PETER THE GREAT, whose name is associated with every twig and branch of Russian public or social life, did what no ruler ever did before—he built his capital on hostile ground. Often, while the building of the city was going on, he had to exchange the chisel and mallet for the sword, and drive back the enemy from the very gates of his infant capital. On one of these suburban battle-fields, he erected, in the year 1711, without the city and close to the sea, the castle and garden of Catherinenhoff, as a memorial of a victory obtained, over the Swedes. At first it was only the summer residence of his consort Catherine, and of the grand-duchesses Anne and Elizabeth. Their wooden palace stands yet, a view of which is given on the opposite page, but the gardens are greatly extended, and are full of bowling-greens and restaurants. For a long time these and the "Summer garden" were the only pleasure-resorts of the kind for the citizens; and still, probably from habit, these gardens ar e vis ited on the first of May.
see more - The Gardens and Villas of St. Petersburg
Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855