The history of Peterhof fountains
• The history of the fountains of Peterhof
Until a few centuries ago, one of the indicators of wealth and solvency of European monarchs could safely assume that samples palace architecture, located near their residences. This is the legacy of the past and today is striking in its splendor. On the territory of the former Russian Empire has a is a point of concentration of the best examples of this architecture with a "bias" in the watery element. We are talking about the legendary complex of fountains and cascades of Peterhof.
Water constructions Peterhof soon celebrate 400 years. For the first time they were put into operation August 20, 1721. Spectacular fountains and cascades are part of the architectural complex of the summer residence of the first emperor of Russia Peter I. For many years, this place is a popular tourist spot on the map of modern Russia. And the history of the fountains of Peterhof no less striking than themselves.
According to popular belief, the idea to create a park with fountains belongs personally to the Tsar Peter Alekseevich, who by that time had already cut a "window to Europe", and get access to the Baltic Sea. Then the emperor set out to build on the Gulf of Finland the construction of such beauty that it struck anyone who sees it.
And Peter began his idea to implement with all his enthusiasm. The first sketches of the future "town of fountains" of Russian rulers made their own hands. Interesting fact: the emperor wanted his park fountains outshine the splendor of the French Versailles, built by order of Louis XIV. And, apparently, he did it - that Peterhof is the most chic of this type of complex.
In spite of the active support at the highest level, the construction of "the answer to Versailles," was not without incident. Almost immediately there were problems with the construction site. Initially, the complex had to build in Strelna, but it turned out that on the landscape to build a workable fountain system in a form that would like Peter, is simply impossible. As it turned out, without the development of an additional special construction of facilities could lead to flooding of riverbeds and Kikenka Strelna, as this area was below the required mark of ten meters in height.
The prospect of pay for the extra structure to the emperor was not smiling, so it was decided to look for other ways to solve problems. Exit prompted engineer Munnich. That he managed to convince Peter I in the place you want to move the construction of the fountain complex in Peterhof.
Minich calculation was correct: the natural landscape Peterhof proved ideal for the construction of 4 stages and more than 170 fountains, which together make up a single complex. The idea of Peter I was fully implemented: Russia's "capital of fountains" on the right to put on a par with the best examples of landscape architecture residences of European monarchs. And the fountains of Peterhof became a monument to the significant event - the acquisition of an empire access to the Baltic Sea.
For decades the splendor of fountains and cascades summer residence of Peter I struck the imagination of all who were lucky enough to see it all with my own eyes. And then the war started. During the evacuation for the sake of the preservation of the complex we have tried to take all that was possible. As a result, nearly eight thousand interior and about fifty statues were saved.
But, unfortunately, to evacuate all simply impossible. Peterhof during the fighting suffered tremendous damage from enemy artillery shelling. Not spared the tragic fate and fountains. During the German occupation of the complex it has lost a number of sculptures, such as "Volkhov", "Neva", "Samson", "Triton" and others.
The destruction proved to be disastrous - a full range of recovery is not completed to this day. Restoration work continues without interruption since their inception back in 1944. One of the most large-scale repairs for a period of seven years was completed in 1995. Their conclusion was marked the formal launch of the fountains. To date, the restoration continues mainly domestic, in the buildings of the former imperial residence.
The most large-scale construction of the complex is the Grand Cascade, located central part of Peterhof. It includes water features with ornaments in the form of vases, sculptures and bas-reliefs. Central fountain cascade became "Samson tearing the lion's mouth."
Funny, but the decision was dictated by history itself. The fact that originally the central place of the cascade was placed a sculpture of Hercules defeating the Lernaean guide, but it was replaced by Samson. The reason for this decision was ... Battle of Poltava. Russian army defeated the army of Charles XII on the day Sampson the Hospitable. A lion is depicted on the emblem of Sweden. So symbolic victory was reflected in the complex of Peterhof fountains.
But perhaps the most surprising feature of the complex is a kind of water supply mechanism - let her "take its course." This unusual effect is achieved with the help of system of locks and channels constructed by the master plan Basil Tuvolkova. Thus, water fountains for Petergofa originates in reservoirs Ropsha heights, and then independently fills Upper garden pools.
The volume of water in swimming pools and fountains in direct proportion to the height of the jets depends. So, if in the Upper Garden small height of the fountains will be installed, in the Lower Park of the jet can take off up more than fifteen meters.
Lower Park. / Photo: peterburg.center