1735, sculptor B.C. Rastrelli
1802, sculptor M.I. Kozlovsky
1947, sculptor V.L. Simonov, N.V. Mikhailov
The ideological center piece of the Grand cascade, is the sculptural group "Samson Tearing Apart the Jaws of the Lion" - a monument celebrating the great Russian victories. It was installed, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava, the decisive warfare in the Northern war. The Swedish troops, were routed on the 27th of June of 1709, on the remembrance day of saint Sampsonius the Hospitable, who was regarded as the patron of the Russian army.
During his lifetime, Peter I was often compared with another Samson - a biblical hero, whose first act of bravery, described in the 14th chapter of the "Judges", was connected with the victory over a young frenzied lion. The lion, as part of the Swedish coat-of-arms, symbolized Sweden and its king Charles XII. The meaningful concurrencies, formed the basis of the monument's figure decision. The three-meter rock, serves as a plinth of the sculptural group. By the powerful and calm movement, the hero stops the the leap of the animal, that is subsiding on its hind legs, and tears open its snarling jaws, from where, in powerless rage, a mighty twenty-meter water pillar spurts, like the last roar. The eight dolphins, symbolizing the calm seas, frolic around Samson, exulting together with the hero and spraying up the water spurts, that form a sparkling wreath. The lions, symbolizing the sides of the world, dazedly look out from the rock niches, harking the combatting uproar, deciding the fate of Russia and Europe.
The sculptural group, cast in lead according to the design of B.C. Rastrelli, and installed in the scoop in 1735, lost its gloss by the end of the XVIII century, because of the frailness of the lead. In 1802, it was replaced with a bronze sculpture, created by M.I. Kozlovsky, who has preserved the original ideological meaning and composition. During the Second World War, "Samson" faded. After the liberation of Leningard, the sculptor V.L.Simonov, with the assistance of N.V. Mikhailov, re-created the monument, based on the pre-war photographs and the old sketches. The new "Samson" was installed on the pedestal in 1947, having become not only a symbol of the victory over an enemy, but also a visiting card of Peterhof, known all over the world.