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(pĕtyĭrgôf`), formerly (1944–97)


(pyĕ'trədvəryĕts`), town, NW European Russia, on Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland. Administratively part of Saint PetersburgSaint Petersburg,
formerly Leningrad,
Rus. Sankt-Peterburg, city (1990 est. pop. 5,036,000), capital of the Leningrad region (although not administratively part of it) and the administrative center of the Northwestern federal district, NW European Russia, at
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, Peterhof is a port, a rail terminus, and a resort center. The city grew up around the palaces and gardens built for Peter IPeter I
or Peter the Great,
1672–1725, czar of Russia (1682–1725), major figure in the development of imperial Russia. Early Life

Peter was the youngest child of Czar Alexis, by Alexis's second wife, Natalya Naryshkin.
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, who founded it in 1711. Peterhof, which became the most lavish of the czar's summer residences, contained several palaces surrounded by vast parks that rivaled Versailles and were famous for their fountains and cascades. Under the Soviet government, the palaces were converted to museums. Largely destroyed during World War II (when the town's name was russified), Peterhof has since been restored. When the original name was restored (1997), Strelna, the site of the Constantine Palace, was separated from Peterhof. A campus of Saint Petersburg State Univ. is in Peterhof.
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