The Grand Cascade forms a decorative pedestal for the Grand Palace. It was built by the order of Peter the Great to glorify Russia’s might and power.
It was built in the early 18th century, but its present-day appearance dates from the 19th century. It consists of 17 artificial waterfalls linked by 5 arches of a grotto, 39 gilded bronze statues, 29 bas-reliefs, 198 water jets and around 100 fountains.
Samson Rending the Lion’s Jaws
In the centre of the water bowl is the impressive figure of Samson Rending the Lion’s Jaws. The sculptural group was put up in 1735 to commemorate 25th anniversary of Russia’s victory of Poltava battle, which was on St. Sampson’s Day on 27 June, 1709.
The composition is dedicated to the victory of Russia in the Northern War with Sweden. St. Sampson personifies might and power of Russia and the lion is an element of the Swedish coat of arms. From the lion’s mouth shoots a 20-metre-high vertical jet of water, the highest in all of Peterhof.
In 1801 the original statue was replaced by a new bronze one by the prominent Russian sculptor D.Kozlovsky. During the WWII it was stolen by the Nazi and recreated after the war by L.Simonov and N.Michailov. In September 1947 Sampson resumed its place in the fountain complex of the Lower Park.
The Chessboard Hill Cascade
The Chessboard Hill Cascade is decorated the eastern part of the park. It was built in Peter I’s time, in 1739 three dragons were installed on top, and in 1770ies the white and black squares appeared on the cascade platform.
The Golden Hill Cascade
The Golden Hill Cascade is the main fountain display of the western part of the park. It was designed in 1720 and completed in 1732 by Zemtsov.
The Lion’s Cascade
The Lion’s Cascade was executed by A.Voronichin in the late 18th century. In 1845-50 was reconstructed by Shtakenshneider. It owes its name to the lions decorated the fountain.
The Pyramid fountain
The majority of the fountains were built here in the first quarter of the 18th century, such as the Pyramid fountain, Adam and Eve fountains, the Favorite, the Sheaf and Bell fountains, the trick fountains. Later the Roman fountains, Chinese Parasol, and the Sun fountain appeared.