1725, architect M. Zemtsov
According to the idea of Peter I, it was planned to create a series of "fable" fountains along the Sea Canal, on the subjects of the enlightening fables of Aesop, that had an actual political meaning. The fountain "Favourite" created by M. Zemtsov in 1725, hidden behind the western Voronikhin colonnades, is reminiscent of this idea. The four ducks moving in a circle in a deep pool, that the dog "Favoritka" ("Favorite") is trying to catch. The figures of the animals were first cut out of oak, and later were cast in copper. The water sprays emerge from the ducks' beaks and the jaws of the pug-dog. The action is accompanied by the barking of Favoritka and the quacking of the ducks. In the XVIII century, the sounds were produced by means of vibrating plates inside the copper tubes embedded into the figures. In the chamber, under the fountain pool, there is a water wheel that rotates under the pressure of falling water, resulting in movement of the figures.
During the German occupation, the fountain was destroyed, all the sculptures disappeared, except for one duck, found in 1946 on the territory of the park. Even the coloration of the sculpture, that was found in the ground, has preserved. In 1957, the fountain was restored. And now again, as many years ago, the ducks are happily circling in the basin, and Favoritka is actively barking, still unable to catch them.