Celebrating International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day, a commemorative day that’s celebrated in different ways throughout the world. In some countries, the focus is on women’s accomplishments, whereas in others, it is a day to merely show gratitude towards women.

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Our Peterhof Gardens Promenade

Peterhof-Palace-St. Petersburg-Russia

Often referred to as Russia’s Versailles, the Peterhof Palace gardens (ПЕТЕРГО́Ф) offered us a picturesque spot through which to stroll during our visit to St. Petersburg earlier this month.

Under shadows cast by heavily-gilded cupolas, we were brusquely ushered through the grandiose palace complex past faces from all walks of life. When we crossed paths with artists dressed in Baroque garb, we tried to imagine Peterhof in its heyday shortly after its commissioning by Peter the Great in the 18th century.

Peterhof Palace RussiaAnd then we tried visualize the depths of its destruction at the hands of Nazi occupiers between 1941-1944. Reconstruction work and regular maintenance continue to this day.

Peterhof Palace Russia ArchitecturePeterhof Palace Gardens RussiaWe found the elegant gardens and cast of characters to be of the most interest as they brought life to the prim palace.

There were Russian school-children visiting the UNESCO-registered complex, yet some seemed more interested in games of hide & seek than in the ornate architecture.

Peterhof Palace Russia Gardens and FountainsPeterhof Russia Gardens of PalacePeterhof RussiaPeterhof Russia Gardens of Palace 2

There was even a bride that resembled a delicately-painted matryoshka doll.Peterhof Russia Wedding BrideAnd aggressive salesmen, peddling matryoshka dolls, wooden structures with Eastern Orthodox spires and Siberian cashmere shawls. Some expressions evoked Cold War intrigue.

Peterhof Russia Gardens of Palace VendorsPeterhof Palace Gardens Russia 3Peterhof Palace Russia Fountains and Cupola

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Photography & text © by Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.