Summer garden was opened after long reconstruction in 2012 on the Day of the City. It looked just like it was on the XVIII century. Back then the plan on the park was made by Peter the Great (Peter I, famous Russian emperor ruled from 1721 to 1782). The emperor wanted to make this place resemble Versalles so to make this happen a huge amount of soil was brought to the park to strengthen the area, as Saint-Petersburg is mostly situated on a swamp area with poor soil.
Summer garden was made with straight paths, hiding below trimmed trees to create a nice shadow for the people to rest in. Also the park had many fountains, and they were partly recreated in the modern version of the park. The fountains in Summer garden were the first in Russia. There were approximately 50 working fountains in Summer Garden and they worked by animal traction, but then it was changed to steam engines. The nearby river was named Fontanka (from Russian: fountain) because the water was coming from it to sustain the fountains.
Also the bush mazes with sculptures were a great attraction for the visitors. The poultry house and a mini zoo amazed everyone. There was a pond filled with fish in the Southern part of the park, near was the greenhouse with exotic plants and flowers. Unfortunately those attractions weren't implemented in modern design of the park, but you will see swans in the lake just after entering of the Summer garden.
In the second part on the XVIII century a railing was constructed out of the granite. Crowned with urns and vases the railing looked so beautiful that there were rumors that the Americans wanted to buy this fence for a hundred trains in the XX century. Finally, the main attraction of the Summer garden is statues. There were 200 of them in the XVIII century. They were brought from Italy by Peter I. Till this day only 90 sculptures remained and most of them are in museums now, what you will see on the Summer garden is copies of the statues. The original item remaining in the park is Porphyry Vase, a gift from Charles XIV of Sweden to Peter I, as a reconciliation gesture after the Northern war.
In the northern part of the park there is a small house, where Peter I once lived, he used a house as a summer residence. The house was constructed by an Italian architect Dominico Trezzini. Now this place is housing a collection of the Russian museum. There was a good tradition related with Summer garden: so called "bride parades" were held here. That means that members of rich and wealthy families were dressing fancy and walking through the alleys of the garden. The visitors were looking at each other, making conversations to see with whom they can make a good couple. And also the entrance to Summer garden was open only for well-dressed people who can pay for the entrance. Now the entrance is free for everyone.
Tragic events also were part of a history on Simmer garden. So in 1777 a large flood seriously damaged many of the fountains and sculptures of the garden. In 1866 a murder was attempted on tsar Alexander II near the entrance on the garden, fortunately, Alexander II was not injured and the attacker was sent to prison. Summer garden now is one of the main attractions of Saint-Petersburg. It is open from May to October from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.