August 26 in Russian history

Two great discoveries of Peter the Great are remembered in tonight’s Historama.

­Fountains with unique underground system

Fountains with unique underground system

On this day in 1723, the fountains of Peterhof spouted forth for the first time.

The Grand Cascade remains the most magnificent of them, consisting of 64 fountains and more than 250 statues.

The whole system is unique: no pumps, just underground pipes.

Peterhof’s construction was ordered by Peter the Great whose favourite fountain was one that sprinkled walkers in the garden with water.

­“Demon’s fruit”

This was a lucky day for the potato in Russia, as in 1770 it was mentioned in agricultural literature for the first time.

Until the 18th century, this highly popular vegetable was almost completely unknown in Russia.

It was Peter the Great again who ordered it be planted in Russia.

Peasants opposed it, calling the potato “a demon’s fruit” and refusing to replace their favorite turnip with this strange foreign root crop.

Read more on this day in Russian history

Leave a comment