Gold water fountains in St Petersburg’s Peterhof

One of the beautiful buildings on Nevskiy Prospect just as we exited out Hostel

Day 3: Monday

We got up a bit later than planned but after a lovely cup of coffee headed out to get the speedboat to Peterhof. We boarded the boat just behind the Hermitage and it was a quick boat ride to get to Peterhof, a lot less smelly than the local busses.

We just arrived at Peterhof Palace

The Peterhof Palace is a series of palaces and gardens laid out under the direction of Peter the Great.

The first glimpse we got of the palace when we arrived

As we walked in we were greeted by fountains and we looked straight out onto the palace with all its golden fountains, it was stunning!!!

Grand Cascade right in front of the palace
This Grand Cascade took my breath away!
Me in front of the Palace and looking out over the Grand Cascade

There was a Grand Cascade right in front of the palace. The fountains of the Grand Cascade are all gold and the biggest one depicts the moment when Samson tears open the jaws of a lion, representing Russia’s victory over Sweden in the Great Northern War, and is doubly symbolic. The lion is an element of the Swedish coat of arms, and one of the great victories of the war was won on St Samson’s Day. From the lion’s mouth shoots a 20-meter-high vertical jet of water, the highest in all of Peterhof.

Samson tearing open the jaws of a lion
This cascade is filled with fountains and golden statues
Standing in front of the palace and looking back over the fountains and gardens
There are cascading fountains dotted all around the Palace grounds
The palace gardens are filled with fountains

Perhaps the greatest technological 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. The Samson Fountain is supplied by a special aqueduct, over four km in length, drawing water and pressure from a high-elevation source.

Me standing in front of a stunning fountain
Brightly coloured Tulips in the palace gardens

We spent nearly 3 hours just walking around the gardens and looking at all the statues and fountains.

The walls surrounding the gardens
The palace gardens are filled with colourful Tulips

The many fountains located here exhibit an unusual degree of creativity.

A golden cherub fountain
One of the many cascading fountains

 

Walking past one of the many ponds dotted around the garden

Several fountains are designed with the specific purpose of soaking visitors. Two take the form of gangly trees rigged with jets that activate when someone approaches. Another, disguised as an umbrella with a circular bench set around the stem, drops a curtain of water from its rim when someone enters to take a seat. Needless to say we were sprayed a couple of times; luckily it was a lovely hot summer’s day so quite refreshing.

I think these fountain covered gardens are stunning in the summer!!
I could spend all day in this peaceful garden

We had dinner at a lovely Greek Tavern in town when we got back then went back to the hostel to rest our tired feet!

Inside the Greek Tavern
Inside the Greek Tavern
Inside the Greek Tavern

 

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