Peterhof - Chalice Fountains
Peter the Great’s field journal contains the following entry for July 8, 1721: “His Majesty dined at Montplaisir and after dinner turned on the water of the fountain by the Lower Flower-beds that adjoin the Upper Chambers.” This was the first time that a fountain played at Peterhof. It is the only one standing in the middle of the west flower-bed. The pipes and bowl were made by the Italian brothers Giovanni and Giuliano Barattini. The fountain in the east flower-bed was built by the Frenchman Paul Saulem, and was called the French fountain to distinguish it from the west one, known as the Italian fountain.
In 1854 craftsmen at the Petehof Lapidary Works made the chalices and flowers of marble from a design by Andrei Stakenschneider using material left over from the building of the St Isaac’s Cathedral in St Petersburg. Since there were no large slabs, each chalice of about 3.5 meters in diameter and weighing more than 16 tons was made of 49 pieces of marble skillfully carved and fitted together.
The Chalices play an important part in the fountain decoration of the central section of the Lower Park, providing compositional support for the Samson jet and organizing the area of the Grand Flower-beds.