The rooms and halls of the Grand Peterhof Palace

 

The Grand Palace along with the large fountain cascade in front of it is the main attraction of Peterhof and architectural dominant of the whole Palace and Park complex. In XVII – XIX centuries the Grand Peterhof Palace was the main ceremonial residence of Russian tsars, which hosted important events and celebrations, receptions, balls and masquerades. This monumentally looking building has about 30 rooms inside.

The Grand Peterhof Palace
The Grand Staircase

The Guest Entrance was arranged in the Western part of the building and involved the Grand staircase created by Bartolomeo Rastrelli in 1751.  The decoration of the Grand staircase included gilded statues and carved bouquets, caryatids and rocaille (that is made in the Rococo style) cartouches. The staircase leads guests to the enfilade which is a series of state rooms for official purposes. 

• The Chesma hall is a waiting room located in front of the Throne room were officials were waiting for the start of the reception. Paintings by the German painter Jacob Hackert serve as the main decoration of the hall. They depict the most dramatic episodes of the Chesma battle in which Russian fleet headed by count Alexei Orlov defeated Turkish fleet.

• The Throne room is the most spacious one, designed for receptions, balls and concerts, with an overall area of 330 sq.m. Originally this hall shone in its splendor, but in 1777 it was decorated in a classic and more modest style under the project of Yury Felten

• The Audience room was intended for small receptions of the Empress Elizabeth. The design was done by Rastrelli and became one of the best works of the architect.

“According to a legend, Elizabeth ordered Rastrelli to use as much gold in the room design as possible, because the apartment was used for the reception of noble merchants representatives, who, in the opinion of the Empress, admired gold”

• In the eighteenth century The Dance hall was known as The Merchants hall and its spacious area of 270 sq.m. occupied most of the Western half of the Grand Peterhof Palace. The windows are arranged in two tiers here and numerous mirrors and paintings are used as decorations. Parquet is made of dark and light oak, maple and walnut. According to a legend, Elizabeth ordered Rastrelli to use as much gold in the room design as possible, because the apartment was used for the reception of noble merchants representatives, who, in the opinion of the Empress, admired gold.

• White dining room was meant for festive meals and was originally designed by Bartolomeo Rastrelli. In 1774 – 1775, Yuri Felten significantly changed the hall – the new style was the complete opposite of the previous one. Instead of the gloss of gold the interior was decorated in strict classical canons. In the center of the room there is a huge table, covered with a white tablecloth and a 30 persons porcelain set, created by the famous English master Josiah Wedgwood.

• The Painting hall is the oldest one: it was designed during the life of Peter I. It is decorated with tapestries by French masters and 16 paintings by Italian artists. Originally Nicolo Michetti and Jean-Baptiste Leblond took part in creation of the room design, but later, in the middle of the XVIII century, the hall was changed by the project of Rastrelli.

The Grand Peterhof Palace
The Grand Peterhof Palace
The Grand Peterhof Palace
The Throne Room

Ceremonial halls are followed by the rooms of the private half, which was accessible only to a circle of confidants. It housed bedrooms, private offices and salons, designed again by Bartolomeo Rastrelli. The abundance of gilding, mirrors and paintings, suspended symmetrical arches with plafond paintings and parquet floors made of precious wood – all these details create a festive atmosphere.

Currently, the Grand Peterhof Palace is a unique Museum of history and art, whose contains about three and a half thousand exhibits, including paintings and porcelain, fabrics, unique furniture and personal belongings of the Russian rulers.

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