Pavlovsk is about 4 km. from Pushkin, and 27 km. away from St. Petersburg. Pavlovsk, originally the site of the royal hunt, was granted by the Catherine the Great to her son Paul in December 1777 upon the birth of his first child. Charles Cameron was commissioned to build the heir-apparent's residence in 1782 - 86, but when Paul came to the throne he brought in Vincenzo Brenna who added some romantic touches to Cameron's Classical design. Brenna built the stone staircase leading down to the Slavyanka river and landscaped the romantic Great Circles in the park. But in spite of these and others changes and additions, Cameron's basic design has survived.

The golden-yellow Great Palace's flat dome is supported by 64 white Doric columns. It stands on a high bluff overlooking the river and dominates the surrounding parkland. In front of the Palace is a statue of the snub-nosed Emperor who had his official summer residence here.

Of particular interest from the viewpoint of art are the first-floor State Apartments which in the central block are grouped round the Italian Hall culminating in a domical lantern. The Italian Hall is connected to the Brenna's Greek Hall, adorned with Corinthian columns served as a ballroom which, in turn, is linked by two arches with the corner Hall of War and Hall of Peace. All these halls combine to form a superb architectural complex distinguished by the high integrity of its spatial design and the opulence of decor composed of artificial marble of various colours, gilding, ornamental and figured stuccowork, round plaster-of Paris sculptures, antique marble bas-reliefs, busts and statuary. The State Rooms in the south wing were created after Paul I had acceded to the throne, the principal among them being the Picture Gallery, the Throne Hall and the Hall of Knights ( created for Paul as the Grand Master of the Maltese Knights of St. John ).

The Private Rooms, originally located on the ground floor of the central block, have a less luxurious interior decoration, yet they are of special interest inasmuch as some ( e. g., the Egyptian Vestibule, the Billiard Room and the Dining Room ) have retained fragments of the original decor created by Charles Cameron.
The Pavlovsk Park displays a combination of styles, with areas fashioned in th French, Italian, and English manner, over 1,500 acres of undulating hills and valleys with a river, ponds, cascades and waterfalls. Just outside the Palace is the Czar's own Little Garden from the main avenue of which you can see the Three Graces' Pavilion built by Cameron. Another of Cameron's creation in the park is the sentimentally named Temple of Friendship, a circular yellow pavilion with a colonnade.

In the years of the World War II the Palace was burnt down by Nazi Germany fleeing from Pavlovsk. It seemed as if his remarkable monument of architecture had been lost forever. However, by 1970 the Palace had been restored. It was, the first completely re-created palace in the environs of St. Petersburg.

Visit Pavlovsk Palace