Russian town, palace and park 29 km west of St Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland. It was founded by Peter I in 1709 as his summer residence and is renowned for its cascades and fountains. IIn 1715-1724 a two-storey palace was built with a central section flanked by two projecting bays; the original architect is unknown, but further construction followed the designs of Le Blond and Niccol Michetti. Empress Elizabeth (reigned 1741-1762) commissioned Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli to enlarge the palace (1745-1755). The palaces of Monplaisir and Marly, as well as the pavilion known as the 'Hermitage', were all raised during the initial construction of Peterhof during the reign of Peter the Great. The Lower Gardens also contain a large greenhouse, and in the Alexandrine Park stands the palace of Nicholas I. The outlines of the park took shape in the first half of the 18th century. South of the palace is the Upper Park with five fountains, including Neptune. To the north, between the palace and the sea, is the Lower Park, with the Grand Cascade and complex of fountains , which were begun in 1710 to commemorate the Russian victory over the Swedes. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.