In front of the northern facade of the palace, stretching down towards the sea, is the Lower Park, which embraces a variety of buildings together with the Grand Cascade, two smaller cascades and numerous fountains. At the centre of this magnificent symmetrical composition is the Grand Cascade. It looks particularly striking from the water. The Grand Cascade was first brought into action in 1723. The entire composition bristles with a total of 38 statues and 213 bas-reliefs, busts, mascarons and urns.
1801 Grand Cascade. West staircase View of the Grand (Sea) Canal. Fountain: Samson Tearing Open the Jaws of the Lion.
The centrepiece of the Grand Cascade is the fountain of Samson Tearing Open the Jaws of the Lion, which was created in honour of the 25th anniversary of an important Russian victory. On 27 June 1709, St Samson's Day, the famous Poltava Battle took place in which the Russian army, led by Peter I, routed King Charles XII of Sweden's troops. The aforesaid sculpture was to serve as an allegorical expression of Russia's triumph over Sweden, a task that naturally dictated the monument's design. A 20 m high jet of water shoots from the jaws of the lion. The sculpture was created by Rastrelli, but was replaced in 1801 by the work of Kozlovsky. The basic design of the Grand Cascade is simple, functional and of impressive proportions. Its fagade stretches for 42 m and, due to the dimensions of the Cascade's staircase, the water falls a distance of 20 m. The stone bulk of the Grotto and the Cascade is set 30 m into a slope and serves as a support for the terrace above it on which the palace stands.
Grand Cascade. Voronikhin colonnades, fountains, and next to the Lion from Voronikhin colonnades. Fountain "Doggie Favorita, driving four ducks".