The Peterhof is the Russian Versailles, as the original was the inspiration for Peter the Great. Wanting an imperial palace in his new city, Peter began the construction of the palace in 1714 and his vision was completed in 1725. Many of the tsars afterwards added to the palaces and gardens of Peterhof and fountains were added well into the 19th century.
During the Second World War, Peterhof was captured by German troops and part of the palace was bombed and many of the fountains destroyed. Restoration started straight after the war ended and much of it has been restored to its former glory, although there is still some work continuing today.
The fountains of the Grand Cascade are located below the grotto and on either side of it. Their waters flow into a semicircular pool. In the 1730s, the large Samson Fountain was placed in this pool. It depicts when Samson tears open the jaws of a lion, representing Russia's victory over Sweden in the Great Northern War. From the lion's mouth shoots a 20-metre-high vertical jet of water, the highest in all of Peterhof.
Perhaps the greatest achievement of Peterhof is that all of the fountains operate without the use of pumps. Water is supplied from natural springs and collects in reservoirs in the Upper Gardens. The elevation difference creates the pressure that drives most of the fountains of the Lower Gardens, including the Grand Cascade.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Peterhof, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to Russia
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