Central St Petersburg’s loveliest and oldest park, the Summer Garden can be entered either at the northern Neva or southern Moyka end. Early-18th-century architects designed the garden in a Dutch baroque style, following a geometric plan, with fountains, pavilions and sculptures studding the grounds. The ornate cast-iron fence with the granite posts was a later addition, built between 1771 and 1784.
The gardens functioned as a private retreat for Peter the Great (his modest Summer Palace , currently closed for renovations, is here) before becoming a strolling place for St Petersburg’s 19th-century leisured classes. Only in the 20th century were commoners admitted.
There's a small museum in the garden, devoted to the few archaeological finds discovered during the garden's recent restoration.