The Summer Garden occupies an island between the Fontanka, Moika, and the Swan Canal in Saint Petersburg, Russia and shares its name with the adjacent Summer Palace of Peter the Great.
Daily, from 10.00 till 20.00.
Day off – tuesday.
The park was personally designed by Czar Peter in 1704, supposedly, with the assistance of the Dutch gardener and physician Nicolaas Bidloo. Starting from 1712, the planting of the Summer Garden was further elaborated by the Dutch gardener Jan Roosen, who was the chief gardener of the park till 1726. The well-known French architect Jean-Baptiste Le Blond, who arrived in St. Petersburg in 1716, added to the park the flavour of a Garden à la française. The Summer Garden was largely completed in 1719. The walks were lined with a hundred allegorical marble sculptures, executed by Francesco Penso, Pietro Baratta, Marino Gropelli, Alvise Tagliapietra, Bartolomeo Modulo and other Venetian sculptors that were acquired by Sava Vladislavich. In the late 20th century, 90 surviving statues were moved indoors, while modern replicas took their place in the park.
The sequence of patterned parterres, originally more formal than the current landscape, were the site of Imperial assemblies, or lavish parties which often included balls, feasts, and fireworks. Apart from the statuary, a major park attraction were the fountains, the oldest in Russia, representing scenes from Aesop’s fables. Some of these fell out of use and were demolished after the 1777 inundation which destroyed the fountain machinery acquired by Peter the Great in Britain.