About

 

Territory before the construction of the hotel

The town-planning formation of the territory in which the Samson Hotel was located began in
the Peter I time. With the laying of the ensemble of the Grand Palace, its meridional main axis
was outlined in the form of a clearing going deep into the mainland. Then radial glades were cut
through, which converged to the main entrance to the Upper Garden, as well as several arc ones.
The terrain, planned in this way, was occupied by part of the forest, part of the swamp. In the
1730s. in front of the main entrance to the Upper Garden a semicircular square was arranged,
and in the middle of the 18th century. From it, a narrow dam was led through the swamp, at the
tip of which a booth for shooting game was installed. Since then up to the 1820s. swamp called
"Hunting".
In the years 1837-1838. on the orders of Nicholas I, a large pond with two islands was arranged
on the site of a swamp. The coastal bedding was carried out, a new coastline was formed. The
changes also affected the northwestern section adjacent to the above-mentioned semicircular
area. She herself was eliminated, the adjacent part of the marsh was filled up and the Palace
(Pravlenskaya) street was extended to the shore of the newly formed pond. The area bounded by
it, by the lake, Samsoniyevskaya Square and St. Petersburg Prospect, was allocated to Captain
Wilhelm (Vasily) Ivanovich Truveler, who directly supervised the construction of the pond (later
called Olgin, after the name of the pavilion built on one of the islands and intended for daughters
of the emperor, Grand Duchess Olga Nikolaevna).

Construction of the “Samson” Hotel

V.I.Truveller was born in 1810. After graduating from the Institute of Railway Engineers, he
began working in Peterhof, where he established himself as a competent engineer and hydraulic
engineer, an excellent organizer of work. So, he participated in the creation of camps of military
schools, in the improvement of the area near the Nikolsky house, for which he was promoted and
awarded with a diamond ring. Nicholas I highly appreciated such knowledge and abilities.
V.I.Truveller built several residential houses, profitable establishments, office buildings and
structures on his plot. Among them are the houses that have been preserved along Saint
Petersburg Avenue, 42 and 46. The Eastern house, in the style of classicism, was finished with
finishing in 1837, the western, in the style of the English Gothic style, this year ended in rough.
This building with a tower, along with the Apraksin dacha (later Lazarev), symmetrical to it,
formed the ensemble of a new square in front of the entrance to the Upper Garden. Peterhof`s
historian A.F. Geyrot wrote about it: “When leaving the Upper Garden ... there appears to be an

open area with two beautiful dachas of the city of Trouveller (as in the text - SG) and Count
Apraksin and the stone house of the manager Peterhof ...” .
Between the Truveller houses overlooking the avenue, indented from the red line, in 1836 a large
building of trade baths was built. In addition, in the depths of the territory was erected a building
"Malaya Dacha" and a number of outbuildings: stables, barns, glaciers. Behind them, on the
shore of the lake, was a landscape garden. The former dam, which led to the hunting booth, was
expanded and turned into a picturesque cape, at the tip of which a pier was made.
After the construction of the main buildings at the site was completed, Truveller began the
construction of a wooden house along St. Petersburg Prospect. This building was supposed to
"cover up" the inexpressive facade of the bathhouse from the Upper Garden and the adjacent
section of the avenue. The construction was completed in 1839, and on April 7 of this year, the
master of the confectionery shop, merchant F. I. Shupp filed a petition to the Peterhof Palace
Board to allow him to open a "... in the Gothic wooden house of Major Truveller against the
Upper Garden" hotel. With the permission of Nicholas I, the hotel was opened on May 15 of this
year and was named “Samson”.
 The original architectural appearance of this building can be reconstructed according to the
drawing of 1870, made in connection with the project of the superstructure of its central part.
The building, built in the style of the English Gothic, had two side floors and a central one-story
part. Comparison of its three-dimensional composition, architectural elements and details with
the Peterhof "Gothic" houses, built in 1837-1839. the chief architect of Peterhof of those years, I.
Sharleman, makes it very likely that he was the author of the Samson Hotel project.
The fact that the hotel was crowned with a model or signboard depicting the legendary Peterhof
sculpture is evidenced by lines from travel notes by the famous French novelist Alexander
Dumas, who visited Peterhof in 1858: “... Our crew took us to a restaurant that has a glorious
reputation Petergof. I have already said that it is called “Samson” This name comes from a small
figure installed in front of the restaurant - a copy of the famous statue “Samson”, located in a
park in the middle of a large fountain. This is the ancient Judean Heracles, tearing the mouth of
the Philistine lion." The sign with the figure of Samson is depicted on the design drawing of
1870. Other impressions of Dumas about the dinner at the hotel are mainly gastronomic.

Hotel rebuilding

From the 1870 project drawing. it follows that this year, the widow of V.I.Truveller was allowed
to extend the central part of the hotel to two floors, as well as the demolition of a number of
outbuildings and the construction of new ones. In the same year, permission was issued for a
device in the central part of the balcony facade on iron brackets. Probably, as a result of the
reconstruction, the sign with the image of the statue of Samson was lost - it should have closed
the view from the windows of the second floor.
On postcards of the beginning of the 20th century. the appearance of the hotel is significantly
different from that depicted on the drawing of 1870. This is explained by the fact that at the end
of the XIX century. the building was rebuilt. It expanded along the avenue to the east almost
doubled. The architectural composition has changed significantly: the lateral eastern link of the

facade was turned into a central one, its bay window was disassembled, the uniaxial layout
became biaxial. This moved the balcony.
The former central and western parts of the facade were mirrored in the new extension. Thus, the
former three-part facade began to consist of five parts. The details of the building were other: the
openwork parapets with cruciferous flowers disappeared from the roofs, but a cornice appeared
with mounting brackets similar to those found on the Peterhof palace stables, the post office and
the railway station - the buildings of NL Benoit. The characteristic "Anglo-Gothic" sandriks
remained only above the windows of the second floor. Turrets-phials were arranged above the
faceted pillars.
The roof has completely changed: instead of a sloping, almost flat, hidden parapet, it became
high, steep, and attic was arranged above it in the central and lateral parts. The slopes of the
roofs of the side parts crowned forged iron barriers. In general, the silhouette of the roof acquired
features characteristic of the palace architecture of France in the first half of the XVII century,
which changed the style of the building. However, the merging of the style of innovations with
the style of the English Gothic was quite organic - the building remained a good example of XIX
century romanticism architecture. Perhaps Nikolai Benois himself took part in the drafting of the
restructuring.
 The photos show an extension adjoining the western end of the building, on the first floor of
which there is an entrance hall under the iron canopy, and in the second - an open veranda. In
addition, we see a gallery with a gazebo stretching along the avenue. Probably, restaurant tables
were installed on it in the summer season. The stone fence is no longer there, it was replaced by
a light fence in wooden pillars.
The hotel was considered the best in Peterhof. A guidebook published for the 200th anniversary
of the city says: “... Past the garden passes ... Petergofskaya Street. Turning east to it, we pass by
the best hotel in the city - “Samson”, popular, not only in Peterhof. ”“ It is known that in winter,
when there were no influx of visitors, family evenings were held in it.
The hotel continued to function in Soviet times. It burned down in 1928.

Modern solution

The recreated hotel building, which fully corresponds to the historical appearance of the Samson
Hotel that once existed on this site, has a basement, two floors and an attic.
The five-part symmetrical solution of the main facade of the end of the 19th century, historical
decorative details: a cornice with brackets, faceted pillars with turrets, a balcony railing,
sandrikes over the windows are preserved in the architectural appearance of the building. In
addition, the laced parapets with the crucifixes of the facade of 1870 were recreated.
The facades are decorated with colored decorative plaster in the yellow-white range traditional
for Petrodvorets, the base is made of natural stone.
 Today the hotel can accommodate 156 people in 59 comfortable rooms of the following
categories: Standard, Superior Standard, Junior Suite and Suite. All rooms at your service:
private bathroom, hairdryer, mini-fridge, air conditioning, telephone, safe, satellite TV, Internet
access - Wi-Fi.
The Samson Hotel is a comfortable rest near the Grand Palace and the parks of Peterhof, an
atmosphere of history, the charm of nature and impeccable service!