Peterhof Palace in Russia

The Peterhof Palace is a magnificent structure erected in the heart of Saint Petersburg, Russia, created solely under the command of Peter the Great. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the grand array of the palace is sometimes compared to The Versailles in France. Both features an awe-inspiring facade, a whimsical garden, and a series of water features enough to imbibe onlookers in a magical moment.

Peterhof Palace was initially conceived as a humble residence for Peter the Great's wife, Catherine. However, in 1705, the makers realize the potential of creating a grand structure out of the site. A group of geniuses, mainly composed of architects, engineers, artists and gardeners, were gathered to create a stunning summer residence for the couple. An ambitious plan was drafted, including a central palace surrounded with a mass of trees and an array of fountains, pools and cascades. A visit to Versailles fueled a fire in creating a greater castle.

Thousands of workers were employed to work on the castle. Among their laborious efforts was digging a grand canal between the palace and the sea. Construction started in 1714 and ended in 1723. Some fine work continued with regards to the decorations on the interior and embellishments of the garden.

The main highlight of the castle is perhaps the Grand Cascade, which is inspired from XIV's Château de Marly outdoor backdrop. Inside is an artificial grotto that contains two narratives which are faced from the inside out and were sculpted from an earthen hued stone. On the display is a snack table that houses a bowl of fruit. Jets of water shoot out whenever a visitor reaches out for the fruit, as if warning them not to touch another's property. A joke was hidden, not only in the prime fountain, but on the other water features as well.


Grand Cascade in Peterhof Palace


Samson's Fountain is among the most eye-catching part of the area. The narrative depicts the strong Biblical character, tearing apart the jaws of a lion. It was a symbolical play to Russia's victory over Sweden, as the lion is often seen in the Swedish coat of arms, and the victory was helmed on St. Samson's day. On the lion's mouth is a 20-meter vertical water shoot, the highest of all the water features.

But the fun does not end there. The Sea Channel, fondly known as the Marine Canal, features twenty fountains and showcases the most extensive water feature during the Baroque era. Among them is the Sun, which resembles the rays of the fiery globe with a disc of water jets while rotating on a vertical axis. There are mysterious fountains which appear as trees. Sensors scan the guests and soak them with water whenever they pass by. A bench shaded by an umbrella flows with water, making the visitor very uncomfortable as they sit down!

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Quizzical trick fountains of peterholf palaceWorld famous fountains