Pavlosk

Pavlovsk is another of St. Petersburg's historical Imperial estates and lies just 29 kilometers from the city and very close to the estate at Tsarskoye Selo. Named after Paul I, who received the park grounds as a gift from his mother Catherine the Great in 1777, Pavlovsk is home to the Grand Palace and hundreds of acres of densely forested parkland. 

The Grand Palace was built by the Scottish architect Charles Cameron between 1782 and 1786 in the general style of an Italian villa. Initially meant as a private home for Paul and his wife Maria Fedorovna, the estate was later given an Imperial facelift when Paul ascended the throne after the death of Catherine the Great in 1796. The architect Vincenzo Brenna was in charge of upgrading some of the palace interiors and building several additional park pavilions. 

The Palace's interiors reveal a multitude of artistic and architectural influences and include an Egyptian Vestibule, the Italian Hall under the main Palace dome, featuring classical Roman sculptures, a Greek Hall filled with luxurious French furnishings and Paul's War Hall, demonstrating his fascination with all things military. Visitors can witness the opulent splendor of the State Bedroom with its lavishly decorated bed, painted walls and elegant chandelier. The Throne Room (formerly the Dining Room) is famous for its excellent acoustics and unique plafond (ceiling painting) by Pietro Gonzaga. The palace, although smaller and less ornate than those at Tsarskoye Selo and Peterhof, has the feel of a stylish country home, whose inhabitants you can almost imagine have just left for an afternoon of hunting in the palace park. 

  

Much of Pavlovsk's charm is derived from its wonderful landscape park. Located along the picturesque valley of the Slavyanka River, the extensive park is dotted with small pavilions and architectural follies, including the Temple of Friendship, the Colonnade of Apollo, the pavilion of the Three Graces, the Dairy Farm and the Rose Pavilion. The dense Birch forest that fills the park, the numerous inter-linking paths running through it and the brooks and tributary streams of the Slavyanka that cover it make the park a wonderful setting for a long walk and a taste of the Russian countryside

The estate has witnessed some interesting events in Russian history. After Paul I was murdered during a coup d'etat, Pavlovsk was left under the supervision of the dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna. She devoted the last 27 years of her life to charitable causes, promoting and supporting the fine arts and taking care of her beloved Pavlovsk. On her death, the estate passed to the Empress Maria's younger son Mikhail and later to Maria's grandson Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich, commander of the Russian navy. His son Konstantin Konstantinovich Romanov became a well-established poet, who published under the name "KR".