dilapidated, survived from architecture.

In the 19th century, the Summer Garden becomes accessible to everyone, but still only to the "decently dressed public."

Nicholas I carries out reconstruction activities, in 1826 the Grotto is completely rebuilt into a coffee house. And a year later, a Tea House was erected near it. A cast-iron fence appears from the side of the Moika River.

In 1839, a porphyry vase was installed near the gate in the south of the park. This is a gift to the sovereign from King Karl-Johann XIV. And in 1855, a monument to I. Krylov appeared in the garden.

park fence


The history of the Summer Garden in St. Petersburg is impossible to imagine without a fence. Catherine II nevertheless decorates the park with a fence, the architect of which was Felten Yu. It began to be erected in 1770 and completed only 16 years later. There are many drawings left, and it can be seen that the design of the fence was reworked several times.

The links of the fence and the gate were forged at the Tula plant, and the plinth, columns and vases were created from red granite, which was mined at the Vyborg field. The austere appearance of the fence was decorated with bronze and gilding decorations.

The total length of the structure is 232 meters. The fence has 36 fortifying pillars. At the time of the construction of the fence, the garden had three gates.

By the way, it was near this fence in 1866 that there was an attack on Emperor Alexander II. In memory of this tragic event, a chapel was erected near the central gate, which was dismantled in 1930.

The period after the revolution

The first plans to rebuild the garden appeared back in 1917, they wanted to turn it into an ordinary public park, where people of all classes could come. However, there was not enough money, and everything remained as it was.

In 1924, with another flood, the park again suffers greatly, about 600 trees die. A further description of the Summer Garden in St. Petersburg, or rather its history, can be continued with the stage when restoration work began, but they started only 10 years after the flood. At first, they tried to find the central gate, but this did not work, so they make new links and close the hole. Small gates are moved closer to the center for symmetry.

During the Second World War, when there was a blockade in the city, anti-aircraft artillery was placed in the garden. And the military settled in the Coffee House, now it is a barracks. The tea house serves as an ammunition depot. All surviving sculptures are hidden in the ground. During the blockade, shells repeatedly fell into the park. In 1942, all flowers are given to schoolchildren for home breeding. For this reason, one of the alleys is called "School".

After the victory over the German troops, the garden is restored, people come here to rest, swans settle in the pond again. In the evenings and on holidays, brass bands play in the park and exhibitions of paintings are held.

In the 1970s, the garden suffered greatly from vandals, a huge number of sculptures were stolen or simply dismantled. Since 1984, all surviving sculptures have been replaced with copies. In the same year, the Tea and Coffee houses are being restored.

summer palace

Summer Palace description

The Summer Garden in St. Petersburg is famous for its palace, although the decoration of this house cannot boast of splendor. This is one of the oldest buildings in the city. The sovereign himself made the initial plan of the building.

The palace was built in the Baroque style on two floors, the layout of which is absolutely identical. The house has only 14 rooms. On the first floor were the chambers of Peter I, the second floor was for his wife.

The royal family lived in the palace only during the warm season, from May to October. Therefore, the windows in the house are made of one glass, and the walls are thin.

Bas-reliefs based on the events of the Northern War are applied on the facade. There are 28 of them in total. The roof is crowned with a copper weather vane with the image of St. George the Victorious, who fights with a serpent. A wind mechanism is installed inside the house, which moves the weather vane.

Later, the office was placed in the building. To date, it is under the jurisdiction of the Russian Museum, and you can go here and see how the sovereign lived.

Monument to Krylov

Monument to I. Krylov

There is only one monument in the Summer Garden in St. Petersburg - to I.A. Krylov. It was erected in 1855.

The sculptor was P. K. Klodt. The monument itself is located on a pedestal 3.5 meters high. The statue of the fabulist itself represents the figure of the writer, who sits in a relaxed and relaxed pose. Krylov has a book in his hands.

The relief of the monument is decorated with figures of animals from the writer's fables. They thought for a very long time where to erect the monument, but Klodt decided: let it be in the garden, surrounded by walking children, and not in the cemetery.

Sculptures of the Summer Garden


But the Summer Garden in St. Petersburg is famous not only for its monument. There are 92 marble sculptures in the modern park, of which:

  • statues – 38;
  • 1 herma;
  • busts - 48;
  • sculptural groups – 5.

For several centuries, while the park existed, it was supplemented by sculptural sculptures from different materials.

In 1977, during archaeological excavations in the household yard, the Bacchus herm was found, the original of which still stands in the garden to this day. As part of the reconstruction of the park area, all original sculptures were transferred to the Mikhailovsky Castle, and marble copies were installed in their place. Only one original composition of sculptures remains, en titled "Allegory of the Nystadt Peace".

One of the fountains in the Summer Garden


Despite conflicting opinions in society, 8 fountains have been restored in the park. They were under Peter I. Later, when the fashion for regular gardens was gone, Catherine II even ordered them to be dismantled. Therefore, the specialists involved in the reconstruction of the park defended themselves and said that this was not a “remake”, but only a reconstruction of the garden in the form in which it was at the time of foundation.

During the reign of Peter I, the fountains were horse-drawn, but it was not possible to achieve the necessary pressure. Therefore, in 1719-1720, another canal was dug through the Fontanka, the water from which was supplied to the water wheels.

Alley of the Summer Garden

Park plants

Many photos of the Summer Garden in St. Petersburg show an oak that is 300 years old and still remembers Peter I. The plant managed to survive the flood. There are old lime trees in the garden, which are about 215 years old, although in most of the park there are oaks. It was the idea of ​​the sovereign, he planted these trees for the needs of future generations.

During the last reconstruction, large-scale work was carried out to survey green spaces. It turned out that most of the trees had already reached their critical age. As a result, 94 of them were cut down and planted with new plants.

In addition to preserving the old plantings, 13,000 trellis lindens appeared in the garden. They were brought from a German kennel and are now separated by bosquets.

The Red Garden, that is, the Pharmaceutical Garden, has also been restored. Peter I loved it when fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits were served at the table, especially those grown close to home. An interesting fact is that it was in this garden that the first potatoes were grown in Russia, which the sovereign ordered from Holland. Naturally, today the garden performs a demonstration function and was created more for the joy of the crows who flock to it with the closing of the park, and then bathe in the fountain.

Working hours

The summer garden in St. Petersburg during the warm season (May - September) is open from 10 am to 8 pm. The rest of the year - from 10:00 to 20:00. In April, from the 1st to the 30th, the park is completely closed for drainage work. Day off - Tuesday.

You can get to the Museum of History in the Dovecote Pavilion from 10 am to 6 pm.The exposition is open every day except Tuesday. The pavilion of the Lacoste Musical Fountain operates according to the same schedule.

Tea & Coffee House, small greenhouse are open according to the garden schedule.

How to get there?

The Summer Garden is located at Kutuzov Embankment 2, within walking distance of four metro stations: Nevsky Prospekt, Gostiny Dvor, Gorkovskaya and Chernyshevskaya. It will take about 15 minutes to walk to the park.

There are many attractions in the area, so you won't get lost. Nearby is the Engineering Castle, the Russian Museum and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.

You can also get to the garden by buses running along routes No. K212, 49, K76, 46 and tram No. 3.

You can enter the park from the side of the embankment of the Neva River and the embankment on the Moika. Most sculptures and fountains are near the embankment on the Neva.

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