The compulsory construction of the regular parks of the CVIII century-the grotto- hadn’t been preserved too. The beginning of work on laying out the grotto by architect Schluter was 1713-1714. After Schluter’s death the work was continued by I.Mattarnovi, I.Miketti, G.-B. Leblon and M.G. Zemtsov. It was the pavilion with high dome, decorated with columns , marble busts and sculptural groups before the entrance. The grotto’s interior walls were faced with shells and stones of different colours. In the center of the main hall there were fountain "Neptun" and the organ, which was set going by the water. During the flood of 1777 the grotto had been almost completely destroyed. Either had the fountains.
The marble sculpture, which was ordered by Peter I in Italy, became the integral part of the regular garden. Particular glory did have Venice’s masters P.Baratta, D.Bonatsa, A.Tarsia and others. Their works were bought gladly in Europe. The prominent connoisseurs of an art U.Kologrivov, S.Raguzinski, P.Beklemishev (last one was the ambassador of Russia in Italy) helped Peter I to acquire Italian sculptures for the Summer Garden.
Until now had been kept such Italian sculptural portraits as the bust of Alexander Makedonski (after P.Baratta), of Ulii Tsezar (the author is unknown), of Roman kings Avgust, Klavdii, Neron and Traian. The statues, connected with the characters of ancient mythology, formed a large group. On the special order of Peter I had been carried out the compositions upon the allegorical plots.
In the first quarter of the CVIII century, when Peter I was alive, about 200 sculptural groups and busts decorated paths and fountains of the garden. Nowadays there had been kept about 90 of them in the garden.
Peter the Great’s Summer Palace, designed by an architect Domenico Trezzini in 1710-1712 in the early Peter’s baroque, is situated in the north-eastern part of the garden. In contradistinction to the palace complexes of regular parks in Eastern Europe, it doesn’t take the central place in the whole composition and is situated as country-seat palaces in the suburbs of Moscow. It is the single structure in the Summer garden, which has been kept since the beginning of the CVIII century.
The tsar and his family had been living in the Summer Palace since May till October for 1712-1725. Although the Palace wasn’t the ceremonial one, the Summer garden became the center of political life during the Peter’s governing. The celebrations of the main festivals had been held here: the Poltava’s victory, the taking of Narva, the rout of the Swedish armies under Lesnaya, the signing a Nieschtadt peace treaty. The purpose of the festivals was the demonstration of the Russian Navy, the frigates and other ships entered the Neva. There had been also arranged the fireworks. In the palace or in the garden, under the open sky, the assemblies had been held in order to meet each other and talk about the needs or to hear the news.
There had been changed a lot in the Summer garden in due course. The original plan of the paths didn’t remain completely, the arrangement of the statues had been changed several times. Many of the statues had been lost, some-had been handed to the palaces and museums. But the nature of collection under the open sky had been kept. By the way, at the end of fifties of this century during the restoration the original arrangement had been re-created. Peter the Great’s Summer Palace had been kept also. That is why it is safe to say that if you want to see the unique corner of Peter’s Petersburg, you will better come around and visit the Summer Garden.
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