Peterhof can be called the pearl of the worldarchitecture. It amazes with the beauty and grandeur of its palaces, the parks are fascinated by the layout and decoration. And fountains and cascades of Peterhof, spewing powerful streams of water, enthrall. The birth of this beautiful creation of mankind is due to Peter I.
He was struck by the beauty of Versailles and decided to create inits empire palace and park ensemble, at times superior to the French predecessor. In 1714 on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland begins the laying of the Great Palace. It was later to become the main building of the country residence of Peter the Great. But in 1715 the emperor decides to create here a ceremonial imperial residence with a complex of gardens and aquatic extravaganzas, amazing imagination.
The Grand Cascade of Peterhof (St. Petersburg, Russia)
Thanks to the idea of Great Peter the Greatcascade. Peter I, who was personally able to personally participate in all of his initiatives, studying the project of creating a complex, makes adjustments and chooses the landscape. In his design, the main sea entrance to the residence is crowned by the Nagorny Palace with a cascade, fountains and grottos at the foot.
It symbolizes Russia's victory in the Northern War andaccess to the sea. The construction of the Grand Cascade and the Great Palace was conducted simultaneously from 1715 to 1724. Lush celebrations on the launch of fountains took place in August 1723. The Great Cascade is the greatest structure, combining 64 fountains. It is done fairly concisely, two powerful staircases connect the arches of the Great Grotto. The terrace above it is framed by the facades of the Small Grotto and the marble balustrade, the wide platform in front of the Big passes into a cascade consisting of three powerful steps descending into the pool with the main fountain.
In the center of it is a sculptural composition,depicting the famous biblical hero Samson, tearing the jaws of a lion, from which a powerful water column rises to the sky and mixes with streams of water from fountains in the form of dolphins.
The plot of the composition was not chosen by chance.Samson personifies Russia, which won in the Battle of Poltava victory over the Swedish crown. It happened on the day of Saint Samson the Stranger. Leo was the key figure of the Swedish coat of arms.
The ensemble of the Grand Cascade counts 255various sculptures. On both sides there are terraces with fountains and sculptures depicting ancient heroes. The symbolism was very popular at that time. Therefore, many sculptures have a special meaning, for example Neptune and Bacchus, located in the wall of the Small Grotto, symbolize the waters of the Neva and Volkhov rivers. Sculptures of lions in the niches personify the sides of the world. All the statues, bas-reliefs and decor were originally made of gilded lead.
But over time they were replaced with bronze, coveredgold, today you can see 15 original sculptures of such famous masters as Kozlovsky, Prokofiev, Shchedrin, Martos, Shubin, Rachette and copies of antique. Throughout the whole canal, which originates from the central basin of the Grand Cascade and emerges into the bay, fountains are beaten along the banks of round bowls, forming the famous Alley of Fountains.
Its pride is the Great Cascade - Peterhofpresents especially brightly in the holiday of closing fountains. Before the admiring viewers a water extravaganza springs up, the beauty of which inspired and delighted artists and poets. Accompanied by light and music, merging in a single impulse, the fountains perform an amazing symphony created by nature and human reason. Theatrical performances, performances and costumed shows in the open air give an opportunity to the guests of the city to move to the distant Petrovsky epoch, to feel the greatness and brilliance of that time. Noisy fountains and cascades of Peterhof, like true artists, finish the last play. So they say goodbye to the public until the spring.
"Lion cascade" of Peterhof
The complex was built from 1799 to 1801.Initially, in his decoration, he had only eight marble vases and sculptures of lions made of bronze. Later the fountain was rebuilt. Now it has the form of an ancient temple, between the gray columns of which are tearing to the sky streams of water. The pool of the central fountain is decorated with the sculpture of Aganippa - the inhabitant of magical waters is protected by a sacred source, received from the impact of Pegasus's hooves. Only the elite can get drunk from the pitcher of the nymph, and the formidable lions stand guard over the temple and its owner.
Cascade "Chess Mountain"
"Chess Mountain" is another amazing cascadePeterhof, which presents its guests an architectural ensemble. It is located in the Lower Park. The slope of natural education was used for its construction. The composition is four platforms. As a basis for their design, a chessboard drawing was taken. The platforms descend into the pool at the foot of the slope, and the water sweeps down this bizarre ramp from the top, draining onto the stones of the pool.
At the top of the cascade is the grotto, the entrance to thewhich is guarded by three dragons. Staircases installed on both sides of the slope are decorated with sculptures of mythological heroes. It is interesting that Peter I imagined this fountain complex quite differently: instead of the grotto, he ordered to build a cascade of marble, reminiscent of the Little Cascade in the French royal residence of Marley.
The fountain composition was to be crownedNeptunov's cart. It is harnessed by four horses with rushing streams of water from the mouthfuls. But the construction of the cascade of marble was never completed due to insufficient water. The lead car of Neptune, which was cast under the leadership of the famous Rastrelli, had to be installed in the Upper Park. The construction of the fountain complex was resumed only in 1737. The project was created by Mikhail Zemtsov. In his design, the cascade was decorated with figures of dragons, from the mouths of which flowed with a stormy stream, flowing down the drainage platforms. Since then it has received the name of the Dragon Mountain. And after in 1769 the sloping rays were painted like a chessboard, the cascade got its second name - "Chess Mountain".
Cascades of Peterhof are known for one moreFountain complex, which affects the abundance of luxury and light. It is made in the form of a golden staircase, the top of which is crowned by Neptune, a formidable god and lord of water elements, with a constant rod in the form of a trident in his hands. Next to him, Merry Bacchus and Triton, informing all present about the appearance of the sea lord with the help of a huge shell. Finish the composition of the sculpture depicting the Greek gods, and before the "Golden Mountains" in the pool flaunts forever young Flora.
A small conclusion
Now you know what is notOnly the Great Cascade of Peterhof, whose appearance history is described above, but also others, such as the "Golden Mountain", the Lion cascade. You also learned what the "Chess Mountain" looks like.
Cascades of Peterhof are wonderful and amazing!The photo can not convey the game of sunlight in the streams of fountains, colorful splashes, floating in the air, powerful streams of water directed to the sky, the rumble of swift streams rushing along the slopes and steps. You need to see this with your own eyes.