Summer Garden

Saint Petersburg, Russia

Summer Garden


The Summer Garden (Russian: Ле́тний сад, Letniy sad) is a historic public garden that occupies an eponymous island between the Neva, Fontanka, Moika, and the Swan Canal in downtown Saint Petersburg, Russia and shares its name with the adjacent Summer Palace of Peter the Great. Its inception dates back to early 18 century when Russia took these lands from Sweden in the Great Northern War. Being a monument of landscape architecture featuring original and copied sculptures of classical mythology characters, a former royal palace and a monument to the fable author Ivan Krylov, the garden is now a branch of the Saint Petersburg-based national art treasury Russian Museum.

The park was personally designed by Tsar 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.

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