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Summer Garden

Vista through the Summer Garden towards the Summer Palace, 1716

The Summer Garden (Russian: Ле́тний сад, Letniy sad) occupies an island between the Fontanka, Moika, and the Swan Canal in Saint Petersburg and shares its name with the adjacent Summer Palace of Peter the Great.


  • Landscape design 1
    • Original 1.1
    • Later 1.2
  • Sculptures 2
  • Present day 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Landscape design


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.


The railing of Summer Garden

A delicate iron-cast railing, separating the park from the public walk of the Anna Akhmatova, among others, considered the grille to be a pinnacle of art-casting and one of the symbols of St Petersburg.

The monument to Ivan Krylov in Summer Garden
One of the walks of the Summer Garden.

In the 1820s, a Eastern Europe.

On 4 April 1866 Dmitry Karakozov made the first attempt to assassinate the tsar when he walked out of the Summer Garden. As the attempt proved abortive, the ponderous Summergrille memorial chapel in a Russian Revival style was built over the gate. This rather incongruous attachment was demolished by the Bolsheviks after the October Revolution.

The park was chosen by Alexander Pushkin as a setting for childhood walks of the fictional character Eugene Onegin.


Many of the sculptures now adorning the Summer Garden date back to the early 18th century. In the 19th century, the intended arrangement of the decorative sculptures in the Summer Garden was forgotten, quite a few of the sculptures were no longer extant, and those remaining were moved from place to place, thus destroying the original design. In late 20th century, all sculptures were rearranged and today they stand in accordance with the aesthetic ideas charactertistic of the beginning of the 18th century.[1]

Present day

The Summer Garden Park remains one of the most romantic and evocative places in St Petersburg.

See also


  1. ^ Summer Garden in St Petersburg Russia, retrieved June 13, 2015 

External links

  • The Summer Garden & Palace of Peter I
  • Wandering Camera in the Summer Garden
  • Houses and monuments of the Summer Garden
  • Autumn views of the Summer Garden
  • Winter views of the Summer Garden
  • St Petersburg Russia - Parks

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