The Fountains of Peterhof

Pedro I thought of an important factor in the design of his summer residence, which were the fountains. The emperor in his decrees explained in detail, how and where to build a fountain or waterfall. Although Peterhof was badly damaged during the Nazi occupation, many of Peter I’s fountains have been in operation for 300 years and its worldwide fame still do not fade away. It should be noted that the last restoration was carried out in 1995. In the Lower and Upper Peterhof Park, there are approximately 150 fountains and waterfalls.

The great waterfalls represent a fantastic spectacle, with glowing water jets and gold and silver sculptures. In the center of the water bucket upstream from the “Samson” fountain, there is a powerful stream that is shot with the waterfall of the bay connected to the sea channel. The Great Cascade with the fountain installation system is the most characteristic of Peterhof, as it is a brilliant monument of baroque art.

The Samson fountain has the form of the lion’s penetrating mouth (built in 1802) it symbolizes what happened on St. Samson’s day when Russia was victorious over Sweden with the emblematic coat of arms that includes the lion.
The two big fountains, known as “bowls”, are located on both sides of the Great Waterfall and compositionally supports a huge “Sanson” water column. In the Lower Park, in addition to these powerful fountains, there are beds of large flowers and marble, as well as colonnades. The ceilings have gold vases in which water jets flow in semicircular cups. Behind the western colonnade, there is a fountain that is considered one of the favorite and fun. This source exemplifies the design of Pedro I to construct the channel 22 along the marine source, with sculptural decoration about subjects of fables of Aesop.

Some of Peterhof’s most beautiful fountains are the Roman fountains, named for the similarity with the fountains of the square in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. On a marble pedestal rests an enormous unit, a smaller pedestal, in whose center five jets of water are fired. The fountains are decorated with gold-colored marble, garlands, crowns and masks. Next to the Roman fountains where water flows from the hill waterfall, the “mountain of chess” is found, stage where a chessboard was painted. However, the first stage is called the “Dragon Mountain”, as the entrance to the upper grotto is guarded by three dragons with their mouths open, where powerful streams flow.

There are many wonderful fountains in existence in Monplezirskom, a garden adjacent to the Monplaisir palace, where Peter I’s favorite creation is to be seen from its windows, Petersburg and Kronstadt, and the northern coast of the Gulf of Finland. One of the largest fountains, known as “sheaf”, is surrounded on 4 sides by sculptures, bells, among other things, which are mounted on pedestals in the form of inverted bowls where water flows. There are two very modest white benches in the Monplezirskom garden, but they are not as simple as it seems at first glance. Near them, there are jets of fine water. And there are not only fountains in Peterhof, there is also a tree called “Dubok” which is surrounded by the tulips near the two white benches mentioned above.

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