Topic: A Russian Moment
Aerial view of the palaces and churches of Peterhof. Photo © Amos Chapple
This stunning aerial view of Peterhof showcases some of the city’s most beautiful architectural monuments, all set in a beautiful fairytale like winter scene. In the foreground is the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral - a superb example of Russian Revival architecture. Construction of the cathedral began in 1894, a year after the plans were approved by Emperor Alexander III himself.
In the background is the expansive Grand Palace (upper left) flanked by the Church of Saints Peter and Paul or Grand Palace Church. The single golden dome on the left or Western wing of the palace is known as the Double-Headed Eagle Pavilion. Today, it houses the Special Treasury, a museum of jewels and imperial treasures from Peter the Great to Nicholas II. The Special Treasury contains over 800 priceless objects, including a special section recreating a workshop of the House of Faberge, displaying some of the fabulous creations of this famous jewellery firm.
The long building (upper right) is the Benois Family Museum-House. Built in 1854, the palace is now a museum (opened in 1988) offering a unique exposition which presents the diverse phenomena of Russian and world artistic life of the second half of the 19th - early 20th centuries. It consists of beautiful, sculptural and graphic works, theatrical-decorative art objects, architectural projects, rare photographs and original items belonging to the most famous representatives of several generations of the Benois dynasty. Among those are such names as the talented painter and theatrical designer, creator of works on the history of Russian and world art, Alexander Benois, the watercolor virtuoso Albert Benoit, and the architect Leonti Benois.
The street that the Benois Family Museum-House is situated leads to the Alexandria Park nearby. The park contains the Gothic Chapel, the Farm Palace, the Alexandria Dacha, and the ruins of the Lower Dacha. Visitors are required to pay admission to the park, as well as the respective museums.
In the background one can see the Gulf of Finland. During the summer months, one can journey from St. Petersburg to Peterhof by hydrofoil, arriving at the pier which jets out into the water.
© Paul Gilbert @ Royal Russia. 31 March, 2014