Due to storm warning parks of Peterhof & the Grand Menshikov Palace are closed today, September 18th.


The largest area of the eastern part of the park, decorated with flower beds and coupled fountains, resembles a grand hall, spread under the open sky. Its semantic center, is the "Chessboard Hill" cascade. It is located on a natural slope, that stretched along the entire territory of the Lower Park. The cascade received this name due to its draining steps painted in the middle of the XVIII century, with black and white squares in a chessboard pattern.

The architects I. Braunstein, M. Zemtsov, T. Usov, I. Blanc, I. Davydov took part in the designing and construction of the cascade, which was devised by Peter I as a "Ruin cascade", as it was supposed to represent a ruined fortress tower - the symbol of capturing of the Swedish fortresses by the Russian troops. In the 1730s, the appearance of the cascade changed, and began to resemble the impregnable home of the three winged dragons, guarding the entrance to the upper grotto. Performed by the models of K. Osner, the fantastic brightly colored dragons, gave the cascade another name - the "Dragon's Hill". The dragons spew streams of water, fanged jaws agape. It slides down the four waterfall slopes and closes the entrance to the lower grotto, with a figured veil.

On both sides of the cascade, there are marble figures of ten ancient gods, installed on high stone pedestals. They are made in Peter I's time by the Italian masters. Just like the other statues of the Lower Park, the sculpture of the "Chessboard Hill" cascade, represents the naval victories, political successes and the prosperity of the Russian state.

In 1941, at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, all the marble statues were removed from their pedestals and buried in the ground. In 1953, the destroyed cascade was recreated by the drawings of the end of the XVIII century. The marble statues, retrieved from their shelters, have returned onto their regular places.