The state Reserve-Museum of Peterhof is located on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland, 29 km (18 mi) from Saint Petersburg.
The centre of the architectural complex is the Grand Palace built in Petrine Baroque style in 1725 and located at the seaside terrace overlooking the sea.
Peterhof's gardens and fountains represent a special trait of the complex. The Upper Garden counts 5 fountains, and the Lower Garden (1.02 km²) is famous for having the world's largest complex of fountains which feeds on numerous small rivers thanks to a 22-km (14-mi)network of water conducts.
Before the Revolution of 1917 Peterhof served as an emperor's residence. In 1918 the palaces were opened to public as museums.
During World War II Peterhof was almost destroyed by the German Army. Restoration work after the war continues to this day. The first exhibition halls were opened to public on 17 May 1964.