Wandering Camera

Album 122
(Translated by Ilya Saprykin)


Telling the truth, when I get a certain amount of shots taken in Peterhoff, I start thinking whether I should or shouldn't make an album of them, or these fountains (even with all their magnificence) are too tiring for the audience. But then, I've decided that it's worth it, especially taking into account the fact that all older Peterhoff albums were made using my old camera. So here we go :)


Although today we are going to talk only about the Grand cascade, it's worth mentioning that there're a number of cascades in the Lower park, with each cascade built to complement it's own palace:

Grand palace - Grand cascade
Mon-plaisir - cascade of the Dragons ("Chess mountain")
Hermitage - Lion's cascade
Marli - "Golden mountain" cascade

(to the left is one of the "Cup" fountains close to the Grand cascade)

So, this is the Grand cascade. Marble terasses with fountains.

Sculptural groups as well as bar-reliefs are here to commemorate the victories of Russia on the way to the Baltic sea.

The well-known statue "Samson, tearing lion's jaws" (

Известная фигура "Самсон, раздирающий пасть льву" (monument in the memory of 25th anniversary of the Poltavian victory). Around Samson are 8 dolphins. This statue was made in 1735 by the model of B.K.Rastrelli.

The fountain that starts in the lion's jaws is the highest in the Grand cascade - 22 meters.

It's a pity but shooting it from the perfect point without having specific lens is not that simple...

Against the sun...
We'll delve deeper into the details of fountains' construction, so for now I'll just note that there're 64...75 of them in the Grand cascade, plus 255 (0xFF :) bronze sculptures.
If one looks left from this point, he'll see a series of arches, through which you can get into the Lower Grotto (there're special excursions there - you'll see what I've shut during'em in the next album).
Construction of the Grand cascade started in 1715-1716 (Peter the Great's sketches and I.F.Brownstein's drafts), and then continued, with some changes, by the plans of Zh.B.Leblon, then (since 1720) under the control of N.Miketti. The fountains started working in 1723.

Some of the statues were first cast in lead, but later (in 1799) they had to be replaced with bronze - the new statues were in the making for 7 years. Out of 32 bronze sculptures 15 were original russian ones, the rest being copies from world masterpieces.

This must be Galatea.

From 1858 to 1860 the cascade was repaired (and somewhere rebuilt) according to the scheme of N.L.Benua

During the WWII a lot was destroyed. From 1946 to 1947 the cascade was being restored, and those statues that weren't protected during the occupation were built from scratch (4 major ones, including Samson).

In the foreground is Persey with a sword in one hand and the head of Medusa Gorgona.
In the background is one of the two Voronihin's colonnades
The pool where Samson stands is called "Scoop".

By the way, the fact that the victory is depicted by Samson and lion is no coincidence. A month after the poltavian victory (which was held on the day of the holy Samson Strannopriimets) during one of the sermons the priest Feofan Prokopovitch said, that Peter "like a second Samson... had torn apart the courageous jaws of the neighbour's lion".

Lion was a part of the Swedish coat of arms

 Fountain "Basket" before the Big Grotto. It was called "The ring" years ago and looked slightly different. It was rebuilt by N.L.Benua during the reconstruction.
Triton blows the shell.

The sea channel, leading from the Grand cascade to the gulf is the "symmetry axis" of the Lower park (i.e. to the left and to the right of it the park occupies almost the same space).

He's gonna shoot her with one of his arrows ;-)

Although the historical truth is far more prosaic... The shooter (hunter Akteon) in this very moment is turning into a deer (the antlers are already growing). The statue of Diana, because of whom all this happened, didn't fit in the shot. So I've decided to replace it :)

We're done with this album, but not the Grand cascade - the next album is about the Grottos, it's imprescriptible part.



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