Peterhof Fountains & Grounds
The fountains of Peterhof are one of Russia's most famous tourist attractions, drawing millions of visitors every year. Fountains were intrinsic to Peter the Great's original plans for Peterhof - it was the impossibility of engineering sufficiently powerful jets of water that prompted him to move his attentions from the Strelna site to Peterhof - and subsequent generations competed with their predecessors to add grander and ever more ingenious water features to the parkland surrounding the Grand Palace.
By 1723 an army of designers and craftsmen had created a palace so magnificent that even the demanding Peter called it his 'Seaside Paradise'.
Peterhof park has a unique fountain system that requires no pumps. Water for the fountains is supplied by a gravity-fed water system, twenty-two kilometres long, skilfully designed to exploit the natural slope of the terrain. This system operates no pumps and supplies enough water to the fountains and cascades of Peterhoff to keep them working for up to ten hours a day.
At all times, Peterhof was a place of amusements for Russian royalty and nobility. Peter liked playing jokes on his guests showing them the 'trick' fountains. Those would start all of a sudden soaking everyone around. The musical staccato fountains still shoot up at unpredictable intervals and children drench themselves in warm weather while trying to guess which one will go off next.
Today, the Peterhof ensemble amounts over 150 fountains and 4 cascades. Every year hundreds of thousands tourists from all over the world visit this 'Capital of Fountains' to enjoy the unforgettable miracle, as Peterhof has been regarded throughout its history.