Petrodvorets outside St. Petersburg

Petrodvorets outside St. Petersburg
Size: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73 cm x 49 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #40687-3
Photographer: Günter Gräfenhain
Puzzle: A wonderful depiction of the Grand Cascade fountains in the Petrodvorets (Peterhof) Palace in Russia. I’ve visited this beautiful place in the 1990s, and it was a pleasure to assemble this puzzle almost 20 years later.

Good places to start are the border of the pool and the grassy areas, the sky, the pool water, the palace, the evergreen trees, and the statue in the bottom right corner. After that, stairs, fountains, rock walls and arches between the stairs, striped embellishments, and statues can be assembled.

Notes: The Peterhof Palace (Russian: Петерго́ф, Dutch for Peter’s Court) is a series of palaces and gardens located in Petergof, Saint Petersburg, Russia, laid out on the orders of Peter the Great. These palaces and gardens are sometimes referred as the “Russian Versailles”.

The fountains of the Grand Cascade are located below the grotto and on either side of it. There are 64 fountains. Their waters flow into a semicircular pool, the terminus of the fountain-lined Sea Channel. In the 1730s, the large Samson Fountain was placed in this pool. It depicts the moment when Samson tears open the jaws of a lion, representing Russia’s victory over Sweden in the Great Northern War, and is doubly symbolic. The lion is an element of the Swedish coat of arms, and one of the great victories of the war was won on St Samson’s Day. From the lion’s mouth shoots a 20-metre-high vertical jet of water, the highest in all of Peterhof. This masterpiece by Mikhail Kozlovsky was looted by the invading Germans during the Second World War; see History below. A replica of the statue was installed in 1947.

Perhaps the greatest technological achievement of Peterhof is that all of the fountains operate without the use of pumps. Water is supplied from natural springs and collects in reservoirs in the Upper Gardens. The elevation difference creates the pressure that drives most of the fountains of the Lower Gardens, including the Grand Cascade. The Samson Fountain is supplied by a special aqueduct, over four km in length, drawing water and pressure from a high-elevation source.

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Egeskov Castle and Gardens

Egeskov Castle and Gardens
Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #58805-23
Author: Günter Gräfenhain
Puzzle: Lovely festive puzzle with clusters of bright white, red, yellow flowers, a pond reflecting a bright blue sky, a castle in the background and a wall of green on the right. Fun and bright, pleasure to assemble.

The easiest part to assemble is the top, with the sky, the castle, adn the wall. After that, perhaps the pond border and then – the bright kaleidoscope of flowers.

This puzzle came as part of a package of five 500-piece puzzles.

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Portugal Azores Islands

Portugal Azores Islands
Size:  500 pieces
Dimensions: 48 cm x 36 cm
Manufacturer: TCG, #58805-23
Author: Günter Gräfenhain
Puzzle: Windmills always seem somewhat magical to me – an image from a quiet pastoral fantasy, drowning in luscious flowers, with bottomless blue skies. This puzzle is quite simple due to clear transitions and small number of pieces. I loved letting my mind wander in in its clouds and fields.

There are many good places to start: the bright red of the mills and the white nets of the blades, the boundaries between green and deep blue, the horizon, the mountains and the clouds against the sky. Hydrangeas are probably the most challenging part, but if you’ve filled in everything else, including the black shadows at the bottom, they soon fall into place.

This puzzle came as part of a package of five 500-piece puzzles.

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