In the early 18th century, on the Gulf of Finland’s coast, in that part where Tsar Peter usually crossed the sea to inspect the Kronstadt fortress under construction, the government decided to set up a palace. But the plans changed and instead of a small parlor for travelers, they started construction of an official residence, named Peter’s Court, or Peterhof in Peter’s favorite Dutch language.
The main amusement was the fountains. Peter chose places for fountains himself. He made a sketch of the Big Cascade and inspected the site where the builders were supposed to bring water for the fountains from and even measured the distance from springs to Peterhof. It took the builders eight weeks to dig a canal of about 20 kilometers from the Kovasha River. On 8 August 1721, the emperor took a shovel to break the last plate. The water reached Peterhof by 6 a.m. the next morning. And the Peterhof fountains, which had been installed by that time, were opened. They were made from lead and replaced with the bronze ones only a century later.