The Grand Cascade Peterhof is modelled on one constructed for Louis XIV at his Château de Marly. Our guide who was extremely well informed said there were some three hundred and fifty fountains throughout the gardens. 30,000 litres of water are used an hour, there are no pumps. The water is collected and held in the upper gardens so gravity and the weight of water cause the pressure.
The queue of visitors to see them switched on makes it hard to see, but they ran for quite some time after the queues dispersed and were still running as we left. The most impressive feature is down between the two main stairs to the lower garden, the Grand Cascade. Here 64 fountains flow into a semicircular pool. In the 1730s, the large Samson Fountain was placed in this pool. It depicts the moment when Samson tears open the jaws of a lion from which shoots the highest jet of water some 20-metres-high. This represents Russia’s victory over Sweden in the Great Northern War.
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