Russia: Saint Petersburg – Peterhof

Peterhof Palace is the Russian version of the French Versailles. The palace and gardens were laid out and built on the orders of Peter the Great on a mission to exceed the luxury of the French palaces and gardens. The palace ensemble lies on the shore of the Nevsky Bay and a Grand Cascade of fountains leads up to the main structure of the Grand Palace. The statue of Samson is the most prominent amount the dozens of gilded fountains here. The Grand Palace itself is a testament to the luxury excess.