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Experience the Exuberance of Peterhof Fountains

Walking the lower gardens and the the Grand Cascade are sure to enchant.

The Grand Cascade at Peterhof David Owens /

Located about 30 kilometers from Saint Petersburg, Peterhof, with it’s Summer Palace and fountains, remains one of the most popular destinations for travelers. Peter the Great started the project in 1709 with the help of several architects and development continued beyond his lifetime. Sometimes called the The Russian Versailles for design ideas added after Peter visited to the French Royal Court in 1717.

Most notable of the Peterhof fountains is the majestic Grand Cascade sporting 64 fountains with 138 water jets. At the base of the cascades is the Samson Fountain, with Samson holding the lion’s mouth, as well as a Lower grotto with golden sculptures and marble reliefs.

Samson Fountain below the Grand Cascade David Owens /

The Biblical Samson Fountain portrays the Russian Empire’s victory over Sweden in the Battle of Poltava in 1709, which took place on St. Samson’s day.

Grotto base of the Grand Cascade David Owens /

The fastest way to get there from St. Petersburg is by hydrofoil boats that load near the Palace Bridge, but virtually all types of public transit have connections to get you there. When arriving by boat you enter at the Lower Garden and have a beautiful approach to the Grand Palace, as in the video above.

Aerial view of Peterhof grounds Andrew Shiva / Wikipedia

Though the lower gardens and fountains are the most popular, tours of the inside of the Grand Palace and the upper gardens are also available for those who are ready to make a long day seeing as much as possible.

The Lower Gardens are open from 9:00 to 20:00 hours and the Grand Cascade and the Samson fountain start working at 11 am during the summer season. Walk-Along video:

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