The Fountains Of The Voronikhin Colonnades
The parterre in front of the Great Cascade is enclosed on the north side by two identical marble colonnades with domed pavilions. Water spurts from three gilt vases on the roof of each colonnade and from the tops of the gilded cupolas, pouring in a transparent sheet past the wide windows of the pavilions into the semi-circular marble pools below.
The original eighteenth-century wooden colonnades in 1800-1803 were reconstructed by Andrey Voronikhin, who replaced the old wooden colonnades with brick ones, faced with Pudost limestone, and built granite porches, decorating them with sculpted lions, carved from a model by Prokofyev. While retaining the seven original flat arches, divided by paired columns, and the pavilions at the ends of the colonnades, Voronikhin set up fountaining vases of gilt lead, with embossed decorations, on the roof of each colonnade, and turned the domes themselves into fountains. As a result, the whole pattern of fountains in the central ensemble gained much in expressiveness and refinement.
During the Nazi occupation of 1941-44 the colonnades were severely damaged. It was only in 1966, after three years of painstaking restoration work, that the colonnades with its charming fountains finally regained their former aspect.
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