The Palace and Park ensemble of Pavlovsk

“The Stepson of the Tsarskoe Selo”, the Palace and Park ensemble of Pavlovsk is situated 26 km away from St. Petersburg. Initially, there were rich hunting grounds, which were located near the Tsarskoye Selo summer residence of the Imperial court.  Pavlovsk started with two small hunting houses, “Kriek” and “Krak”. These unusual names are surrounded by legends (for example, it is said that Paul I heard some screaming there, since the word “Kriek ” is consonant to the Russian word “krik” – a scream), but actually, these were common names for  garden and hunting constructions at the time in Germany.

Pavlovsk
The emperor Paul I

Pavlovsk Palace was laid in 1782. For ten years the famous architect Charles Cameron worked on the creation of the Pavlovsk ensemble. His ideas formed the basis not only for the Palace but also for the entire layout and composition of the estate with a park, bridges, walkways and garden buildings. Cameron designed Pavlovsk Palace similar to fancy Italian villas and it perfectly met the future function of the palace, which should have served as a quiet family holiday residence.

Later Vincenzo Brenna became the second creator of Pavlovsk. He raised the Peel tower, Stone staircase, the bridge with centaurs and also developed main areas of the Park – Old and New Sylvia. On the site of the former palace Brenna constructed a fortress which was much-loved by the Paul. Despite the fact that the fortresses turned out almost like a toy in terms of the size, Paul included it in the list of working citadels and established a real garrison there. With the death of Paul I, the fortress was excluded from the combat reserve. 

“The artistic image of Pavlovsk was completed by three giants of Russian architecture – A. Voronihin, K. Rossi and P. Gonzago, who worked in Pavlovsk for another quarter of a century.”

The artistic image of Pavlovsk was completed by three giants of Russian architecture – A. Voronihin, K. Rossi and P. Gonzago, who worked in Pavlovsk for another quarter of a century. For instance, A. Voronikhin, with the help of drafts by Cameron, built a peculiar construction – the Ruins. A dilapidated wall with semicircular arches was supposed to represent a fragment of the destroyed building of ancient architecture. For complete and true impression, real antique items, including statues of white marble, were scattered around the Ruins.

Pavlovsk
Pavlovsk
Pavlovsk
Local friendly squirrel

Slavyanka river, on the steep banks of which the Pavlovsk Palace is located, is the main artery of the Park. The bridges over Slavyanka river charm with their variety and ideas. A bridge with centaurs – a single-span bridge at the entrance to the Cold bath – is one of them. The figures of centaurs are copies of the statues of the Capitoline Museum in Rome and were installed on the bridge in 1805, again by the design of A. Voronikhin. Since then the bridge remains of the most beloved attraction in the Pavlovsk park.

By the way, Pavlovsk is famous not only the ancient statues and mythological creatures frozen in stone. The Palace and Park ensemble of Pavlovsk is the first on the list among places where you can feed the squirrels. When planning a trip here be sure to take nuts. It will most definitely guarantee you funny, however not disinterested, acquaintances.

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