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Peterhof Palace in Russia (image gallery)

During our August cruise to the Baltics aboard Viking's ocean ship Viking Sun, the only port we visited for more than a day was St. Petersburg, Russia — and for good reason. There's so much for visitors to see!

I didn't want to miss the chance to see storied Peterhof Palace, so we took one of Viking's included tours to see the world's largest palace and park complex.

We'd briefly considered doing an independent tour, but the process of applying for a Russian visa for a short half-day visit is so onerous that we decided to take the easy route.

We didn't know much about Peterhof before our trip. It was leveled by the Germans during World War II but restored to its former glory in the decades afterward. The palace was built in 1703 by Peter the Great (the name means Peter's court in German). The tsar got the inspiration for the palace design during a trip to France where he saw Chateau de Versailles.

Above are 26 of my best shots of Peterhof and its 500-acre gardens with more than 200 statues and 144 fountains. If you're considering a trip to St. Petersburg, I hope these inspire you to take time out to see the palace and its breathtaking gardens.

JD Lasica
I'm Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Cruiseable. Follow your cruise bliss to any land where it may lead. Let's connect! I'm @jdlasica on Twitter.