The Summer Garden
It is told that famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin often took a walk in a bathrobe and slippers here. The Summer Garden is a place to admire probably the most beautiful park fence in Europe, to take beautiful pictures and to enjoy your day. Conceived by Peter I as a recreation area where noble people could spend their time, the Summer Garden nowadays is deprived of bizarre poultry houses and greenhouses, but still keeps an aristocratic charm and a pleasant ease of a resting place. By the way, it gave the name to one of the most famous local rivers that once served as a resource for garden fountains and was named by citizens the Fontanka river.
Back in 1704 Peter I ordered to lay a scenic garden on the banks of the Neva river, on the site of the former manor of the Swedish major Konow, in the likeness of those he saw in his trip to Europe. Initially a
swampy area was dried by digging drainage channels and so there appeared an artificial island, which in our days is the Summer Garden, one of the most attractive points of interest in Saint-Petersburg.
The Summer Garden Pond
The Summer Garden conformed to all the canons of European regular parks, where the main avenues were located symmetrically and intersected with secondary alleys forming square areas. Trees and bushes were trimmed inthe form of geometrical shapes. Fanciful plantations of cubes, spheres and pyramids appeared in front of the audience of the Summer Garden. Mazes, gazebos and galleries were created with the help of shrubs and climbing plants and flowers in the form of baroque ornaments were planted on flowerbeds.
“The Summer Garden conformed to all the canons of European regular parks, where the main avenues were located symmetrically and intersected with secondary alleys forming square areas.“
The appearance of the garden changed significantly during the reign of Empress Catherine II. The 1777 flood caused great damage to the Summer Garden. Fountains, pavilions and gazebos were destroyed, many sculptures were turned over and trees were knocked down. After this flood all the pavilions, mazes and fountains were dismantled by the decree of Catherine II,. In 1784 the fence on the side of the Neva river was built, and later it became an architectural masterpiece of world importance.In XX century, the Summer Garden became not only a park for recreation and walks of the city residents,
but also a remarkable place for tourists to visit.
Swans in the Summer Garden
In 2012, the Summer Garden was reopened after restoration and renovation. Now it resembles a garden from the time of Peter I with restored fountains, the aviary and Baroque-styled flowerbeds. In order to preserve original marble sculptures, they were replaced by copies. Today the Summer Garden has one once again become the favorite walking place for citizens and guests of Saint-Petersburg and is considered by many tourists as one of the main points of interest in Saint-Petersburg.