At the time of Peter, his wife Catherine and nieces of Anna Ioannovna Summer Gardens were only an imperial residence. You could visit the gardens only at the invitation of Imperial Majesty.

On June 5 (May 25, according to the old style), Empress Elizaveta Petrovna (daughter of Peter the Great) permits visiting the First and Second Summer Gardens of the public of St. Petersburg without inviting the imperial family. In the illustrations, authentic images of this decree provided by the archive of the Russian State Archives of the Russian Academy of Arts. We give a translation of this decree.

“Her Imperial Majesty from the duty general adjutant of the main police chancellery
Her Imperial Majesty, the most gracious empress deigned to publish, if on Sundays and solemn days on the first and second gardens lying from the Neva River, both those served by Her Imperial Majesty, the foreign noble persons and the following ranks with surnames would like to have these passages, namely label companies non-commissioned officers, corporals and grenadiers, life guards and army regiments, cadet, artillery, engineer corps and navy headquarters and chief officers, and from civilian ranks consisting of officer ranks and all the nobility without exception. Also Russian, foreign merchants, foreign ships are skippers and other naval officers, except for vile sailors. Tokmo described above all ranks of people in decent dress ranks. From the female sex, in bonnets and not in fancy skirts, and merchants in beards, and disheveled hair and similar troubles, do not go, lackeys in livery and no servants for themselves do not lead anyone into those gardens, which will not be passed and suspended ranks. Other who is not allowed to do this, do not go under pain of punishment. By virtue of which Her Imperial Majesty the highest command for the publication and indispensable announcement of the Chief Police Chancellery through this is communicated. May 25, 1752. “

At this disposal it was painted who and in what form can visit the First and Second Summer Gardens. A special dress code was for women. They could not attend the Summer Garden in bonnets and in skirts without tansy. Merchants should be shaved and should not have boots on their feet.

In subsequent years, the list of people who could visit the Summer Garden expanded, but the Summer Garden became truly public only after 1917.

Now any citizen can visit the Summer Garden, despite the dress code. That’s just a pandemic so far does not allow.

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