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Fountains of Peterhof

 
The Grand Cascade
Grand Cascade - one of the largest fountain ensembles in the world, including more than 60 fountains, about 250 statues and reliefs. Basically is a typical "Italian staircase, on the broad marble steps which flows through the water flowing into the vast cup-pool. On the slope between the stairs - Lower and Upper grottoes, whose interior is given to the similarities with the natural caverns. Work on the construction cascade began no later than 1715, when Peter I was prepared, his first drawing. In 1716, Jean-B.Leblon proposed to change the shape of the central basin, giving it the shape of the bucket, and expand the sea channel leading from the basin to the Gulf of Finland. The first test run fountains stage took place in the summer of 1721. But work on its design were conducted, and later, culminating in the 1735 construction of "Samson" - the most powerful water jet at Peterhof (the height of the jet to 21m).
In the years 1799-1806, when replacing dilapidated lead sculpture of the Great Cascade at the bronze, and was replaced by "Samson". Model new shape (height 3,51 m) through a large-classicist sculptor M. Kozlowski.
The Great Cascade is the heart of the Peterhof ensemble which conveys the idea of the celebration of Russia's victorious struggle for an exit to the sea.
The Great Cascade, with its breathtaking blend of water effects and sculptural decor, was created according to the concept of Peter the Great to glorify the courage of Russian soldiers and sailors. Organically linked with the complex of the Great Cascade are the imposing palace erected above it, the Sea Canal and dozens of powerful fountains glistening with the gold of their statues, bas-reliefs and vases. The building and decoration of the Great Cascade — the dominant fountain structure of Peterhof—began in 1715 and lasted for seven years. The Tsar's ideas were creatively developed by the whole galaxy of celebrated architects including Alexander Le Blond, Johann Braunstein, Niccolo Michetti and Mikhail Zemtsov, as well as by the sculptor Carlo Bartolomeo Rastrelli and the fountain master Paul Sualem.
The Great Cascade is unique for the plastic expressiveness of its architectural and sculptural forms and for a perfectly unified impression they produce which is largely due to whimsical, ever changing patterns of water jets and streams. Water is either falling down the abrupt cascade steps or gushing upwards violently, interweaving in arc-shaped curves or palpitating in iridescent designs, while its gentle murmur is filling the air.
Lower Park
Lower Park (area 102.5 ha) is one of the world's largest baroque gardens. Has a basis of a symmetrical layout that was created on the outlines of Peter I Dutch master gardener L.van Garnihfeltom, supervised in Peterhof until 1738.
The ensemble of the park area adjacent to the Great Cascade, includes a large parterres with fountains, Italian and French (1721, architect N. Michetti, Hydro brothers Barattini and P. SUAL). To the east of them a short walkway leads to the garden with Greenhouse Greenhouse housing and fountain "Triton" (1726, sculptor BA-K.Rastrelli). Further east is the stalls, where the roar of water two stun mighty Roman fountain. On the ground floor of the palace terraces cascade down the famous "Chess Mountain, erected in 1721 on draft N. Mi cap. In 1739, before the grotto of the upper stage were established figures of dragons (sculptor K. Osner). In the middle of the XVIII century, his steps were painted "In chess." After that stage called a dragon, the Chess Mountain. From the pit of Roman fountains in the north-east leaves narrow path leading to the fountain "Pyramid", one of the most spectacular in Peterhof (1721, designed by N. Michetti).
Menazhereyny Garden
The garden was laid out in the years 1717-1724 at the palace as Mon Plaisir "Menagerie" (French tepadepe). Its centerpiece - a fountain "The Sun", arranged in the center of a vast pool (70 x 30 m). The author of the fountain was Niccolo Michetti (1724). In 1770 Yuri Felten complicated construction of buildings, enclosing a central fountain into a metal column (height 3.5 m) on top of which is attached dual gold-plated disc.
Ensemble Monplaisir
Monplaisir (franz. mon рlaisir- my pleasure) - first Peterhof ensemble. Was founded by decree of Peter I of 1709, construction began in 1714. Monplezirsky palace - floor, with a floor at ground level - was built by Peter as a fun pastiche of a rich Dutch house. His central body (tent) includes seven buildings. In 1717, the tents were added to the gallery (the length of each 22 m) completed pavilion lustghaus (German Lust Haus - pleasure house). The palace stands on the shores of the Gulf - on an artificial platform. From the Bay is arranged an outdoor terrace. Prior to the southern facade of 1724 was defeated Monplezirsky garden, divided into four stalls, which converge to a central area with a picturesque fountain "Sheaf" (1724, architect M. Zemtsov). The centers are established partners Fountains Cloche ( from the French. сlосhе- Bell). At the exit from the garden are marble "Sofas" - the first Fountains of Peterhof. Already in the era of Elizabeth in Monplezirsky ensemble has been included elegant "pleasure palace" - Elizabethan (and later Catherine) Corps (1748-1749, architect AB-F.Rastrelli). Bathhouse building - elegant eastern wing Monplezirskogo Palace - originates from the wooden Peter's Bath (Soap). In the years 1865-1866 on the orders of Alexander the architect E. Gan reconstructed building in Bath stone, retaining a number of premises XVIII century. Simultaneously, the eastern facade of the bath shell was decorated miniature Chinese garden.

Photo of fountains of Peterhof

Panorama of the Great Palace Gold sculpture, Peterhof Fountains of Peterhof Sculptural decor of the Great Cascadef Peterhof Russie
Gold sculpture, Peterhof. Fountains of Peterhof. Panorama of the Great Palace, the Great Cascade and the Alley of Fountains. Perspective view of the Sea Canal. Decorative statue: Mercury. 1800. Copy of an ancient original from the 2nd century B. C.
Water increases a dynamic sweep of statuary and even enhances its conceptual significance. The Great Cascade includes two seven-step cascades flanking the central three-step waterfall stairway and seventy-five water-jets. One of the most impressive among them is the Basket Fountain located in the centre of the water pageant, in front of the Large Grotto. Twenty-eight oblique jets spurting from a tufa ring are interlacing like a tracery of a flower basket. Nine stems of fantastic flowers are fluttering within its crystal frame. They are resplendent like a festive bouquet brought, as it were, to the balcony of the Great Peterhof Palace.
The flanking cascades are elaborate architectural structures, the designs and scale of which determine the diverse play of light through the water amidst the gilded statues, vases, consoles and bas-reliefs.
The streams of water are falling step by step from the height of twenty metres. The curving edges of the cascade risers lend to the streams a Baroque vivacity and profusion.
In sharp contrast to them are the fourteen straight water jets shooting upwards at either side of each step.
Their steep edges are richly decorated with bas-reliefs and corbels. On the parapets of the Cascade, mounted on marble pedestals are gilded bronze statues of ancient gods and heroes alternated with elaborate bronze bowls and vases.
During the Petrine era the subject matter of the bas-reliefs and statues was interpreted as an allegory of glorious victories of Russia in the Northern War fought for the dominance over the Baltic shores, as well as a satire on the self-sufficient enemy — Sweden. The decor of the Great Cascade includes 241 statues and other sculptural forms, each of which has an artistic value of its own while being an integral part of the entire composition. Linked with the Great Cascade is the Pool decorated at the sides by bronze sculptural fountain groups, Sirens and Naiads. In the middle of the Pool, on a granite rock pediment, soars the huge bronze sculptural group, Samson Tearing Open the Jaws of the Lion — a pathetic allegory of the victory of Russia's "Samson", Peter the Great, in the Battle of Poltava over Charles XII of Sweden personified here by the image implying the Swedish heraldic lion. The Samson sculpture decorates the tallest (21 metres) and most powerful fountain of Peterhof. The first lead sculptural group was produced in 1735 by Bartolomeo Carlo Rastrelli to mark the 25th anniversary of the Poltava victory. In 1801 it was replaced by a new Samson cast in bronze after a model by Mikhail Kozlovsky.
Carried away by the invaders in 1942-43, the statue was recreated by Vasily Simonov. The Samson Fountain is a veritable masterpiece remarkable for a harmonious combination of decorative sculpture and the dynamic water element.