The very beginnings of Kadriorg Park and the story of its creation became one of the topics discussed at the international conference held in Peterhof this spring. "The construction of Kadriorg Park started on 22 July 1718, when the boundaries of the park were laid down," says Ain Järve, the park`s manager.
"Serious construction work started just three days later. The passion and energy that was poured into the construction of the park were immense. A canal from Lake Ülemiste was built in Lasnamäe klint, there were plans to build a water cascade, a mirage pond was supposed to be dug at the present site of the Rose Garden of the Office of the President of the Republic, there were supposed to be four fountains in the Flower Garden and a dozen more in front of the palace. Three years later the canal, cascade and mirage pond with a small fountain had been completed, there were two fountains in the Flower Garden and one in front of the palace, but for some reason, the construction work then came to a halt. But let’s take a look at the historical context of the time. Peter I had been victorious in the Great Northern War and people in Russia were thinking of how to celebrate this impressive victory. Peter I had visited France in 1717 and seen the wonderful fountains at Versailles. He decided that the victory in the Great Northern War would be celebrated with a series of fountains. But let’s not forget that electric pumps did not exist back in those days. The establishment of a fountain required a natural waterfall and sufficient quantities of water. There was also a difference in height in Kadriorg Park. Maybe this was the place where they decided to build a grand park to celebrate the victory? Maybe works came to a halt, because they found out that there wasn’t enough water after all? We don’t know whether this is a legend or whether the story is based on fact. Historians still have some work to do here."
There are 13 fountains in Kadriorg Park today, but all of them were built at later dates. Ain says that there is always something to see in the park and it is constantly changing. "The exhibition Pond Vita will be up in the park all summer," he says. "We’ll be using the Swan Pond as an exhibition hall and display sculptures and installations on it. You must keep offering people something new in the park - it makes them curious and encourages them to keep coming back here. This is why we change the summer flowerbeds every five years and display temporary objects of art - if you don’t come and see them when they’re there, you will never be able to see them."
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