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18th-century Peterhof Gardens. A tufa grotto with 4 entrances is located behind the Samson fountain and cascade. The interior chamber contains statuary, and tunnels lead through a maze of water pipes. 

18th-century Peterhof Gardens. The favourite retreat of Peter the Great. Located on the shores of the Baltic Sea and guarded by Neptune's statue. The gardens contain a bath house, chessboard cascade, trick fountains and a rocaille summer house. 

The Winter Palace ( 1754-62), is the earliest building in the Hermitage complex, built to project Catherine the Great’s vision for St Petersburg as the greatest Arts Centre in Europe. She was also devoted to extending Peter the Great’s Enlightenment vision – “ I am Catherine of Russia, the Hermit of the Hermitage”1773.

In the Room of Antiquities 8 Classical Statues portray Venus and the Shell motif, a highlight being the Venus of Tauride, 3rd C, BC. The Raphael Loggias also used painted images of scallop shells and marine imagery around window murals. The European Applied Arts Room displayed ceramics by Bernard Palissy and decorative shell-metal crafts.

1764. Catherine the Great's personal retreat. The highlight is the white Pavillion hall displaying 4 shell fountains. 

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