Peterhof:  Chessboard Hill Cscade

One of the strangest fountains I have encountered anywhere, the "Chessboard Hill Cascade"--wrought by the artists Zemtsov, Blank, Davydov, Benois, and Gurzhy--is surmounted by three brightly painted dragons who spew copious quantities of water down three chessboard-like sloping steps flanked by a motley assemblage of Classical mythological figures purchased in Italy by Peter the Great himself. (The original dragons were appropriated by Nazi troops and had to be reconstructed.) Just what does it all mean? East (China) meets West (Greco-Roman antiquity)? I'm sure I do not know, but it is great fun to see and hear!

Last updated July 3, 2002
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© Copyright 2002 by Joseph Dillon Ford