The Catherine Park is made up of two parts: the Regular Park – Old Garden – and the Landscape (English) Park. The Old or Dutch Garden is said to have been begun by Peter I himself
After the Agate Rooms, you will enjoy a walk through the exquisite Maids of Honour Garden and then up the staircase of the Cameron Gallery built by the architect Charles Cameron. Light and airy, the gallery overlooks a spectacular view of the Catherine Park, which is a beautiful any season and never empty. The park is especially frequented in summer, when not only the palaces but the pavilions are open for visiting too.
The Hermitage (architect: Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli) is the most sumptuous and perfect pavilion of the Russian Baroque period in the Catherine Park. It was equipped with the latest technology of its time. As if by magic, the floors would slide apart in the central hall and five laid dining-tables would rise, hoisted by twelve men from the ground level. Ceremonial and diplomatic dinners, as well as dance and entertainment parties, used to be held at the Hermitage until the middle of the 19th century.
The Lower Bathhouse (architect: Ilya Neyelov), or, as it was also called, the Cavaliers’ Bath, hosts a museum display which provides a glimpse into the past. It shows an unofficial side of life at the gala residence and tells the history of Russian bath business.
There are also such pavilions as the Turkish Bath, the Concert Hall, the Grotto, The Upper Bathhouse, the Evening hall and the Hall of the Island.
The Admiralty complex has in one of its wings the Visitor Information Center where visitors can find information about the museums’s exhibits and events.
The Admiralty is also starting point for one-hour electric car tours in the Catherine Park, offering you splendid views of the Marble Bridge, Red or Turkish Cascade, Gothic and Orlov Gates, and Tower Ruin. The electric cars are available for hourly rent with driver.
The Venetian-style gondola, moored at the pier in front of the Admiralty in summer, brings back an old tradition of boat trips on the Great Pond. Pleasant water trips are also offered by the re-established historical ferry service, with two vessels reconstructed from 19th-century drawings making a stop at the Island in the middle of the pond.