On February 17, all parks of the Peterhof Museum-Reserve are closed to the public due to bad weather conditions. Some museums are open


On the south side, in the corners of the Monplaisir garden, lurk the water amusements of Peter I's era - the trick-fountains "the Benches". They are the oldest of trick-fountains, that have reached our time. They were created from drawings of N. Michetti, personally corrected by Peter I, and "tested with water" in 1723. Since then, their appearance has not changed. By their look, "the Benches" are typical park constructions of the XVIII century of trellis type, with lattice backs and legs. The centers of the curved backsides hold the mascarons of Tritons - examples of decorative sculpture of the 1720's. The sculptor gave the Tritons a human face, but at the same time, emphasized the fantastic nature of these mythological characters. It seems that the head of the Triton has just appeared above the water, its hair tousled and his widely spaced eyes, intensively stare in fright into the distance. With sharply outlined predatory nose and open mouth, as if insatiably swallowing the air.

When one tries to approach the bench, the water "tounges" and splashes, emit with noisefrom the mascaron and tufa hill. At the same time, the high water jets rise up, hidden in the stones of the platforms , located in front of "the Benches".

In Peter's time, these trick-fountains were called "wet places". Covered alleys that disappeared by the middle of the XVIII century, would lead to them. Guests leaving the "Monplaisir" palace via its wings, walked along these indoor lanes and, to be able to get to the territory of the park, had to step on the small stones scattered at the "Benches". Here they were met by a "curious thing": the water jets literally "covered" the ladies in magnificent silk dresses and gentlemen in their velvet doublets. Tsar Peter had fun observing these scenes.

Today "the Benches" of the Monplaisir garden are the favorite fountains of children.