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Pavlovsk Palace

Image of Pavlovsk

 

 

 

Location: 30 km (19 mi) South of St. Petersburg   Map

Image of Emperor Paul

Emperor Pavel (Paul) I

(1754- 1801)

 

 

 

 

 

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Description of Pavlovsk

 

The name of the palace comes from the Russian pronunciation of "Paul" or "Pavel". It story starts in 1777 then prince Paul (Pavel) Petrovich received 977 acres (395 ha) of land from empress Catherine II the Great. The gift was made in honor of the first born son prince Alexander. Many historians argue that Catherine, who openly disliked her son Pavel, and in fact planned to pass the crown to her grandson Alexander. Pavlovsk in this case would become a golden cage in this scenario. However Pavel did become an emperor only to get assassinated 5 years after ascension to the throne. His widow Maria Feodorovna chose to live here and after her death the palace passed to descendants of her second son Konstantin known as Kostantinovichi.

 

 

History of Pavlovsk

 

Pavlovsk was designated as a royal residence in 1777 by Russian Empress Catherine the Great. She bought 977 acres or 395 ha along Slavyanka River and set them aside for her estranged son Paul or Pavel. She also named the future palace and surrounding settlement after her son she didn't particularly like. Pavlovskoye village was designed by Scottish architect Charles Cameron. He managed to keep the natural feel of the park along with aesthetic beauty of planned landscaping. Trees, shrubs and flowers were planted to look like a painting when seen from the windows of the Central palace as well as other small houses and pavilions spread around the royal complex.

 

After death of Emperor Pavel I (Paul I) her widow Maria Feodorovna settled here. Over the next several decades many rich and influential people constructed their private summer houses around the park. Many famous artists, writers and composers lived here and walked the paved walkways of the Pavlovsk Park. This included Sergey Glinka, Ivan Krylov, Nikolay Karamzin, Alexander Brullov and many others. Dostoyevsky set parts of his novel The Idiot here.

 

In the early 20th century Pavlovsk became the birthplace of a Russian Scouting movement. On April 30, 1909 Colonel Pantyukhov organized first scout union that became known as Beavers. It was even visited a year later by General Baden- Powell, the original founder of the Scout Movement while on his visit to Russian Emperor Nicholas II and his family in Tsarskoye Selo nearby. Most of graduates and participants in the Scout Movement joined the White Army or the White Guard during Russian Civil War. They fought against the Communist Red Army, but after their final defeat the Scout movement was closed along with Scout School. Ironically they found another organization that became known as Pioneers, but it wasn't re- established on these grounds.

 

During World War II the German Wermacht army occupied Pavlovsk Palace along with other suburbs of besieged Leningrad (today known as Saint- Petersburg). They stole or destroyed most of the items that were not evacuated by the Soviet government. At their retreat they burned down the palace and cut down most of the trees in the park. After the conclusion of the war most of the trees and shrubs had to be replaced using the original plans from the 18th century. Today the palace is open to the public. Along with other palaces  and royal residences in Leningrad Oblast it is listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

 

Image of PavlovskThe English park around Slavyanka river was established along with the Grand Palace in 1782. It was designed with great attention to overall composition. Plants and trees were planted and replanted if they didn't fit the esthetics of the view. Along with several minor structures, ponds, statues and bridges it is one of the best parks in Russia and Europe. It is prohibited to take any flowers or plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Transportation

 

 

Hotels, motels and where to sleep

 

 

Restaurant, taverns and where to eat

 

 

Cultural (and not so cultural) events

 

 

Interesting information and useful tips

 

 

 

 

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