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Pavlovsk is an outstanding palace and park ensemble of the late 18th – early 19th centuries, which was built as a summer residence of the Emperor Paul I and his family.
Pavlovsk is the youngest of the Palace and Park ensembles in the vicinity of St. Petersburg. When in the middle of the 18th century Tsarskoye Selo became the summer residence of the Russian emperors, the lands to the South (present-day Pavlovsk) were a place for a royal hunting. In 1777 Catherine II presented these lands to her son, the future Emperor Paul I. So 1777 became the date of Pavlovsk foundation.
We offer you a chance see the enormity of the Pavlovsk Park and the incredible sophistication of the Pavlovsk Palace with your own eyes. The Park is about 600 acres and is the leader among all the landscape parks of Europe. Pavlovsk Park is famous not only for its size but also for its beauty and uniqueness – it is often recognized as a specimen of Russian classicism. And, of course, the tour of Pavlovsk will introduce you the elegant Pavlovsk Palace. Brilliant golden-white construction, which is seen almost from every side of the Park, has a graceful central building and a number of high colonnades, the view of which is breathtaking. Interior decoration of the rooms is impressive in its diversity. The palace houses many works of world art and luxurious furniture.
A trip to Pavlovsk is a great opportunity to take a break from the city noise and breathe fresh air, to stroll in the magnificent park and enjoy beautiful alleys and splendid 19th century buildings.
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Since its creation the Pavlovsk Park was known as the one of the best landscape parks in the world. The reason for the unique charm of the park lies in amazingly accurate proportionality of landscape and architectural structures. Some researchers also emphasize a perfect choice of location for the Pavlovsk Park – hilly, but not contrasting landscape that lies in the valley of the Slavyanka river. Numerous turns of the river and different heights of its banks allowed to harmoniously combine rigorous and classical buildings with the surrounding nature.
The Pavlovsk Park, which is often called the encyclopedia of a landscape art, will lead you through paths that still retain traces of leisurely steps of royalties. The territory of the Palace and Park ensemble occupies 600 hectares and accommodates unusual architectural structures, waterfalls, stairs, stone terraces and bridges.
The Pavlovsk Park is also famous for its almost pet squirrels. You are allowed to feed these fluffy guys, so stock up on nuts or seeds.
The historic center of Pavlovsk is the palace that stands on a high hill and looks over the beautiful scenic view of the Slavyanka river. It was built rapidly: the main building and the adjacent side galleries were erected just in six months. Though the construction was quick, it caused a lot of controversy between the crown prince and architect Charles Cameron: the future Emperor wanted to see his residence as magnificent as possible, which resulted in the palace’s present appearance.
The beautiful palace with sand-white colored walls is designed in such way that it is visible from any point of the surrounding park. To achieve this effect, the architect Charles Cameron placed it in the highest point of the banks of the Slavyanka river. The central building of the palace, with a monument to Paul I in front of it, was built first and reminded an Italian country villa. Inside the palace you will find a rich collection of Western European and Russian art, which was gathered by members of the royal family. Furniture, sculptures, paintings, items of bronze and porcelain were brought from the best workshops of Europe.
Alternative Tour Sights
A number of areas of the first floor of Pavlovsk Palace host the residential rooms of Empress Maria Fedorovna, which were created in the early 19th century with the participation of Giacomo Quarenghi and Andrey Voronikhin. These are the only apartments that preserved the decoration and furniture of the era. After the tragic death of Paul I in 1801, the dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna chose Pavlovsk as her living residence and spent there most of the year except the coldest months. At her request Andrey Voronikhin, who was renovating Pavlovsk Palace after the fire of 1803, proceeded to finish her personal chambers and created harmonious interiors.
The museum exposition “Russian residential interior of 19th century” introduces you to the amazing art of decoration of living rooms of the noble houses throughout the nineteenth century. You will see how fickle fashion changed the shape of furniture and its placement, how the decorative fabric influenced the creation of a certain atmosphere in the house and how the concept of home comfort was understood in different decades.
At the “The Dress Museum” exhibition you will explore authentic clothes that belonged to members of the Imperial family from the 18th to early 19th centuries. This is a unique part of the Pavlovsk State Museum collection: here you will see the suites of Peter III, Catherine II, Paul I and his wife Maria Feodorovna, their children and other royalties. The suits are shown in chronological order, consistently revealing the changes of fashion, and are accompanied by the portraits of people to whom they belonged.
- Immerse yourself in the gorgeous era of the 18th century imperial Russia
- Stroll around the magnificent park and enjoy its landmarks and attractions
- Explore a living residence of Russian royalties
- Examine peculiar antique ruins that were initially built as ruins to decorate the park
- Make friends with local squirrels and take some photos with them (we assume they won’t mind if they like a treat)
- A refreshing and relaxing walk in the beautiful landscape park
- A tour of splendid 18th century royal residence
- An experienced english-speaking guide that knows how to turn a usual sightseeing tour into exciting adventure
- A tutorial on how to become friends with squirrels. Because you won’t need one anyway: local squirrels are perhaps the friendliest squirrels in the world.
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