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.
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.
There was even a bride that resembled a delicately-painted matryoshka doll.And aggressive salesmen, peddling matryoshka dolls, wooden structures with Eastern Orthodox spires and Siberian cashmere shawls. Some expressions evoked Cold War intrigue.
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Photography & text © by Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.