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Fun Fountains of Peterhof
April 18, 2011 15:11

Peterhof park is sometimes associated with something luxury, official and a little boring. But eastern part of the Lower park is not so regular and is rich is signs of royal amusements, including fun fountains, very popular in 18th century Europe. Guests of monarchs used to make promenades in this part of the park, and different water devices were created there to vary open-air parties. Fun fountains were made in forms of similar park accessories, but showered suddenly everybody coming close to them them with water sprays. Taking into account complicated dress of that time, it is easy to imagine that nobody stayed indifferent after such shower, sometimes rather cold. Scenes by such fountains were subjects for courteous genre painting.

Two fountains called Umbrella and Oaklet have preserved and can spray you with water if you wouldn't be warned. Usually the guides warn the tourists.

Umbrella fountain was created upon the project of architect F. Brower. Umbrella consists of stand with umbrella with a bench under it. Coloured scallops on the edge of umbrella have tubes inside. When the guest comes under the umbrella and sits down on bench, water streamlets wallow fro the tubes, and he finds himself in kind of water cage, impossible to leave, remaining dry. Amount of tubes was initially 164 but decreased to 80 in 19th century. In the World War II the fountain was partly destroyed and then reconstructed upon 18th century drawings. The fountain functions during warm season.

Oaklet is situated directly in front of umbrella and looks like ensemble. In consists of 5 metal tulips, little oaklet made of metal as well and 2 benches, onky looking like just benches. The tree of oaklet is a tube, with surface designed with led like oak crust. Branches, which are tubes as well are provided with leaves made of red copper. Five metal tulips are under the oaklet. Both tree and flowers are painted green. When the fountain activates, the water sheets break out tree branches, flowers and leaves. You can make fountain on, if you come close to it or take a seat on one of two benches standing besides the Oaklet. At the moment you sit down you are slushed with water breaking out the tubes hidden the earth just behind the bench back. Oaklet ensemble was designed by Carlo Rastrelli sculptor in 1735. It was firstly made of led and was situated in the upper park.

There are some other fun fountains in the park. The water way was restored upon Emperor's Peter I the Great project in 2001. 300 water streams make kind of vault upon the walkway. This fountain functions from 13.00 till 15.00. It looks especially showy if the weather is good.

Fun fountain Spruces (1784) is mild: little metal spruce trees defending themselves from close contact slushing over you water if you come too close.

This year fountain of Peterhof, regular ones and fun as well will begin functioning on May, 1.

Author: Yulia Buzykina

Tags: St. Petersburg Russian tourism Russian attractions Leningrad region  

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