The gray ship we passed is the Aurora, built in 1900. It took an active part in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 and participated in the Tsusima battle, in which most of Russia's Pacific fleet was destroyed. It is credited with firing the cannon that signalled the Bolshevik assault on the Winter Palace in 1917. Today, it is a museum.
Peter the Great was a prankster and had shut-off valves on several fountains that he could turn on when people walked by, making sure they got wet. When you sat down on this bench, the fountains would start and a jet of water would spew out of the lion’s mouth. Another fountain had flowers and the water would be triggered when people leaned in to see them.