The Rose Pavilion


The Rose Pavilion is one of the most poetic constructions of Pavlovsk.

. It is located in a picturesque spot at the border between three areas: the Old Sylvia, the White Birch and the Parade Ground, surrounded by numerous ponds.

In the late 18th century, the lands behind the Parade Ground were granted to the court entourage of the Emperor Paul I. So, in 1797, the land near the Parade Ground was granted to Prince Alexei Borisovich Kurakin, Privy Councilor, Chamberlain and knight of various orders. On the plans of 1799, Kurakin's house can be seen at the place of the future Rose Pavilion. In 1806, Kurakin sold his house to Prince Pyotr Bagration, General of the Infantry, who was appointed military commandant of the city of Pavlovsk. The first years of Bagration's stay in Pavlovsk were marked by his friendship with the Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna and the favor of the Empress Maria Feodorovna.

In the summer of 1811, the Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna purchased the extensive part of the Bagration's land, but even long after this land would still be called “Bagration's Dacha”.

Maria Feodorovna commissioned Andrey Voronikhin for the reconstruction works, as he enjoyed the great respect of the Empress and, especially, her gratitude for his work in the Pavlovsk palace. Voronikhin created a light and elegant wooden structure in the classical style. Square in the plan, it is decorated with four-column porticos with pediments and the wide porches leading to these porticos. It is crowned by a low dome on a rectangular drum with semi-circle windows. The walls are lined with boards painted light yellow with painted rustics imitating masonry. Decorative grisaille murals depicting cupids games are located in the pediments and in the frieze around the facades. They convey an Arcadian element to this slender classical building, emphasizing its destination as a place for rest, entertainment and games.

The paths are laid down around the pavilion, as well as the rose garden that gives the pavilion its name; a French inscription “Pavillon des Roses” was placed on the main facade, below the pediment, using bronze gilded letters.

Voronikhin constructed the Rose Pavilion according to all the rules of axial symmetry. Rotunda stands right at the intersection of the axes, being a kind of the architectural theme of Pavlovsk Four semicircular niches of the Rotunda with eight Corinthian columns at their sides alternate with three rectangular openings, with a marble fireplace taking the place of the fourth. Grisaille paintings in the niche coves are represented by relief rosettes, enhancing the impression of the niche depths. A painted palmette frieze is located above them around the entire perimeter of the rotunda. A small floor above the rotunda is a circular gallery with a balustrade, and above that, there is a dome with painted ornate garlands of flowers on a dazzling white background. Three doorless entrances connect the rotunda with the surrounding living areas forming a U-shaped gallery.

Furniture was made specifically for the pavilion, using Karelian birch and ash: sofas, canapé, banquettes, corner cabinets, and a variety of flower beds. The furniture was decorated with embroidery depicting flowers, especially roses.

The Rose Pavilion became a favorite place for rest to Maria Feodorovna, famous writers and musicians were here.

In summer 1814, a grand ballroom was attached to the pavilion, as Maria Feodorovna decided to hold a celebration in the Rose Pavilion, dedicated to the triumphant return of Alexander I after the victory over Napoleon. The excellent finish of the double-height pavilion of about 400 square meters is impressive.

The gilded tempera painting by Giovanni Battista Scotti represents the allegories of Victory and Glory. The dome center is decorated by a composition of 20 suspended garlands of artificial roses made of colored silk as if forming a huge basket. A large four-tiered chandelier of gilded wood goes down from the center of this basket and there are four similar but lesser chandeliers at the four corners. Sconces in the form of baskets with bouquets of leaves are placed between the windows; they are decorated by the gilded military helmets adorned with ostrich feathers.

The celebration took place on 27 July 1814. Choirs performed hymns and odes in honor of the triumphant Tzar in front of the pavilion, with the background painted by Pietro Gonzaga and depicting a Russian village. The best poets and composers wrote the music and lyrics. Actors of Imperial theaters participated in the play.

Another famous theatrical festival and the carousel took place on 6 June 1816 in honor of the Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna and her husband Prince William of Orange prior to their departure to the Netherlands.

The Pavilion served as a museum and a summer lecture place until World War II. During the occupation, it was destroyed and subsequently restored to its original form in the 1990s. A magnificent rose garden surrounds it.


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