«Marly» Palace (Petergof, Russia) — history, tours, expositions. Exact location, phone, entrance fees. Halls and rooms, historical events.
The Palace «Marly» which owes it appearance to the visit of Peter the Great in 1717 to the residence of the French king Louis XIV Marly-le-Roi, is considered the most humble, elegant and yet exceptionally graceful building in Petergof.
After just 3 years from visiting Marly-le-Roi, the great emperor orders a similar mansion to be built on his own lands, not to copy though the exact French prototype, but rather borrow the general compositional solutions.
Today, unfortunately, it is not possible to see the original «Marly» — there is nothing left but ruins, from the years of the Great French Revolution.
Our, Russian «Marly» was built in 3 years only, from 1720 to 1723. It was the renowned architect Johann Braunstein who carried on with the construction of the mansion. Perhaps the highlight of the palace is – the location. It stands on artificial dam between the large Marly pond and the sectoral ponds. Right in front of the elegant and bright building stretches a man-made pond with a perfectly smooth surface, creating a surreal picture of a huge mirror, which reflects “Marly”. Once these ponds were hosting fish, that was swimming up at the ringing of the bell in order to be fed.
It is noteworthy that originally the palace was planned as a single-storey building, and the idea to add a second floor belongs to Peter I. Surprisingly the king’s idea was a successful one: the project ended up to be more proportional, complete and harmonious. Despite the fact that “Marly” is considered a more modest building than other constructions of the palace and park ensemble, for many it became the most favorite place in Petergof. Nonetheless, it is not surprising at all: though the facades are decorated with concise details and indoors there are only 12 rooms, “Marly” has been and perhaps still remains the most homey and cozy palace of Peter’s.
By the way, this mansion was being used as temporary residence for notable guests, but in the mid-18th century it sort of became a museum, it has acquired a memorial character: the wardrobe of Peter I is being stored here.
Right in front of the elegant and bright building stretches a man-made pond with a perfect ly smooth surface, creating a surreal picture of a huge mirror, which reflects «Marly».
Today, the “Marly” collection boasts truly unique exhibits, which include such items as the Emperor’s marine overcoat, caftan decorated with the Order of St. Andrew, as well as rare books and the table with the “slate”board made by Peter I himself.
The collection of little-known works of the Dutch, Flemish and Italian artists of the 17-18 centuries like Silo, Stork, Belotti, Celesta and others, faded in the background, but it definitely complements the overall impression of the whole collection.
After you’ve finished exploring the palace, make sure to take a walk through the “Marly” garden, which is split by the Big pond into the Bacchus Garden and the Venus Garden (the one that is closer to the sea). Despite their charm, they were divided with a utilitarian meaning: fruits for the court’s meals were grown in Venus Garden and Bacchus Garden was supposed to be the place where grape was cultivated, but the idea failed.
Address: Petergof, Lower Park.
Hours of operation: from 9 AM till 9 PM, the ticket booth closes at 8:30 PM.
Entrance fee — 700 RUB (~10 EURO), priviledged category — 350 RUB (~5 EURO). The cost of the tours in groups up to 30 people, formed by the administrator — 150 RUB (~2.4 EURO) per person. The cost of the tours organized by a group of 10-30 people — 2000 RUB (~30 EURO) per group.
Prices are listed for July 2016.